Auto Service World
Feature   June 1, 2009   by Auto Service World

Barton Auto Parts Flying High At New Show Venue

Some 15 years after its inception, Barton Auto Parts’ change of trade show venue has provided what owner Stephen Krieger calls “the wow factor.”

Krieger, whose Uni-Select shareholder operation is one of the dominant businesses in the Hamilton, Ont., region, went looking specifically for a new venue to replace the Mohawk College automotive training facility that they had been using.

The move to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum meant that visitors were greeted with a much larger, brighter facility, with the eye-catching attraction of airplanes of all shapes and sizes.

“My theory is that even when you do something consistently well year after year, you lose impact. During these tough economic times, we needed to add the ‘wow factor.'”

The change had the desired effect, says Krieger, though he wasn’t surprised as he had the same reaction when he visited while planning the move.

“I looked at this magnificent facility and said ‘wow,’ literally,” he says. “I was concerned that clients be able to see that we could stand out, that it was blatantly obvious that we were looking forward, that we weren’t cutting staff back or reducing our service level.”

Krieger says the move to the new location resulted in a show that exceeded expectations in terms of both visitors–more than 2,000 attended–and sales, though he wouldn’t disclose actual dollar figures.

“People were interested in seeing what we had to offer and excited to be there. For anybody looking for equipment, it was the best place to buy it. Guys were buying show displays, taking advantage of all the proper opportunities.”

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