How has your dealership recently been affected by Big Box competition and what changes have you made to stay competitive?

“Simply put, do things they can't do or won’t do. None of us have the resources to do business exactly like the mass retailers. We have put more emphasis on the service side of our operation (equipment/mower repair and service and rental). And on the retail side, we walk a fine line of stocking mainstream products for daily needs that you may share with large retailers and having ‘niche’ items exclusive to your store that can create a small level of buzz in your area, like a high-end knife with protected territory or a line of clothing or footwear. It's tougher than ever nowadays with large retailers and pressure from online retailers, but you can survive with some effort and thrive with some long hours and caffeine.”

Craig Smitherman, Smitherman's Hardware & Equipment, Lewisville, N.C.