The management of Benson Guam Enterprises Inc. for many years thought about changing the Maite hardware store’s complete image.

It wasn’t until after the fury of Supertyphoon Pongsona in 2002 that the Guam hardware retailer did something about it.

Benson had begun renovation after suffering damage during Typhoon Chata’an. The damage Benson suffered on Dec. 8 2002 prompted the call to a merchandise retail consultant from Do it Best Corp. in Indianapolis.

Censio Tan Vy general manager of Benson Guam told the Journal the typhoon damage was estimated at around a quarter of a million dollars. “After that we decided to change the whole concept.” The hardware store’s face-lift at approximately $300 000 not only included renovations but an expansion of its products and services.

Vy said “Before the renovations the store was more like a warehouse and mostly customers for construction items came. Now our store has a more friendly environment.”

Walking through the aisles commercial and residential customers can easily spot the varnished signage with product designations from all corners of the 40 000-square-foot building to include home-improvement building materials paint and housewares. For added convenience customers can now shop on-line for more than 70 000 items at .

Vy said “The renovations that took about two years to complete did invite more customers to the store not just in the construction business but homeowners too.”

Business has been good since the major upgrade was completed in May 2004 Vy said and he has seen a gradual increase in customers since renovation.

He has no plans to open a second store but will develop the kitchen and bathroom section of the store. “We are going to upgrade that.” Benson opened in 1976 and has 54 employees.

Vy said talk of another big-box retailer was coincidental to his plans. “We were planning way before the rumors Home Depot was coming in.” MBJ