Colorado hardware store shuts its doors
Drake Hardware & Lumber in Fort Collins, Colo., which has three different locations since 1994, is out of business, according to the Coloradoan.com.
The store reportedly suffered from a road-widening project, as well as the demise of an anchor tenant of its previous shopping center.
The store on Drake occupied 11,000 sq. ft. of selling space.
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Nothing has changed about the core mission of the biggest hardware show in North America — but with first-year event director Richard Russo at the helm, there will be some notable new twists for the May 10 to 12 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.
Russo, who for the past decade has helped direct sales for the event, will oversee the show’s first co-location with the North American Retail Hardware Show’s All-Industry Summit. This year marks the launch of Buying Desks, which allows independent retailers to buy product through their distributors. Also new for 2011 will be the introduction of new categories — pet products, DIY security and outdoor recreation among them.
Russo took time to talk about show biz with Home Channel News:
HCN: What will your approach be to promoting and running the show?
Russo: As the new event director for the National Hardware Show, I plan to adapt our strategies to meet the needs of our customers. We will continue to focus on increasing the depth of product categories from exhibiting manufacturers that retailers and independents need to help make their business more profitable.
HCN: Some of the co-ops and distributors have reported strong attendance for their shows so far in 2011. Does that bode well for your event?
Russo: Absolutely. We are currently tracking ahead of last year’s registrations and feel that this pace will continue. Big brands like Benjamin Moore, Skil/Bosch, The Coleman Co., Char-Broil and many others will be among those exhibiting. The show will have more than 700 new product introductions, and attendees will need all three days to discover what the National Hardware Show has to offer.
HCN: Have the reasons for coming to the show changed at all over the years since you’ve been involved?
Russo: The show has evolved dramatically over my past 11 years and has transformed from a networking event to a buying event. The mind-set of our attendees has shifted to focus on buying. Buyers come to our event with the intention to buy new innovative products that convert to more sales and written orders. Knowing this, the National Hardware Show has strategically sourced exhibitors that offer new product categories to help expand the retailer’s business.
HCN: What’s going to be the hot product in 2011?
Russo: There are so many new products to discover that narrowing it down to one product or category is very difficult. We have more than 700 new product introductions and over 600 new exhibitors participating at this year’s show. There is more innovation within product categories, with introductions such as Faux Foam Panels for the DIYer, the Hanger Hamper and Heated Walkway Mats, to name a few. There are so many new products to discover that can change your business and increase your sales.
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Ink-O-Dem partners with Chicagoland Ace stores
Some 30 Ace Hardware stores in the Chicago region are the latest retail outlets to offer ink cartridge refill services through a company called Ink-O-Dem.
Ink-O-Dem’s ink cartridge refilling service is operating at about 4,500 Walgreens stores in the United States. In and around Chicago, the service is operating in retailers including two Micro Center stores in Chicago and Westmont, Fry’s Electronics in Downers Grove, and hundreds of Walgreens, the company said.
"Now that more people are aware that Ace Hardware has this very affordable and eco-friendly service from Ink-O-Dem, it quickly became a demand we needed to meet with a sizeable expansion, said Frank Honold, of Ink-O-Dem.
Ink-O-Dem inkjet cartridge refills cost half of what a new cartridge costs, according to the company. Black cartridge refills are $9.99. Color refills are $14.99. The service also has an environmental message: refilling printer cartridges, instead of throwing them away, spares landfills about 60,000 tons of industrial grade plastic every year, according to Lyra Research.