At Blish-Mize, a fifth-generation CEO
Atchison, Kan.-based hardware distributor Blish-Mize Co. announced that Jonathan D. Mize has been appointed CEO, succeeding his father, John H. Mize.
For the past few years, the younger Mize has served as president and COO and previously served in other officer capacities. He will be the fifth generation of the Mize family to hold the title of CEO. He also serves as president & COO of Hardware House, a subsidiary of Blish-Mize Co.
“Under my father’s leadership as CEO for the past 30 plus years, he has moved our company forward and kept it growing and profitable, and I look forward to more progress,” said Jonathan Mize. "As we enter our 143rd year in business, we have a great team, and we are in a great position to continue to help our customers be successful in hardware retailing for many more years to come.”
John H. Mize will become executive chairman of Blish-Mize Co. and will remain chairman of the company’s board of directors.
“As we look to the future, I can honestly say that I am very confident that Blish-Mize will continue to thrive,” said John Mize. “During his more than two decades of service, Jonathan has been involved in the promoting and hiring of a strong management team to help him run the company in the future. Jonathan knows the business, lives our core values, and has the respect and admiration of the company’s officers, directors, employees, suppliers, and valued customers. In short, he has earned the right to lead Blish-Mize as CEO. His movement up the leadership ladder of our company comes from good old-fashioned hard work, teamwork, enthusiasm and his drive for results. As his supervisor, mentor and father, I could not be happier for him or more pleased for our company.”
Blish-Mize customers include building materials dealers, lumberyards, home centers, hardware stores and paint stores. They are also a fulfillment center for many online retailers. They provide more than 50,000 SKUs and represent more than 1,000 manufacturers. The company prides itself on a customer-centric business philosophy.
Merit Distribution names new category manager
Spartanburg, S.C.-based Merit Distribution Group hired Paul Van Noy as category manager, responsible for the direct management of vendor lines including sales growth, profitability and inventory rationalization.
"We are very pleased to have Paul joining the Lancaster team," said Mitch Jolley, CEO of the Merit Distribution Group. "As an industry veteran, Paul has a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will bring immediate benefits to our customers and vendors."
Merit operates the Lancaster, Merit Supply, Merit Trade Source and Marit Pro trade names.
Before and after: Sears Appliance & Hardware gets right-sized
The proliferation of the Sears Appliance & Hardware brand had been largely at a standstill for the past decade. That’s how long it had been since a new location had been built.
Before: Standing at 22,000 sq. ft. to 25,000 sq. ft., the standard SAH model was stuck in no man’s land in terms of the neighborhood hardware store/big-box binary. “Today’s retail landscape is comprised of mostly big boxes or more intimate neighborhood store experiences. There aren’t many players in the middle still in business,” said David Buckley, CMO of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, which split from Sears Holdings about one year ago. Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores decided to roll out a smaller-format store prototype, beginning with the construction of a new location in Dallas.
At 16,000 sq. ft. to 18,000 sq. ft., the new model manages to be considerably smaller without losing any of its essential content.
After: The Dallas store is still hot out of the oven, but it’s already doing what well-performing mom-and-pops do best, which is live by the mantra of “less is more.” The new stores place a higher premium on showcasing bestsellers through a consultative sales process, while making items that are unavailable in the store easily ordered and delivered to the customer.
“You don’t have to have everything on the sales floor, but in the case of hardware stores, you need [project necessities] on-hand,” Buckley said. “We’re able to offer a convenient and relevant hardware assortment, as well as an experience that’s differentiated from most hardware stores: one that’s more convenient and more centered around the customer.”
Similar stores are cropping up in Big Rapids, Mich., and Cedar City, Utah.