Craftsman expands to 2,000-plus Ace stores
Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware says the rollout of the Craftsman brand across its network of stores has crossed the 2,000 location milestone.
Since Ace signed a deal in 2010 with Sears to bring Craftsman products to Ace stores, more than 2,000 neighborhood Ace stores now offer a full line assortment of more than 650 Craftsman products, the co-op announced today.
The line includes hand tools, portable and bench top power tools, compressors, pneumatic tools, wet/dry vacs, tool storage, lawn and garden, outdoor power equipment items and garage door openers.
The deal makes the exclusive retailer of Craftsman products "in the convenience hardware industry," the co-op said. The co-op also said it is stepping up its efforts to tell the public about the Craftsman offering.
“The sheer number of stores that carry Craftsman products is a real testament to the brand’s strength and our retailers’ commitment to offering homeowners the best brands paired with the personal, knowledgeable and helpful service that they have come to expect when shopping at their neighborhood Ace Hardware store,” said John Surane, senior VP marketing, merchandising and sales for Ace Hardware Corp. “As is true of all our retailer programs, our independent retailers are able to select different sets to meet the needs of their communities and markets.”
“When we started the Craftsman brand relationship with Ace in 2010, we believed that Ace strongly complemented our existing offerings available in the market place,” said Michael Castleman, head of the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard business unit of Sears Holdings. “Expanding Craftsman to more Ace retail stores confirms that belief, shows the continued strength of the brand and better serves the passion of the DIY community, which is shared by Ace and the Craftsman brand.”
Ace said it is launching a national marketing campaign to let consumers know that Ace is the neighborhood destination for Craftsman tools, garage, and lawn and garden items. The campaign will include national TV and radio advertising as part of the recently launched “Meet the Aces” campaign; a Father’s Day gift guide featuring Craftsman products; social media; digital advertising; emails to members of the Ace Rewards customer loyalty program and public relations initiatives.
CEO Lyle Heidemann to retire from True Value
True Value has announced the retirement of president and CEO Lyle Heidemann, effective May 31. John Hartmann has been appointed as the company’s new president and CEO, following the retirement of Heidemann. Heidemann will continue to serve True Value through the end of 2013 as an adviser.
"As I reflect on the past eight years with True Value, I would like to thank two significant groups of people that have made these years personally rewarding for me: our True Value associates and our True Value retailers," said Heidemann. "I leave feeling confident in the future of True Value. John is an exceptional leader with strong strategic thinking skills, tremendous financial acumen and a true passion for the entrepreneurial spirit. He and our True Value associates and retailers will have continued success."
Hartmann has more than 15 years of corporate experience, including 11 years in the home improvement/hardware retail sector. He served as CEO of Mitre 10, a New Zealand-based hardware cooperative, and spent eight years at Home Depot and HD Supply in a variety of roles, including long-range planning, strategic business development, operations and sourcing. He finished his tenure as chief operating officer of the electrical and plumbing/HVAC divisions.
Hartmann holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and a JD from Syracuse University College of Law.
"The True Value board conducted an extensive search process to choose the ideal person to succeed Lyle," said Brent Burger, chairman of the board for True Value. "John was our unanimous choice. He has a deep understanding of consumer expectations, product distribution and the competitive landscape, and equally important, he has a clear understanding — with first-hand experience — of the hardware co-op environment."
Ace hosts Buying Days event in Oak Brook
Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. is hosting a Buying Days event June 7 in Oak Brook at the Doubletree Hotel on Spring Road.
The co-op says it is offering vendors an opportunity to introduce their products to Ace buyers during the event. “This event allows prospective vendors to efficiently and effectively introduce their business and products to Ace Hardware,” according to an announcement for the event.
Meetings are limited to 20 minutes; two representatives from the vendor’s organization may attend. The fee for participation is $200 per meeting, and all proceeds will benefit the Ace Hardware Foundation in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Registration deadline is June 1, 2013. For more information, visit Acehardware-vendors.com.