Full-service Hardware Makes Debut At Hechinger's

March 18, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Shirley Judd is designing a kitchen for the new home she plans to build in Woodstock, so she went to a Glen Burnie hardware store Saturday to see her designs put on paper.

As Judd stood in the middle of Hechinger's during a debut of its Home Project Center, a man at a computer transcribed her scratches to a complete project drawing that even included a price list.

"I think this is great," said Judd, who currently lives in Columbia.

The service Judd received is just one of the many unique aspects of the newly re-designed Hechinger's. Completing a six-month renovation of the store on Ritchie Highway, store managers say they now offer everything a customer could possibly want in hardware.

"The customer wants the right selection, the right service and the right price," said John W. Hechinger Jr., the president and chief executive officer of the company. "We have given them everything they want."

The Glen Burnie store, the first of the chain's 84 stores to complete the renovation, offers a new concept in design. The store is divided into sections that promote specific do-it-yourself projects, such as bathrooms, kitchens and decks.

A customer who wants to build a complete bathroom only has to visit one section of the store.

"One thing customers don't like is being pushed all over the place for some crazy reason like getting them to see the whole store," Hechinger said. "They have things to do. They want to get what they want and leave."

The 60,000 square feet of floor space not only offers the many Home Project Center sections, but has a complete outside lumber yard,garden center and plenty of cash registers dispersed throughout the showroom.

The idea, Hechinger said, is to eliminate long lines at checkout stands and provide access for people buying large items. That way, someone buying lumber or a lawn mower doesn't have to wait in line behind people buying flower seeds.

"See how busy the store is," he said. "Do we have any lines at the registers? No. People hate to wait in line."

There also are trained workers always on hand to answer questions. The plumbing section will always have a licensed plumber on hand, Hechinger said.

A professional carpenter also worksat the store, not only helping people with questions about decks butdesigning them too.

Melvin and Barbara Gysegem, of Glen Burnie, brought in dimensions for a neighbor's deck. In a few minutes, they had a complete design -- every board drawn out -- and a complete price list.

"People feel comfortable about doing a project," Hechinger said. "They just need someone to walk them through it.."

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