Toledo Talk

Bed, Bath and The Andersons, Talmadge

Went to the Andersons store today to check out some plants (violas, naturally) and I was shocked to see they are creating a Target/Bed Bath/department-store-worthy housewares department. They've installed big-box fixtures and they're in the process of filling them up with hundreds of kitchen accessories. The linens "department" is going to look like Sears or Penney's. The former pots-and-pans shelf has been replaced by a specialty nook with entire lines of cookware. Although they've carried some furniture in the past, they have now created a separate, dedicated area ... along with some badly-needed aisle widening!

This is a bold reinvention of what their store has traditionally been. It's so interesting to see a familiar old business investing out the wazoo in new merchandise lines and attractive fixtures.

Food, pet stuff, work clothing and hardware all look the same. But Housewares is now on steroids! I'm intrigued by the idea that good ol' Andersons is going head-to-head with some of the big box stores. Anyone who's interested in retail evolution, or shop-local issues, ought to go check it out.

created by viola on Mar 25, 2012 at 11:31:31 pm     Business     Comments: 11

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As a long-time shopper at the Andersons, I have to add that the hardware and home improvements sections are not the same. The store has all but eliminated lumber, reducing their in-store stock to a very small space in one aisle with some common molding and trim wood. They used to have 3-4 aisles of lumber from which to select. Also, I have been frustrated on some recent trips in finding items being phased out: their selection of tile grout is very small, for example, and they have significantly cut back on metalworking supplies.

Since the demise of Janney's Ace as a neighborhood hardware destination (they still have the small engine repair facility across the street with a few additional services) I am increasingly resigned to heading to the big box chain stores like Home Depot when I need something.

Perhaps some shoppers like the expanded bed/bath amenities area, but as someone who used to find the Andersons a useful hardware store, I am dissatisfied with the changes.

posted by historymike on Mar 26, 2012 at 05:50:44 am     #   2 people liked this

I agree with historymike. I don't go to Anderson's for furniture or housewares. I go there for hardware and that sort of thing. It is definitely not the store it was 50 years ago and I miss that.

posted by deere1 on Mar 26, 2012 at 06:04:05 am     #  

There is a new ACE hardware getting ready to open on the corner of main and monroe in Sylvania.

posted by jhop on Mar 26, 2012 at 07:32:36 am     #  

No offense folks, but I would venture to say that you are not Anderson's target audience anymore. I live near the Maumee Anderson's and think their remodeling process is really focusing on the consumer experience. I think their goal, and it's a smart one too, is to get people in the door and then entire them to spend more money and more things they didn't know they needed.

Looking through the grocery section, their renovated deli/bakery with high end items and the expanded beer/wine section seems to be chasing those with expendable income who want some high end libations or food products. It is always interesting to me to see just how busy the store is in the grocery/garden area....then walk over the hardware;there is hardly anyone there!

posted by skippy5k on Mar 26, 2012 at 07:47:08 am     #  

I'll be frequenting the new ACE in Sylvania. I was pretty excited when I saw that sign pop up in the window. I hope they can make it - I seem to remember another small hardware store across the street that went under several years ago.

posted by idinspired on Mar 26, 2012 at 08:01:15 am     #  

i LOVE the anderson's new grocery section, but find their new retail expansion unpleasant. the super tall shelves are a little overwhelming, and feel too much like bed bath & beyond... a store I absolutely hate shopping in.

i wish them the absolute best, but i'll be keeping my shopping to the pet department and grocery section... pushing my cart as fast as i can through the housewares.

posted by upso on Mar 26, 2012 at 08:58:10 am     #  

Years ago, when Builders Square and Handy Andy went out of business, Andersons expanded their home improvement departments and did very well before Home Depot. Lowes and Menards came to town. Now that market has been taken over by them. Andersons is just trying to find a more profitable market for that space. While the corporation made money last year, mostly from grain and other divisions, the retail store lost money.

posted by OldTimer on Mar 26, 2012 at 10:34:40 am     #  

Anderson's isn't doing these things randomly. They have some sort of consumer market research, along with sales data, guiding them as to which sections are most profitable, deserve more floor space, etc.

I'm sorry, but 6 aisles of lumber do not have the profit potential of 6 aisles of DIY home improvement items. We can at least hope the quality of the smaller section remains intact...and time will tell.

And as OT just said, they lost money in retail last year. They won't prop that up forever just because we love their store. It has to make money.

posted by oldhometown on Mar 26, 2012 at 11:56:17 am     #  

The promotions they advertise in the Sunday Blade are not attractive. Their pricing is mostly higher than other outlets. Often you can pull a competitors ad from the same paper to compare. We would never shop there for appliances.

posted by Molsonator on Mar 26, 2012 at 12:04:25 pm     #  

I spoke to someone who knows about the changes: he said they eliminated the toy section, sporting goods, and lumber (along with bulky items like exterior doors & stuff). They will consider redoing the whole hardware/home improve side next year.

They might be on the right track with their changes -- I've shopped there for a decade and never knew they had sporting goods and toys. If those sections were unnecessary, noncompetitive AND INVISIBLE, they wouldn't generate much revenue!

Although it is shocking to see the giant towels-and-pillows sections take shape, I have to admit the merchandise looks better in those kinds of settings. They always had towels, shower curtains, and kitchen stuff, but it was all piled up on old-fashioned shelving in dim light.

The "flagship" store is in Maumee -- getting the same upgrades -- and the Woodville store will not get the investment.

posted by viola on Mar 26, 2012 at 03:13:53 pm     #  

The Woodville store is right across the street from me and I have been within 15 mintues of it for 40 years, shop there all the time. It IS getting improvements. They blocked off the mall door months before the mall closed and moved their beer and wine over on that side. The area where the alcohol was, back by the meat market, looks like it is going to be filled with food. They're moving everything around, it's a mess! I had to ask where automotive was and the thing I was looking for was in boxes stacked in an aisle. Pets has moved all the way to the back where the remodeling stuff was and they've really expanded the garden center for the season. I never paid any attention to toys or sport stuff, but that's probably gone from what's being said here. Lots more women shop there than when I was a kid going to Maumee store with my dad, so all this makes sense to me. When Appliance Center expanded, it seemed like the Maumee store got way more furniture and appliances in it, I had no idea it was chain-wide, tho.

As for prices, we could have saved $10 and a ride out to the Archbold outlet store and back if we had checked our store for the Sauder bookcase we wanted. The Hub has sometimes had a problem with their prices, and he bemoaned when they took all the wood out, but he's still buying stuff there, altho he's equally happy with Menards in Oregon and Lowes and HD in Pburg, so whatever.

posted by nana on Mar 26, 2012 at 08:37:54 pm     #