March 7, 2017

Niche categories can be a great way for retailers to set themselves apart from the competition while also driving traffic. Which is why, in 1999, the Gladieux family of Oregon decided to take a chance on a new niche when they moved their Do it Best Home Center into a larger location.

“My father was always in to trains,” company president Ron Gladieux Jr. told Hardware Retailing magazine. “So when we opened our new location in 1999 and had some extra space to work with, we decided to use it to put in a model train department—something different and unique.”

Years later, Gladieux says their niche and the train table display with a model replica of the store they built to go with it has been good for store recognition.

“We decided to build it so that when we go to train shows, others at the show could identify our store with our display,” Gladieux told the magazine, pointing out that the Do it Best staff go to two or three train shows each year.

The niche has also helped drive traffic into the store. “The kids always want to see the trains,” he said. “It’s a good hobby, and a lot of people are still involved in that hobby.”

Read more about Gladieux’s train niche here.

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