Boston Globe supports the local hardware store
An editorial in the Boston Globe lamented the loss of a local hardware store, and at the same time praised the virtues of all surviving stores in an age of Amazon.com and the big box.
The article, “Hardware stores: Barometer of civic health,” appeared in the May 10 newspaper.
Hamilton Hardware in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood closed in April after 92 years in business.
According to the editorial: “the convenience and knowledge offered by corner stores are crucial urban amenities.”
Read the article here.
C.C. and Julie Gibbs earn accolades
Gibbs True Value Hardware in Grayson, Kentucky, was recognized by Chicago-based True Value Co. as one of 13 Best Hardware Store in Town honorees.
Accepting the award at a True Value hosted ceremony earlier this year were C.C. and Julie Gibbs.
The store was the first in the state of Kentucky to adopt the Destination True Value format. The store also offers niche categories, such as fireplaces, outdoor power equipment and a Just Ask Rental business.
True Value’s Best Hardware Store in Town program has been recognizing True Value retailers since 2007. “These are talented business people who work incredibly hard to bring their communities the best service and shopping experiences possible,” said John Hartmann, president and CEO of True Value Co.
Current remodeling conditions fell in March survey
A harsh winter is the likely culprit for a decline in a popular measure of the remodeling market.
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s first-quarter 2014 Remodeling Business Pulse data of current and future remodeling business conditions show current condition ratings fell significantly in March.
Business conditions during the first three months of 2014 dropped to 6.07, down from 6.41 in December. There was a decline in all but one of the sub-components that drive the overall current rating. Conversion of bids and sales value of jobs had the largest dip.
However, strength of sales in this three-month period increased to 6.51, from the 6.41 reported during the fourth quarter of 2013.
“The harsh winter seemed to have played a role in the decline of our numbers this quarter,” says Tom O’Grady, CR, CKBR, chairman of NARI’s Strategic Planning Committee.
However, despite the low ratings for current business conditions, remodelers are more optimistic about the future, heading into their busy season. The outlook for business three months out reached a new all-time high of 6.51, from 6.41 in December 2013.
Growth indicators in the first quarter of 2014 are as follows (rating is from 1 to 9, where 1 is much worse than a year ago and 9 is much better; 5 is about the same as last year):
• Current business conditions fell to 6.07 (from 6.51 last quarter)
• Number of inquiries remained flat at 6.24.
• Requests for bids had a slight drop to 6.16 (down from 6.22 last quarter)
• Conversion of bids fell significantly from 6.03 to 5.71.
• Sales value of jobs sold declined to 5.84 (down from 6.27 from last quarter).
“Postponed home maintenance issues continue to be a large driver for projects,” O’Grady says. “However, homeowners remain slow to make the decision to move ahead with higher-priced projects, which is still the biggest barrier to growth.”
When asked about what is driving growth, remodelers had responses similar to those seen in the last few quarters. Activity is being driven by several factors Postponed projects continue to be the No. 1 factor in remodeling business growth, at 81%, up from 75 % in December.