Ace’s ‘Makers to Market’ winners
A biodegradable BBQ called Casus Grill and a 3D-printed phone case that holds four tools were winners in the Ace Hardware Maker to Market Contest. In the eyes of the judges, the two products stood out in a contest that attracted more than 60 “makers” – the fashionable term for creative inventors.
The winner from the New to Consumer Market category is Casus Grill, an inexpensive and biodegradable BBQ that retails for $12.99. The 2.2lb grill is portable, quick to heat and ideal for anyone in need of a temporary grill. It can be disposed of in a bonfire and leaves no trash.
The winner from the New to Hardware category is Stowaway™ Tools from the makers of Klecker Knives. The product is a 3D-printed phone case that holds four tools, all conveniently stored within the phone case.
Both winners will be given the opportunity to present and market their products at the upcoming Ace Hardware 2018 Spring Convention in Dallas.
“The goal of Ace’s Maker to Market event is to establish a pipeline of new, differentiated and innovative products from independent Makers,” said John Sommers, VP of merchandising, Ace Hardware Corporation. “We had an extremely successful first Maker to Market event, with a dynamic lineup of new products. We look forward to bringing many of them to market through Ace stores.”
The two featured winners pitched standout products grounded in key Maker to Market values, including sustainability and small business entrepreneurship. In addition to the category winners, Ace experts identified a number of new products from the 2017 Maker to Market event that will be pursued and brought to market through the Ace Hardware innovation platform. Distinguished products included Plugfones, Screw it again and Coverware, the company said.
Sights and Sounds of a True Value Reunion
Chicago — During the True Value Fall Reuion here at McCormick Place, the hardware co-op unveiled a new approach to marketing, along with un update on progress and programs. And while doing so, it hamered on the “Value of Now” — a theme that reflected the importance of planning, investing and executing in a rapidly changing world.
Dealers who spoke to HBSDealer were generally upbeat and optimistic.
Paul Ramsey, general manager of Dauby’s True Value in Tell City, Ind., said he was particularly impressed with the new paint offering. “Paint is a big area of our store, and we average 200 gallons a week. Our paint area is about 10 years old, so this is a great time for us to sign up.”
From Blaine, Wash., Adam Akre of Pacific Building Center said business is booming back in the Pacific Northwest. “Everything is selling,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s the economy, or what. But we’ve just been very busy.”
Washington, D.C., retailer John Spalding of True Value on 17th was recognized as one of several dealers who saw double-digit growth following a rennovation. Spalding said his reonovation was complicated a unique configuration of three adjacent buildings in an urban setting. “We took the elements that would fit our store,” he told HBSDealer. “True Value worked with us through a store designer, and he did an amazing job.”
During the Reunion’s General Session, True Value CEO John Hartmann encouraged dealers to recognize and respond to the powerful forces affecting retailers everywhere. “Make this the year for transformation,” he said. “Remodel your store. Add paint. Add [Customized True Blue assortments] to your mix. Make this a year for innovation. Modernize your marketing approach with our new marketing program and our support. Add True Value Rewards and the e-commerce ship to store program.
“All the pieces are in place,” he said. “There’s never been a better time to be an independent hardware retailer in the True Value Family.”
LBM Advantage and IBSA complete merger
The merger of IBSA, Inc. into LBM Advantage, Inc. has been completed as of Oct. 1 resulting in a buying group with 585 member companies operating 1,100 locations in 35 states.
Combined with IBSA (International Builders Supply Association) LBM Advantage has $6 billion in retail sales.
“It has been an honor to work with the staff and directors of IBSA to structure a merger that will be beneficial to our combined memberships; not just for today but for future generations,” Steve Sallah, president and CEO of LBM Advantage, said in a prepared statement.
IBSA’s Smithfield, N.C. location will be added to LBM Advantage’s current New Windsor, N.Y., Grand Rapids, Mich. and Monroe, La. member sales and service centers.
“LBM Advantage offers National Buying Power with products and program expertise unique to each region. This expansion will allow all members to enjoy even stronger service, further strengthening their position in the marketplace,” said LBM Advantage Chairman John Callahan, also president and CEO of Riverhead Building Supply based in Riverhead, N.Y.
“Building on the success of the 2016 merger of PAL Inc. and ENAP Inc., we are all excited for the increased benefits available to our dealers as we continue to grow,” said Tim Johnson, former president of IBSA and now vice president of southeast operations.
In 2015, the LBM Advantage buying group was formed after finalizing a merger between the former ENAP, Inc. and Progressive Affiliated Lumbermen, Inc. buying groups.