DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Ace Hardware honors its Vendors of the Year

BY Ken Clark

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. will present “Vendors of the Year” awards at its upcoming 2013 Spring Convention & Exhibits in New Orleans.

The seven vendors were selected based on superior commitment and service to the hardware cooperative, its retailers and customers, according to Ace.

The award winners are:

  • 3L Industries, the Ace Hardware International Vendor of the Year, based in Northfield, Ill., a leading manufacturer of innovative cleaning products;
  • Apex Tool Group, a foremost manufacturer of tools and hardware, as well as a leading supplier of chain and builders hardware, based in Sparks, Md;
  • Leviton, a premier supplier of electrical wiring products, energy management and lighting controls and surge protection solutions, based in Melville, N.Y.; 
  • Lonza, the supplier of Arch Chemicals, a leading supplier of products for Ace’s pool niche, based in Switzerland;
  • ShurTech Brands, a top supplier of do-it-yourself, office and housewares products, based in Avon, Ohio; and
  • United Industries, a leading manufacturer of value-brand consumer products for the home, lawn and garden insect and weed control markets, based in St. Louis.

In addition, Huntersville, N.C.-based Irwin Tools, a leading manufacturer and distributor of hand tools and power tool accessories, was recognized as the Ace Hardware Foundation Vendor of the Year. In 2012, Irwin Tools helped raise more than $60,000 for the Ace Foundation to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. 

 “These esteemed vendors consistently demonstrate their commitment to excellence by providing Ace with best-in-class service, innovative new products and dynamic promotional opportunities,” said Ken Goodgame, general merchandise manager for Ace Hardware. “With the support of vendors like these, Ace is able to fulfill its promise to be the most helpful hardware stores on the planet.”

Ace’s Spring Convention runs Feb. 21-23.

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True Value Co. engages outside branding firms

BY Ken Clark

Chicago, Ill.-based True Value Co. has added two new agency partners, Solve and Morningstar Communications, to expand “the breadth of its marketing and communications teams,” the co-op announced. 

True Value said the moves mark the beginning of enhanced branding initiatives for the hardware cooperative in 2013.

The company hired Solve, a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising company, to develop a brand position founded on True Value’s history and independent-owner base. Solve’s responsibilities include leading brand strategy and planning, as well as multimedia planning and buying. Solve’s original brand work for True Value Company is set to launch this spring. 

“Solve brings actionable insights on our emerging, self-engaged customer group and a powerful creative platform to the table,” said Blake Fohl, VP marketing and chief customer officer for True Value Co. 

Morningstar Communications, a Kansas City-based strategic communications and public relations agency, will focus its efforts in the areas of business-to-business strategic communications, public relations and media relations.

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Valspar CEO likes his chances with Ace

BY Ken Clark

After signing a long-term deal to supply paint for Ace Hardware, Valspar CEO Gary Hendrickson expects to ride the recovery to increased sales. 

"The recently announced Ace Hardware acquisition will expand our retail presence in the U.S. and deliver additional revenue from Ace’s private-label paint which we now manufacture and sell," said Hendrickson.   

During a conference call with analysts, Hendrickson said the store-level decisions on stocking Valspar paint lie with the individual Ace members, but the co-op can certainly influence those decisions. 

"The individual storeowner can make their choice of the brands that they want to carry," Hendrickson said. "The co-op makes it a lot easier for them though, to pick the brands that the co-op has agreements with."

Valspar will have a shipment and fulfillment advantage over paint competitors, he said, "and that’s the big advantage." 

Valspar is also planning an expansion in the United Kingdom through an alliance with retail giant B&Q. That deal will put Valspar branded paint in more than 300 stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland. But it’s the United States that has Hendrickson most excited. 

He told analysts to stay tuned for a another "significant retail program in the U.S.," but he said he couldn’t talk about it yet.

"The Ace acquisition and the retail program underscore our confidence in the U.S. housing market and will position us well as the market continues to recover," said Hendrickson. "We believe that any investment we make now and the recovery of the U.S. housing market is a good one for the long term."

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A.Glerup says:
Mar-15-2013 09:09 pm

let me save the paintdoctor
let me save the paintdoctor from a malpractice suit.Ace brand paints have outperformed and outtested both ppg and california paints. i will agree on the valspar comment and also remind those that the 20 year contract of Ace with Valspar means that they must continue to make Ace paints to Aces specs and recipes so integrity of paint will not change. Especially since the new paint and primer is number 1 in consumer reports along with their paint only brand being 7th. As for Richbal2, your info seems made up. Truth is Ace had two paint facilities. One built from scratch by Ace in the 80's the other was bought from Sears/Roebuck in the 90,s neither ever being owned by Valspar until now. There was a lot of updating and new equipment needed and there is the reason for the merger as Valspar having the equity to fix these and Ace still keeping there formulas was a win win for all. Employees kept jobs, and product still available for consumers expectations. In my book, America would be better off if more companies would do this instead of moving factories to Mexico like the wonderful PPGs and california paints.

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