STORES - September 2010 - (Page 18)
EXECUTIVE SUITE / RETAIL PEOPLE
Ties That Bind
Bridgett Barnes Co-owner, Ace Barnes Hardware Ann Arbor, Mich.
question was US Weekly or In Touch, but in the last year I’ve found I don’t recognize as many of the names and faces, so I’ve given up those. Maybe that’s part of getting older. Now my guilty pleasure is a sugar lip conditioner from Fresh. It’s like butter.
Hobbies or passions?
ridgett Barnes grew up in her family’s hardware business, but it took a stint in corporate America to excite her about making a career of retailing.
Tennis, skiing, cooking, golf, reading cookbooks and travel.
While progressing up the IBM ladder, Barnes realized returning to the family business was an opportunity most people could only imagine. She did so in 2002, and today is in charge of financials, technology and human resources for Barnes Ace Hardware’s two stores in Ann Arbor, Mich. In 2004, Barnes was instrumental in opening a new 24,000-sq.-ft. location, and last year spearheaded the launch of a new website and an e-mail marketing campaign that increased store traffic and transaction size. Earlier this year, the North American Retail Hardware Association honored Barnes as one of eight Young Retailers of the Year.
Person or persons who have most influenced your career?
lection of items in our product mix, but particularly in this department. You can find a toaster anywhere from $20 up to $250.
Is it easy to spot a competitor shopping your store?
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” by Oscar Wilde.
Yes, they walk every aisle of the store, never need help and don’t purchase anything.
Do you have any trouble being a consumer?
A painting I picked out for myself as a birthday gift. I went to a gallery of an artist I really like and picked a mixedmedia work with a funky angle. It makes me smile.
Person or persons you’d most like to meet?
No, but I don’t think I can last as long shopping as some people since I’m in a retail environment every day. About an hour is my max.
What motivates you to get out of bed?
There are so many, but I’m going with JFK or Martin Luther King because I wonder what they had planned for the future or if they would approve of how things are going these days.
Guests at your dream dinner party?
Both of my parents have influenced the way I approach work, and both are well respected in the hardware retail industry, but for different reasons. My mom has created our fabulous housewares and home décor departments and has a true passion for what she does. My father has had the vision and courage to change what people traditionally think a hardware store should be. I’m lucky to work with them and hopefully learned a few things along the way.
What categories perform particularly well in your stores?
Besides breakfast, I’m motivated by the thought of how many people’s lives our business supports. I find it very humbling to think of how many of our employees have put themselves or their children through college and support themselves and their family by working at our store. It makes you want to make your business better for them.
A manicure and pedicure, a new pair of heels and a card for a friend who just had a baby.
On your wish list?
Another hard question. I’m going with Chelsea Handler, Bradley Cooper, Will Ferrell and President Obama, because I think he needs some laughs these days. I’d have a few family and friends, too, so we could reminisce about the amazing evening we had. The menu would be centered on having fun — nothing formal — so we’d start with sweet potato empanadas, followed by lime avocado salad, then red snapper tacos as the main course. For dessert, we’d have warm cookies with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. I’d also serve French 75 [cocktails] and fresh peach margaritas.
You could never have too many…?
Housewares and home décor do extremely well and make up about 30 percent of sales in our main store. We pride ourselves on having a wide se18 STORES / SEPTEMBER 2010
A remodeled bathroom.
Until recently my go-to answer for this
People in your life that make you smile. StORES —Janet Groeber
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES - September 2010
STORES - September 2010
Table of Contents
Networking & Communications
Payments & Credit
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
STORES - September 2010