July 14, 2015

Technology and the younger generation will transform the retail landscape.

June 2, 2015

It comes down to finding the retailer with a little extra -- be it exceptional service, an unusual market niche, or perhaps just a really great story.

December 16, 2014

US LBM Holdings has acquired Lumber Specialties of Dyersville, Iowa, a company described as the largest independent manufacturer of structural building components in the Midwest. 

US LBM bought the company from majority shareholders Carl Schoenhard, Bob Lex and Terry Bahl. Dennis Westhoff will become president of Lumber Specialties, managing the business with Bob Lex, Terry Bahl and their existing team.

November 25, 2014

For an All-Star, business is a moving target. That's why the best of them are continually growing, expanding and trying their hand at new markets and departments.

HCN's fourth annual list of Hardware Store All-Stars recognizes hardware stores for their willingness to change and try new retail concepts -- as well as the classic traits of service, stock and old-fashioned know-how.

HCN Daily will profile the honorees, moving across the map of the United States from East to West -- continuing this week with Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri.

July 14, 2014

Marion, Iowa-based Legacy Manufacturing appointed Marco Laubach as director of product development.

June 12, 2014

Jane Blain Gilbertson assumed the role of CEO and sole owner of Blain Supply and Blain’s Farm and Fleet, taking over from her brother Robert Blain who will retire June 25. 

Janesville, Wisconsin-based Blain’s Farm and Fleet was founded in 1955 and operates 35 farm and ranch locations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. The company employs about 4,000.

May 12, 2014

Oklahoma City-based wholesale LBM distributor Cedar Creek is expanding its footprint across the Midwest with the acquisition of Des Moines, Iowa-based Roberts & Dybdahl. 

The two companies recently announced a letter of intent for Cedar Creek to acquire the majority of R&D’s assets. Closing is expected to occur June 30.

April 29, 2014

Ferguson, the largest wholesale plumbing distributor in the U.S., acquired Factory Direct Appliances.

Factory Direct Appliance is a seven-location appliance dealer with five showrooms in Kansas City, Mo., and two outlying locations in Des Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, Neb. 

The deal marks the second big acquisition of the year for Ferguson, which acquired Karl’s Appliance in February. Karl’s operates six showrooms in northern New Jersey. 

April 18, 2014

Integrity Composites, the manufacturer of DuraLife Decking and Railing, signed a distribution agreement with Rochelle, Ill.-based Cedar Siding Inc. to distribute their products in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. 

February 19, 2014

Art's Way Manufacturing, an Armstrong, Iowa-based agricultural machinery and equipment manufacturer, has hired Bryant Phillips as group VP.

Reporting directly to CEO Carrie Majeski, Phillips will be charged with overseeing the P&L operations for the Ohio Metal Working Products/Art's Way Inc., Art's Way Manufacturing International LTD, Art's Way Vessels Inc. and Universal Harvester by Art's Way Inc. divisions.

October 8, 2013

HCN congratulates the 50 hardware store, home center and farm & ranch retailers who made the annual HCN Hardware Store All-Star list.

Now in its third year, HCN's annual list of high performers recognizes hardware stores -- one from each state -- that are outstanding in their field. The complete list and analysis can be found in the September issue of HCN. Meanwhile, HCN Daily will work its way across the country with mini profiles, continuing this week with Nebraska, Kansa and Iowa.

September 10, 2013

Bart and Diana Tyler, proprieters of Kelloggs & Lawrence in Katonah, N.Y., and DeWayne Tripp, owner of Hinton (Okla.) Hardware joined an elite crowd in 2013: HCN Hardware Store All-Stars. Their stores made the list, along with 48 other worthy retailers, one from each state.

June 19, 2013

No matter how you slice them, the numbers of the HCN Top 300 Industry Scoreboard reflect the rising housing market, increased spending on the home and an easy comparison with the previous year's performance.

Of the leading 300 home channel retailers, 277 show positive sales in the most recently completed finished fiscal year, and 12 show declines. Eleven others are listed as flat.

June 10, 2013

Waterloo, Iowa-based Building Products Inc. formed a new millwork division called FinishCraft. 

The company describes FinishCraft’s as a provider of “high-quality millwork with an industry-leading color matching system, for both paint and stain.”

May 6, 2013

Cascade, Iowa-based Cascade Lumber Company, a family-owned and operated retail lumberyard, is celebrating its 60th year of operation in 2013. Operating from a single location in eastern Iowa, Cascade Lumber operates a lumberyard in addition to a full-service home center serving retail and contractor customers. In addition, floor covering sales and installation are conducted from the Cascade location and a second outlet in nearby Monticello, Iowa.

April 25, 2013

Cascade Lumber Co., an eastern Iowa pro dealer and home center, is planning a special Founders Day event in May.

January 3, 2013

An egg incubator sold at certain farm and ranch retailers and manufactured by Houghton, Iowa-based Hawkeye Steel Products' Brower divison is being recalled.

The base can ignite during use, posing a fire hazard to the consumer, according to a release from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. No injuries have been reported, but Brower received three reports of fires, resulting in property damage.

December 6, 2012

Cequent Consumer Products, a market leader in household cleaning tools and automotive aftermarket products, announced the asset purchase of Harper Brush Works, located in Fairfield, Iowa.

John Aleva, president of Cequent Consumer Products, said the acquisition was a way of expanding the Solon, Ohio-based company beyond automotive products.

December 3, 2012

Electrolux will relocate its North American laundry products research and development center to Charlotte, N.C., from Webster City, Iowa.

The move signals the company’s commitment to further product innovation in its fabric care business and builds on the design, testing and marketing capabilities that already exist in its Charlotte-based North American headquarters.

November 2, 2012

Among the top 10 companies on the 2012 Home Channel News Industry Scoreboard, none grew faster than Brentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply. The farm-and-ranch lifestyle provider showed a 16.3% sales increase and an overall ranking of seventh on the Top 300 retailer list.

Rural King Supply of Mattoon, Ill., moved up the list from 25th to 22nd. Also moving up the rankings were Atwood Ranch & Home of Enid, Okla., and Bomgaars Supply of Sioux City, Iowa.

June 14, 2012

Holstein, Iowa-based manufacturer of laminate countertops, VT Industries is giving contractors the opportunity to showcase their skills and craftsmanship through the “Ugly Countertop” contest.

Contractors are eligible to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Marco Island, Fla. But first, they have to show photos of how a VT Countertop transformed a countertop into a beautiful home fixture.

May 21, 2012

The 2012 selections of Home Channel News Hardware Store All-Stars marks the second year of the state-by-state accounting of high-performance retailers. The common theme of “excellent customer service” runs through the entire list, but that’s just the beginning.

The list of Hardware Store All-Stars, one from each of the 50 U.S. states, continues with Illinois, Indiana and Iowa:

March 29, 2012

The Toro Co. has partnered with Ryan Cos. to build a 450,000-sq.-ft. distribution center near Des Moines, Iowa. Toro will lease the facility from Ryan once construction is completed later this year. Toro will then transition distribution operations from its current facilities in Lakeville, Minn., and Beatrice, Neb., to the Des Moines facility.

November 10, 2011

Mead Lumber, the regional LBM chain with locations in seven Midwestern states, has purchased four locations of Fullerton Building Center, according to an announcement on its website.  

The stores are located in Yankton, S.D., and Vermillion, Winner, and Norfolk, Neb. Fullerton will still operate its lumberyards in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.