Improvement project for Hechinger

March 08, 1991|By Cindy Harper-Evans

Using feedback from 3,500 customers, Landover-based Hechinger Co. said yesterday it is redesigning all of its home-improvement stores, starting with the renovation of its Glen Burnie store at 6704 Ritchie Highway.

"I have sat down with area customers in my office, gone on tours with them through our stores and listened to what they want," said John W. Hechinger Jr., the company's president and chief executive.

"I've heard what they like about us, don't like about us, and what they like about the competition."

Here's what the Glen Burnie store, which would basically serve as a prototype for other store renovations, will have when completed March 16:

* Products grouped in four categories -- bath, kitchen, doors and windows and decks -- a break from traditional retail warehouse layouts.

* A drive-up lumber area with its own outside registers.

* Five information centers offering advice on individual projects.

* Widened aisles whose layout has been changed so that when a customer enters the store, the aisles go straight ahead, allowing merchandise to be viewed with greater ease.

* Twenty-one step-by-step project videos and 75 how-to pamphlets.

* Free delivery for purchases exceeding $250.

* Three computer-aided design systems and at-home kitchen measurement.

* Earlier opening hours: 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Housewares and furniture will be de-emphasized to allow a greater selection in the bath, kitchen, doors and windows and deck areas.

Once revamped, each store will be called a "Hechinger Home Project Center."

The 10 stores in the Baltimore area will undergo renovations worth a total of $10 million in the next two years, Mr. Hechinger said, with five of those stores to be completed by 1991. The next store to be completed will be the Hechinger at Southdale.

He would not say how much it would cost to renovate all 84 Hechinger stores in the company's chain.

Mr. Hechinger said the do-it-yourself chain will roll out a new form of advertising called a "catabook" this month for all of its Hechinger stores.

The 64-page insert will appear in Sunday newspapers and have an index and merchandise prices.

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