Handyman Outdoor Helps Company Expand into New Product Lines

NILES, Ohio – With people forced to stay home last summer, many used the time to make improvements so they could  spend more time outdoors. 

The resulting increase in business at Handyman Supply has allowed Toma Leveto, owner and president of the Niles and Struthers stores, to branch out and expand. Leveto celebrated the latest addition to Handyman’s operations Wednesday with a ribbon cutting for Handyman Outdoors.

The new store represents a shift in the business’s traditional stock. While Handyman Supply stores offer tools and equipment for home improvement, Handyman Outdoors specializes in products for yard upkeep and outdoor recreation.

“Our customers were looking for other opportunities to get their outdoor power equipment and service done,” Leveto said. “We filled that gap along with offering marine supplies, RV supplies, camping and fishing – which has been really huge for the last year.”

Handyman Outdoors, 131 Youngstown-Warren Road, sits across the street from the original Handyman location.

At 10,000 square feet and sitting on roughly two acres,there’s plenty of room to expand and utilize space for customers’ recreational vehicles.

Handyman Outdoor owner Toma Leveto with an Ex-Mark lawnmower. The store’s focus on outdoor equipment and recreation is a departure from Handyman Supply’s focus on tools and supplies.

Leveto spent around $100,000 to renovate the Handyman Outdoors building. “We put a lot of love in it, and I think we touched every square inch of it,” Leveto said. “But it did come out pretty much the way we hoped it would.”

Handyman Outdoors has eight employees, but Leveto is still looking for specialists at various departments. Some of his employees came from other Handyman locations, but he said finding new hires was a bit of a challenge.

“We’re still looking for people in sales, service and parts possibly down the road, here,” Leveto said. “It’s very challenging these days. I think there’s a ‘help wanted’ sign on every corner.”

Supply shortages are also on Leveto’s mind. He procured merchandise to open the store for the spring, but reorders could be months out. 

Leveto still has plans in mind for Handyman Outdoors. Over the summer, he will look to include a hunting and archery department before the season starts in the fall.

“We’re very limited in Trumbull County for where we can go and buy hunting gear,” he said. “I’m pretty positive that before fall we’re going to be jumping into that category and have a nice selection for locals to be able to come and get without traveling.”

Leveto saw growth in outdoor sales over the last year. He said grills, for example, saw five times as many sales compared to past years. 

More money was put into marine products due to customer needs, and the camping and fishing products have been consistent sellers. The RV products were a new branch of the company, but Leveto expects it to grow.

“A lot of the outdoor items, people are just grabbing [them],” Leveto said. “People are having fun in their backyard. Whatever you can do to stay sane.” 

Pictured at top: Toma Leveto cuts the ribbon on Handyman Outdoors in Niles with the store’s eight employees.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.