The big box home improvement stores have dominated the landscape over the past 10-20 years. They offer more products at lower prices than the “Mom and Pop” hardware stores of the past, and many of those smaller stores have gone out of business.
But Blackhawk Hardware in Charlotte, NC, offers a couple things that the big boxes can’t replicate including…popcorn. You walk into Blackhawk, and you smell the popcorn coming out of the old fashion popping machine, and anyone can make a bag (or two) for themselves – free! It’s delicious, and it gets you in the mood to slow down for your shopping experience.
But besides this initial unique and filling introduction to the store, you immediately realize that their customer service is the other thing that cannot be replicated. I’ve looked for light switch covers and washers for a kitchen sink pipe. I’ve looked for certain types of hose sprayers and gifts for relatives. After a second bag of popcorn, I’ve looked for unique light bulbs and a vise to secure a rope swing.
It seems that I cannot only always find what I need, but I also have someone pleasant, candid, and helpful aiding me in my search. As a “small box” store, their prices are sometimes higher for some basic items, but the store is constantly jam packed. It’s jam packed with customers willing to pay a little extra for the selection, the free popcorn, and the exceptional customer service.
The next time you’re in Charlotte and near Park Road Shopping Center, check out Blackhawk Hardware.
It’s a great example of how a family-owned business can compete with the big boys using customer service.
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