We’re generating a lot of Amish and Mennonite business because we listen to them.

House-Hasson Hardware is using two tactics – cultural awareness and corresponding product delivery – to achieve new business growth in America’s Amish and Mennonite communities.

“We’re generating a lot of Amish and Mennonite business because we listen to them, pay attention to them, and craft what we do in their communities to be beneficial to these customers,” says Don Hasson, president of House-Hasson Hardware.

“We’re developing more accounts, adding more items to our inventory, and making sure we’re doing what’s necessary to be a better partner with them,” adds Hasson.

Business in the Amish and Mennonite communities has grown more than 100 percent in the last 10 years, Hasson said.

At one of House-Hasson’s recent dealer markets, House-Hasson held a meeting with Amish and Mennonite customers. The company makes special arrangements to transport to dealer markets customers from these communities who don’t travel on airplanes or drive vehicles.

Mike Woolf, House-Hasson’s vice president of sales, says Ohio and Pennsylvania are a focus of the company’s marketing efforts to Amish and Mennonite customers, and that being aware of differences is crucial to understanding and serving this market.

“These are wonderful, hard-working, honest folks and we enjoy working with them,” says Woolf. “Some use computers, some don’t. A number of our customers don’t use typical electricity generation, so they run computers from car batteries. For some who use that type of electricity, they need battery chargers that run on solar current, a 12-vote LED bulb that runs off a car battery, or solar batteries, because they don’t use typical electricity generation.

“In construction, instead of a laser-guided level, some want a really good carpenter’s level. We don’t have a lot of customers who want baler twine (for baling hay), but that’s what Amish and Mennonite customers want. We’re adding new products in that category and many others to meet their needs.”

Hasson says that for Amish and Mennonite customers the company is continuing production of its printed and CD catalogs.

“We’ve generally been phasing out those two information tools as most of our customers shift to looking up and ordering products electronically,” says Hasson. “But our Amish and Mennonite customers prefer that we continue with them, and that’s what we’ll do.”


Source: Hardware Retailing