DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Do it Best extends partnership with DemandTec

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Do it Best Corp. has extended its contract with DemandTec, a provider of software for sales promotions. The Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op uses two of DemandTec’s products, DemandTec’s Promotion Planning & Management and Promotion Execution.

"With 4,000 member stores to support, it is very important for us to give each location as much autonomy as possible in communicating to their customers," said Tim Miller, VP marketing at Do it Best Corp.

“DemandTec helps us do that by providing the tools to easily execute different versions of the same promotion or circular, so each store can address the specific needs and opportunities of the market they serve.”

Based in San Mateo, Calif., DemandTec connects more than 350 retailers and consumer products companies on core merchandising and marketing activities. Its client list includes Ahold USA, Best Buy, ConAgra Foods, Delhaize America, General Mills, H-E-B Grocery Co., The Home Depot, Hormel Foods, Monoprix, PETCO, Safeway, Sara Lee, Target, Walmart and WH Smith. 

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Ace Convention sees boost in attendance

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The 2011 Ace Hardware Spring Convention and Exhibits held last week in Chicago saw a significant boost in attendance from the two previous years, according to the Oak Brook, Ill.-based hardware co-op.

Retailer attendance was up 36% compared with Ace’s previous spring show in New Orleans. The Chicago event also posted a 17% increase in attendance compared with the spring show held two years ago in Las Vegas. 

Total convention attendance in Chicago topped out at about 15,000, according to Ace.

The next convention for Ace will be held in Denver Oct. 15 to 17.   

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Once more with feeling: Ace promotes Craftsman

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Chicago — With a view toward driving profitable sales, Ace VP merchandising John Surane pointed to some merchandise initiatives, regional wins and corporate strategies during the co-op’s 2011 Ace Convention and Exhibits.

One of the brightest merchandising spots was the Craftsman tools brand. Back in February 2010, Ace and Sears announced a partnership that opened the way for Ace retailers to sell the Sears-owned Craftsman brand. 

"We have enough numbers in the bank now to know that this is working," Surane said. He said the tools category has seen 20% sales growth, 9% transactions growth and 9% gross profit growth for those roughly 500 stores participating in Craftsman programs.

Some 500 stores are already participating in the Craftsman program, and the company projects a rollout of 900 in 2011. But there’s no reason that number couldn’t be much higher, he said. 

"Ladies and gentlemen, we’re back in the tool business, with Craftsman," Surane said. 

And to make it easier for smaller stores to participate, the Craftsman booth was showing off its latest program — a Craftsman merchandise program designed for the needs of smaller stores.

Surane pointed to some regional wins — including a member who introduced the Bird Niche and recognized category sales gains of more than 100% in the first 120 days. The Bird Niche program is 48 linear feet and 800 sq. ft. of floor space. Ace’s Wild Bird Food is No. 1 in sales, No. 1 in transactions and No. 3 in profit as a "Red Hot Buy" at the show. 

One of the keys to profitable sales is cost of goods, and Surane offered a commitment on behalf of the co-op: "We will compete and dominate this area," he said.

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