Power Equipment Direct was first conceived by Jon Hoch, the company's founder, after an awful experience shopping for a lawnmower in 2002.
Hoch wasted an entire Saturday and $20 in gas driving between a half-dozen big box superstores and local hardware stores, trying to purchase the perfect lawnmower.
The big box stores had a huge selection of lawnmowers, collecting dust in a mammoth warehouse.
After hiking nearly a mile to find the right aisle, Hoch finally found the lawnmowers - hoisted two stories in the air. He tried to round up a sales person to help bring one down, so he could read the information on the box. The first two ran and hid.
The third one didn't have a clue. He then tried deciphering what remained of the tattered marketing materials, which was nearly impossible without being trampled on by the other customers!
Peaceful & Overpriced
Frustrated, he climbed back into his tiny Saturn and drove across town to the local hardware store to find some solitude. That's about all he found.
Premiere hardware store carried a handful of lawnmowers, but the model that he wanted was overpriced and sold out. Great. He finally found the product he wanted - albeit for too much - but he couldn't even buy it. So he drove to the same store in the next town to purchase it.
Apparently, everyone else in the area had the same idea. The store just sold the last one an hour earlier. Even if the store had the merchandise, Hoch realized that he probably couldn't fit the huge box into his little sedan without scratching half the paint off the door frame.
Exhausted from shopping, Hoch special ordered an overpriced lawnmower, paid an enormous amount sales tax and a huge service charge to have it shipped to his house. He realized that there's got to be a better way!
The Birth of a New Company
Power Equipment Direct was founded on the premise of simplified shopping.
Customers could sort through all of the leading power equipment products online from the comfort of their homes - no traffic jams, no crowds, no scratched tailgates.
Plus, all of the equipment - including hard-to-find accessories - would ship directly from the factory to the customer's door, eliminating the need for stores, warehouses and clueless clerks.
Power Equipment Direct streamlined the sales process and rewarded customers with factory-direct discounts and a sales tax-free guarantee on its vast selection of products.
Hoch launched his first web store - PressureWashersDirect.com
- from his basement in 2003. The goal: To sell one pressure washer a week in order to make a car payment.
Several years and a couple of web stores later, Power Equipment Direct is one of the leading online power equipment e-tailers with millions of dollars in annual sales.
The company owns more than a dozen power equipment-related web addresses and plans to open more specialty superstores in the very near future.