DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Ace Hardware tunes into The Weather Channel

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ace Hardware, together with The Weather Channel, is offering a $15,000 customized home maintenance makeover for the winner of its "Forecast Fix Up." Launched on April 2, the contest invites consumers to submit photos and a 100-word description of their homes. Nominations will be accepted until April 30 and official rules and details can be found online at weather.com/fixup, as well as on The Weather Channel’s Facebook page. Visitors to the website can also view exclusive home maintenance videos hosted by Lou Manfredini, Ace’s celebrity spokesman, as well as voting criteria and other submissions. 

"Checking the weather is an important step when beginning any home maintenance project, which exemplifies the program between The Weather Channel and Ace," said Ann Brown, senior VP client solutions for The Weather Channel companies. "Pairing our localized weather content with Ace’s expert home maintenance advice delivers on our promise to help viewers live their best life outdoors and Ace’s goal to be the neighborhood resource for homeowners’ home maintenance needs." 

Throughout April and into September, The Weather Channel will feature segments with Manfredini on popular home maintenance projects, such as interior painting, outdoor lawn care, energy efficiency, spring outdoor living, grill maintenance and moving into a new home. The winner’s makeover will be revealed and featured in an extended programming block on The Weather Channel on May 25 and 26. Ace Hardware, headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., will provide all of the materials for the fix-up project. 

 

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May-22-2012 10:24 am

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DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Do it Best will build a new DC in Missouri

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Do it Best plans to build a $30 million Retail Service Center (RSC) in Sikeston, Mo, replacing the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op’s existing facility in nearby Cape Girardeau.

The co-op said the new RSC will incorporate the latest technologies in warehouse distribution, including a highly accurate voice-pick system. Further investment will also be made in state-of-the-art efficiencies captured by maximizing workflow from receiving to shipping. The facility will offer more than 550,000 square feet of warehousing space, along with a 40% increase in the amount of cubic footage available for the inventory and distribution of hardware and lumber products.

“This investment – and the new facility it will create – will not only help us continue to meet our members’ current needs but will position us well for our future growth plans,” said Do it Best Corp. President and CEO Bob Taylor. “The review and evaluation process in selecting a new RSC site was thorough and exhaustive, and helped us arrive at a decision that we believe is the right one for our members, our co-op and all of our team members.”

Do it Best Corp. established its current RSC in Cape Girardeau – its first distribution center outside of Indiana – in 1971. It employs 115 team members and services member-owners in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Tennessee.

The selection to rebuild in Sikeston was influenced by a desire to retain as many current employees as possible. The Sikeston site also provides land options with room for future expansion, according to the co-op.

 

 

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May-22-2012 01:35 pm

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After 32 years, and a difficult 2011, Kirbie retires

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The retirement of Houston-based Handy Hardware Wholesale President Tina Kirbie earlier this year marked the end of a 32-year run for the co-op executive. The company’s new leadership, meanwhile, told Home Channel News “everything’s positive and we’re moving forward.”

Kirbie, a 32-year Handy Hardware veteran who began her career as an accounting credit manager, took part in the co-op’s January market in Houston, but in a limited role. 

Kirbie’s retirement follows a tumultuous year at Handy, including supply chain and delivery errors. Kenneth White, a partner at national consulting firm Tatum, was placed in charge when Handy’s board of directors agreed to Tatum’s action plan to address issues in IT and operations.

In a letter to the membership, White thanked Kirbie for “all of her great years of service at Handy.”

As for the co-op’s operations, White said the co-op recently rolled out a radio-frequency system in the Houston and Meridian, Miss. Distribution centers. “Since we implemented it, our miss-picks and miss shipments, our longs and shorts, have pretty much dissipated.” 

Membership has remained at about 1,300 retailers, White said. And 2011 sales showed a 3% increase over 2010. He described the top-line growth as broad based. 

“Last year was a difficult year for the co-op, with a lot of operational issues” he told Home Channel News. “Yet our membership remained constant and our sales grew. That says a lot for the company.”

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