Do it Best Expo reinforces margin opportunities
New products and new-product-knowledge took center stage earlier this month at Do it Best Corp.’s New Product Expo held in Woodburn, Ore.
“Our members have a number of ways to get information about product launches and line enhancements through our website, markets, online catalogs and various other member communications, but the sheer number of great new items added to inventory can sometimes be overwhelming,” said Jay Brown, VP of sales and business development for the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op. “And that’s where the idea for an expo first took root. Our field sales team, in full partnership with other divisions, created a model program for attracting our members to regional meetings where they could not only pick up the products, examine their packaging and learn about their margin potential, but also place orders right on the spot.”
The Woodburn event took place Dec. 2. The co-op’s expos, held at retail service centers throughout the country, are the result of extensive collaboration between Do it Best’s sales and business development, merchandising and retail logistics divisions.
Among the hundreds of new products added to inventory were more than 100 exclusive Channellock items, the company said.
Further enhancing the value of the New Product Expos was the addition of vendor seminars and informative Do it Best Corp. training sessions. “Along with the tables and tables of new items, we offered our members the opportunity to tour their warehouse to learn about the operational efficiency of the co-op,” said Regional Sales and Business Development Manager Dave Enmark. “At our recent Waco, Texas, expo we included training sessions on Do it Best Radio, Category Solutions, store design, paint, LBM, advertising and our Compete and Win program. Everything was well received, and our members left with a number of ideas to immediately implement in their stores as well as new products to attract and retain customers.”
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Venhuizen promoted at Ace Hardware
Ace Hardware appointed John Venhuizen chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1, 2012.
Venhuizen has spent nearly two decades with Ace and most recently served as executive VP supply chain, information technology (IT) and international. In this position, he helped grow the number of Ace stores around the world, as well as create a variety of successful support and incentive programs for retailers.
“John possesses deep knowledge of our company and truly understands our retailers and the needs of their businesses,” said Ray Griffith, president and CEO for Ace Hardware. “With his almost 20 years of experience at Ace, John has been a leading voice in the development of our global growth strategy and has shown an incredible dedication to customer service. He will continue to play a key role in the expansion and evolution of the Ace brand.”
Venhuizen joined Ace in 1992 and has served in a variety of regional and corporate-based marketing, merchandising, advertising and business development positions. As COO, he will report directly to Griffith.
"It is a privilege to work for our enthusiastic, entrepreneurial retailers who embody the small business heartbeat of America," Venhuizen said.
Ace lights the way in Fort Hood, Texas
Ace Hardware delivered more than 72,000 energy-efficient light bulbs to military families at the Fort Hood (Texas) Army Base, the largest active-duty military installation in the United States.
The free supply of light bulbs was intended to help residents of the Fort Hood Army Base turn their home maintenance to-do list into a to-done list as they prepare for new energy-efficient lighting standards scheduled to take effect in early 2012.
According to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, 100-watt general service incandescent light bulbs can no longer be manufactured for the United States, beginning in 2012. This change will be the first of several phase-outs over the next two years, with 75-watt incandescent bulbs no longer made in 2013, followed by the 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs phasing out in 2014. As a result, consumers will need to transition to energy-efficient light bulbs for their lighting needs, such as CFLs (compact florescent bulbs), LEDs (light-emitting diode) and energy-efficient halogen options.
According to Ace, CFL and LED bulbs offer about 70% more energy efficiency and last up to 10 times longer than older incandescent bulbs.
As incandescent bulbs begin to be phased out, Ace is lighting the way for consumers, starting with military families at the Fort Hood Army Base. While on base, Ace set-up an education event led by Manfredini to help families understand the new lighting standards and energy-efficient light bulb options currently available at their neighborhood Ace Hardware stores. Ace also donated an assortment of free GE energy-efficient light bulbs in varying wattages to each family and helped one lucky family update their entire homes’ lighting accordingly through an on-site raffle at the event.
"We relished this opportunity to promote energy conservation to our residents," said Mack Quinney, Fort Hood Family Housing Project Director.
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