In this digital age, heighted by COVID-19, customers are turning to different places, now more than ever, to purchase products.
Heartland America, based in Chanhassen, is here for those who don’t want to trek to a brick and mortar shop. The company is a catalog and online retailer of electronics, hardware, housewares, jewelry, computers and gifts.
Kendra Reichenau was recently named the company’s CEO. Reichenau attended Scripps College in Claremont, California where she got a degree in political science. She was accepted into the GAP merchandising training program out of college, where she learned how to design and produce garments while traveling the world.
Reichenau’s career history includes leadership positions at Kohler Company, Coolibar Inc., Nordstrom and Oakley. Before coming to Heartland America, she served as a senior advisor to private equity firms, helping them with mergers and acquisitions.
Reichenau became interested in working for Heartland America because she loves the opportunity to provide customers with great value. There is a lot of opportunity to speak to customers that she thinks have been somewhat ignored. That customer is 60-plus, mostly male and lives in the heartland of America, she said.
Many retailers have an online focus. According to Reichenau, Heartland America is a little bit different. The company ships 14 catalogs throughout each year, totaling over 14 million catalogs. In each catalog, there around 100 new items.
Heartland America’s customers are still able to browse through a paper catalog and that’s no accident — 70% of the company’s business is from the catalogs. Customers are able to place orders online as well as over the phone.
“Our customers really appreciate the monthly catalog being shipped to them,” Reichenau said.
Some of Heartland America’s best-selling products include grass seed for shaded areas, KN95 masks, Snow Joe outdoor products such as snow blowers and lawn mowers and space heaters.
According to Reichenau, Heartland America is dedicated to growing its digital footprint and direct to consumer business. She also hopes to further the company in ways that will “surprise and delight the customer.”
Reichenau hopes to do that by creating a YouTube presence. The page will feature videos showing how customers can use the company’s products, as well as tips and tricks. The CEO would like to be known as a resource for their customers to help improve their homes and yards.
“(A YouTube presence) would be a really positive way to add value to our overall customer experience,” Reichenau said.
When Reichenau, who lives in Minneapolis with her husband, son and a Westie named Frankie isn’t working, she can be found enjoying the outdoors. She walks around Lake of the Isles every morning with a neighbor.
The CEO is also known for her “pop-up parties.” Reichenau will text friends the morning of a weekend day and tell them to come over that evening for a last-minute party.
“We’re fairly social, we like to have people over,” Reichenau said.