HARDWARE STORES

Cub Cadet turns to innovation

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Cleveland-based outdoor power equipment manufacturer Cub Cadet is promoting a new zero turn radius (ZTR) rider — the Z-Force S — that features a steering wheel instead of the typical lap bar.

According to the company, the steering system offers two key advantages. First, the circular steering wheel makes the mower much easier to control as opposed to using a lap bar. Second, the system incorporates four-wheel synchronization.

Typical ZTRs have floating caster wheels in the front end, and all steering is controlled through the back wheels by using dual rear wheel hydrostatic transmissions, which according to the company, make operating them on hills or in bad weather difficult. The Z-Force S incorporates a Synchro Steer technology, which synchronizes all four wheels based on direction and speed to improve traction, stability and user control.

“This is the difference between choosing a rear-wheel versus an all-wheel drive car,” said Brad Copley, VP marketing. “They can both be high performance, but in steep, challenging terrain and slippery or wet conditions the Z Force S with all-wheel directional steering is by far superior.”

The company will also feature a liquid propane option for environmentally conscious consumers.

The company will be offering two deck sizes, 48 inches and 60 inches, which will be available at independent dealers, Home Depot and Tractor Supply for the 2010 season. The suggested retail price will range from $3,999 to $4,999.

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Ace store rises in Antioch, Ill.

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In Antioch, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, an Ace Hardware store is being built in about the same spot where the original store was torn down a year ago, according to the Chicago Daily Herald.

The new store, near the corner of routes 173 and 59, will be the eighth store in the chain owned by the Laskowski family, according to the newspaper.

Antioch is also home to a Menards store. The city had a True Value hardware store, but that also closed in 2008.

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Rona opens new store

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Canadian retailer and distributor Rona has opened its new store in Saint-Georges, Quebec, an investment of more than $12 million.

The 52,000-sq.-ft. Saint-Georges store reflects the company’s new proximity concept for stores specializing in home construction and renovation. It has a 12,000-sq-ft. gardening centre and offers more than 22,000 types of building materials and finishing products, including paint, lighting fixtures, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, doors and windows.

The store also has departments for tools, hardware, plumbing, electrical, floor coverings and seasonal articles, and also includes two lumberyards: 20,000 sq. ft. inside and 54,000 sq. ft. outside.

This is the first Rona store to apply for LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

“We’re proud to be improving and expanding the network with this new store in Saint-Georges. Rona is listening to our customers and working hard to meet their constantly changing needs. So innovation is a way of life for us,” said Rona president and CEO Robert Dutton. “We’re particularly pleased to be opening a store that has applied for LEED certification. It proves our commitment to protecting the environment and our desire to do things right.”

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