Buying Desk program to boost Hardware Show
Orgill, Distribution America, Ace Hardware, True Value and Lancaster make up the list of co-ops/distributors signed up for the new Buying Desk Program so far, according to organizers of the National Hardware Show.
Independent retailers attending the May 10-12 event in Las Vegas will have instant access to new products introduced at the event through the show’s new Buying Desk Program. On the flip side, suppliers attending the 2011 event will be able to sell products to independent retailers through their existing co-operative and distributor programs.
Exhibitors participating in the Buying Desk Program will have a counter card at their booth that says, “Independent Retailer Program.” In addition, each co-op/distributor will have a meeting room on site at the Las Vegas Convention Center where they can facilitate orders, network with retail customers and discuss products they do not currently stock in their distribution centers.
"I think the value of this program is that it will connect the dots between the manufacturer who is presenting his products to the industry, the retailer who may have not been exposed yet to those products, and the distributor who may or may not be stocking those products," said Dave Christmas, president of Distribution America.
Activant gets closer to Allpro Corp.
Livermore, Calif.-based Activant Solutions signed an Approved Technology Vendor agreement with Allpro Corp., a buying cooperative comprised of a network of independently owned paint and decorating products dealers.
“With the increased competition from the ‘big box’ retailers, independent paint dealers need to leverage the advanced retail technology found in the Activant® Eagle® system,” said Paul Salsgiver, executive vice president for Activant. “Hundreds of paint dealers are currently using the Activant Eagle solution to effectively price and optimize profit margins on the products they sell, improve inventory management, drive greater customer loyalty through marketing programs, speed check-out and quickly handle customer special orders.”
Allpro currently serves 270 companies who collectively represent approximately 1,300 storefronts. Activant will offer these retailers the technology and services they need to improve business efficiency and performance, the company said.
Activant also offers a suite of tools to help paint and decorating retailers manage contractor business. For instance, the Activant Eagle solution allows retailers to set separate accounts for contractors and offer them bulk discounts based on purchase history, according to the company. The Activant iNet suite of e-commerce products allows contractors to place orders, check accounts balances and pay invoices online.
Obit: James Gee Sr.
James Gee Sr., an early pioneer of the home center concept in the Chicago area, died at his home on March 9, according to an obituary in the Chicago Tribune. He was 93 years old.
Gee and his brothers built a retail lumber and hardware business that included a large home center in the late 1940s. The model drew attention from entrepreneurs and retailers from across the country, including Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, who once called Gee to inquire about his store.
In the late 1950s, Gee and his brothers parted ways and Gee opened Gee Lumber and Hardware. His first branch was in Richton Park. Other stores followed, including locations in Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, La Grange, Broadview, Plainfield, South Holland and Joliet.
Under competitive pressure from national chains, Gee eventually liquidated his business, closing his last store in the early 1990s.