Do it Best hosts leadership training
Do it Best Corp. concluded a week-long, intensive leadership training development program for a selected group of managers and leaders from among its member-owned stores.
The inaugural Leadership Development Institute (LDI) was held Nov. 12-15, at the co-op’s Fort Wayne, Ind., headquarters. Twenty-three attendees took part in the training.
“LDi has been an outstanding experience,” said Justin Ellis, manager of two Builders Do it Centers in New Mexico. “This program has helped me develop the tools our business needs to close the gap between vision and results.”
Do it Best Corp. said it created the LDI to help managers be responsive to the needs of their employees and their customers and, as a result, more successful overall.
The first three days of LDI each featured content centered on a specific theme — Self, Team and Business — all of which culminated with each participant developing and presenting to their peers their strategic plans on the Institute’s fourth and final day. Several key Do it Best Corp. leaders shared their leadership insights during LDI, including president and CEO Bob Taylor; executive VP and COO Dan Starr; VP information technology Mike Altendorf; and Jay Brown, VP sales and business development.
“The focus of LDI is to provide these participants with the tools and concepts to understand why people do what they do and how leaders can more effectively manage themselves, their teams and their businesses,” said Brown. “The end goal of this training is to help them understand how to best execute the personalized strategic leadership plans they created here once they return to their stores.”
Several outside leadership development experts participated in the presentations and discussions, including Rick Davis of Building Leaders, Dr. John Lovell of National Assessment Services, Scott Harrison of Rea Magnet Wire, and Indiana University-Purdue University communications instructors Jake Gamble and Amanda Parker.
Hardware Store All-Stars: Georgia and the Carolinas
HCN congratulates the 50 hardware store, home center and farm and ranch retailers who made the annual HCN Hardware Store All-Star list.
Now in its third year, HCN’s annual list of high performers recognizes hardware stores — one from each state — that are outstanding in their field. The complete list and analysis can be found in the September issue of HCN. Meanwhile, HCN Daily will work its way across the country with mini profiles, continuing this week with North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
North Carolina: It might be miles away from home for many, but Zoller Hardware is a destination hardware store by design. Located in the mountain resort town of Cashiers, Zoller’s shelves are stocked with the requisite hardware offerings as well as gifts, housewares and cabin decor. Indeed, many of their products are hard to come by elsewhere in the region, which makes Zoller Hardware an essential stop for campers and locals alike.
South Carolina: Seneca’s Tri-County Ace is in it for the community, and that entails everything ranging from its yearly back-to-school program to its neighborhood-specific product assortment. Part of a chain of six stores serving the tri-county area of upstate South Carolina, the Seneca store bills itself as a contractor hub and features a full-service lumberyard and a builder-friendly product selection.
Georgia: Since we’re dealing with superlatives, suffice it to say that Intown Ace Hardware in Decatur, Ga, was named one of Ace’s "Coolest Stores on the Planet" this year. Its atypical customer loyalty stems from its top-notch customer service, likable staff, sprawling garden center and unexpected gifts assortment (many of which are locally made).
Next week, HCN will highlight All-Stars in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All-Stars, click here.
Ace increases revenues but plateaus on income in Q3
Ace Hardware Corp. released its third-quarter earnings report today to the generally positive results of 8.9% growth in revenues since 2012, but more of the same in terms of income.
The hardware cooperative netted $1.0 billion in revenues for the third quarter, an increase of $84.4 million over the same quarter in 2012.
Meanwhile, net income came in at $34.4 million, little changed since 2012’s figure of $34.3 million.
“We’re pleased with the growth at both wholesale and retail in the third quarter,” said John Venhuizen, Ace president and CEO. “Retail same-store sales in the U.S. were up 6.9% for the quarter and stand at 4.4% year to date. We continue to invest heavily in retail initiatives to help fuel growth for our local owners and that growth, in turn, is propelling the corporation.”
Venhuizen also noted the launch of the Paint Studio Initiative during the third quarter, which will revamp paint departments across 3,000 Ace stores by May 2014 as part of the company’s strategic partnership with The Valspar Corp.
The company cited the December 2012 acquisition of WHI Holdings Corp., as well as the sale of its paint manufacturing assets to Valspar, as factors impacting the comparability of its 2012 versus 2013 earnings reports. As of Sept. 28, the Ace balance sheet includes $67.7 million of WHI inventory, $19.1 million of property and equipment, $23.0 million of goodwill and other intangibles, and $23.9 million of WHI acquisition debt.