HARDWARE STORES

Des Moines hardware store to close

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Thrasher’s Hardware, a 46-year-old business on the east side of Des Moines, Iowa, is closing, according to the Des Moines Register.

Owner Al Thrasher, 62, pointed to the economy as well as prolonged road construction in the area as the reasons for closing, the article said.

Thrasher’s Hardware opened in 1963 when Al’s father, Virgil Thrasher, bought an existing hardware store.

The store will hold an auction July 25 to sell remaining inventory and store fixtures and then will become the site of Thrasher Service, a heating, cooling and plumbing company owned by Jim Thrasher, Al’s brother.

Thrasher’s Hardware has three part-time and three full-time employees.

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AHMA Confidence Indexes decline in June

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s (AHMA) Home Improvement Industry Confidence Indexes declined in June, with the Current Situation Index falling 12.5 points to 41.7 and the Future Expectations Index falling 24.1 points to 162.1 from an all-time high of 186.2 in May.

For the month of June, 10% of respondents said sales were higher versus year-ago levels — compared with 13% in May — while 10% reported sales were even, and 80% said sales were below year-ago levels.

Looking forward six months, 31% of June respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 36% in May; 41% said they expect sales to be even in six months; and 29% expect sales to be below current levels.

Looking forward one year, 63% project sales will be higher, down from 72% in May; 32% project sales will be even one year from now; and 5% project sales will be below current levels.

“The economic recession that has been restricting growth in our country and our industry for well over a year now continues to challenge hardware/home improvement manufacturers,” said Timothy S. Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA.

Farrell said that before any significant recovery can take place, both employment levels and housing sales need to improve. “And while housing has begun to show some signs of stabilization, unemployment levels continue to rise, forcing us to conclude that recovery will be elusive throughout the remainder of 2009,” he said.

The June Confidence Index survey also asked AHMA members whether they use or plan to use “emerging social media” like LinkedIn and Twitter as part of their marketing plan. The results were that 10% said they are “using,” 35% said they are “considering use,” and 55% said they have “no plans to use.”

To the second question about whether construction of new homes will continue to increase, 25% responded “yes,” 58% said “not sure,” and 17% said “no.”

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Ace Hardware store to open in Texas

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A new Ace Hardware store is set to open on Padre Island near Corpus Christi, Texas, the Caller-Times reported.

The store, which will open in the next 30 days, will stock hardware staples, as well as inventory that is specific to the island. This includes camping supplies, outdoor living products and stainless steel items.

Located at the tropical tip of Texas, Padre Island is becoming a popular vacation spot and is said to be one of the fastest-growing meeting and convention destinations in the Southwest.

The Ace store is looking to hire 10 employees, the article said.

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