Arrow Lumber plans meet resistance
Arrow Lumber, a seven-unit chain of hardware stores and lumberyards headquartered in Buckley, Wash., is running into resistance from both city and county officials over a proposed expansion to his Port Townsend lumberyard, according to an article in the Port Townsend Leader.
Owner Barney Wagner, who wants to add a 7,200-sq.-ft. hardware store to his existing lumberyard, received a 45-page letter from the Jefferson County Department of Community Development detailing the agency’s concern about fire flows, traffic impacts and zoning issues, among other issues.
The City of Port Townsend has also raised objections to the land-use designation that would allow a large retail store to be built just outside city limits, when its “Growth Management Act” calls for new development to be in-filled inside city limits or other parts of the urban growth area before expanding outside of those boundaries.
Wagner said he’s grown accustomed to government opposition to new building projects; he intends to see the expansion through.
Arrow Lumber operates locations in Buckley, Eatonville, Port Townsend, Randle, Port Orchard, and Orting, Wash.
Costello’s Ace to open two more stores on Long Island
Costello’s Ace Hardware intends to open two new stores by early April, bringing the Long Island, N.Y., hardware company’s store count to 17.
The new stores will be located in East Islip and Smithtown, N.Y.
"We feel that we have a market that can support independent stores," said president Mike Costello in an interview with Home Channel News. "And as we find the right locations, we just keep going for it."
The Costello’s chain ranges in store size from 2,500 sq. ft. to 30,000 sq. ft. The two new stores, which are currently under development in strip malls, will measure 10,000 sq. ft. and just under 8,000 sq. ft.
Costello’s Ace Hardware was founded in 1973 in Deer Park, N.Y. The company received the Golden Hammer Award for Innovative Retailer of the Year in 2007. In the same year, one of the company’s stores was featured in Donald Trump’s reality series "The Apprentice."
Reasons for optimism: Handy offers a list
During the Handy Hardware Wholesale Spring Market in Houston, president Tina Kirbie pointed to a handful of economic indicators that bode well for hardware stores in 2011.
She started her roll call of positive macroeconomic metrics with the index of leading economic indicators, which rose 1% in December from November. The index increased 3.3% in the second half of 2010, compared with a first-half gain of 2.4%.
The Institute for Supply Management reported the 17th consecutive month of growth for the sector. "With December’s strong readings in new orders and production, economists and business leaders believe that the momentum is in place going into the first quarter of 2011.”
Goldman Sachs raised its growth outlook for 2011 to 2.7% from a previous prediction of 2.0%, she said.
And the Handy president added: "Despite high unemployment, consumers who represent 70% of the economy unleashed three years of pent-up demand during the key 2010 shopping season. Sales in the 2010 holiday period were up more than 5%. That’s the biggest year-over-year growth since 2005."
Handy’s 50th Anniversary Market ran Feb. 3 to 5 in Houston.