DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Do it Best names new divisional manager

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Fort Wayne, Indiana-based Do it Best Corp. added Nick Talarico as a divisional manager, effective Aug. 1.

In his new role, Talarico will oversee the hand tools, plumbing, cleaning, housewares and InCom departments within merchandising. He had previously served as the co-op’s manager of internal audit since May 2011.

“This is a strategic move that enables our Merchandising team to benefit from and build on Nick’s previous experience leading our internal audit team,” said Steve Markley, VP of merchandising. “In his prior role, Nick gained valuable Do it Best Corp. leadership and management experience, working closely with all other departments within the co-op. We’re excited to have him bring his unique skill set to our team and lead these growing merchandising departments.”

Talarico joined Do it Best Corp. in 2009, serving as general auditor before his promotion to manager of internal audit two years later. Prior to joining the co-op, he worked for public accounting firm Crowe Horwath, serving a variety of national and international clients, including Do it Best Corp. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. 

“It’s an honor to join the fantastic Merchandising team and get the opportunity to help our member-owners grow their businesses through a broad selection of competitively priced products,” Talarico said. “It’s my belief that my passion for collaboration, along with a drive for continuous improvement and a willingness to listen and learn will combine to make a positive impact on our team and, most importantly, our members.”

The co-op is promoting Betsy Hartman to replace Talarico as manager of internal audit. Hartman started as the co-op’s Internal Auditor in 2011, most recently serving as the assistant credit manager and senior credit analyst in the finance division. 

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Ace awards ‘cool’ to six of its stores

BY HBSDealer Staff

As is its annual custom (now in its fourth year), Ace Hardware Corporation recognized a new spate of Ace stores in its 2014 "Coolest Hardware Store" awards. Six stores nabbed the title out of 4,850 Ace stores worldwide, named officially during Ace's Platinum Conference held in Las Vegas.

“Being a ‘Coolest Hardware Store’ isn’t just about having a unique building and products," said VP retail operations and new business Kane Calamari. "It’s about meeting the community’s needs in a way that only a small business can, just as the teams at these stores do every day. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners for their commitment to providing a consistently amazing — and cool — shopping experience for their customers and community.”

The winners included Palestine, Texas-based Braly Builders Supply, which makes good use of historic decor from the former Rusk Elementary School that houses the location; Mary's Ace Hardware in New Orleans, which is based in the ever-cool French Quarter and houses a restaurant and kitchen supply section, as well as specialty goods for homeowners in the historic district; and Nutter Hardware in Upper Arlington, Ohio, which is tricked out with a functioning potbelly stove and other vintage hallmarks of a classic general store (such as a willingness to help out in a city-wide emergency).

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Rylee's Ace Hardware also made the cut, thanks to its unique used ice skates section and its free weekly cooking demonstrations. Steamboat Ace Hardware in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, nabbed a designation for its community involvement and log cabin exterior with two covered patios and a 20-ft. water wheel. Last but not least, Ace honored Steve's Ace Home & Garden in Dubuque, Iowa, which features three greenhouses and a two-acre nursery, as well as a variety of special events, such as Ladies DIY Night, Terrarium Making Class, wine and cheese tastings and canning classes.

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True Value sales jump on expanded product lineup in Q2

BY HBSDealer Staff

True Value Company reported strong results in the second quarter, with a revenue boost of 4.5% driven largely by an expanded assortment of farm, ranch, automotive, pet, seasonal and plumbing products.

Reported revenue for the co-op was $429.5 million for the three months ended June 28, compared with $411.2 million year-over-year.

"In the second quarter, we saw a continuation of first-quarter sales increases," said president and CEO John Hartmann. "In fact, on a year-to-date basis, we had revenue increases in all regions of the country and in all 10 of our product departments. From a profit perspective, the incremental gross margin from the sales increase was offset by higher inbound freight expenses and our planned one-time expenses and retailer subsidies related to the rollout of our new ‘Color by Design’ paint colorant systems, equipment, displays and collateral."

Other metrics of note included comparable-store sales, which were up 4.2% in the quarter and 4.8% year-to-date. The quarterly net margin came in at $23.2 million, down 2.5% from last year’s $23.8 million.

Gross billings sales from new stores made up for lost sales from closed stores by $10.7 million for the six-month period ended June 28.

True Value also noted its addition of 428,000 sq. ft. of retail space, as well as the addition of 34 new members in 2014.

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