HARDWARE STORES

Empire Level acquires American Level

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Las Vegas — Empire Level Mfg. Corp. and M-D Building Products have announced here at the the National Hardware Show that Empire will acquire the American Level product line from M-D.

“The addition of American Level products will further enhance Empire Level’s offering of the broadest product line in the industry for professional builders and remodelers, as well as DIYers,” said Jenni Becker, president of Empire. “The American brand of mahogany levels offers an ideal combination of tradition and quality that complements our existing wood level line.”

Empire will take over all management and operations of the American Level line and will ship product to American Level customers from Empire’s facilities in Wisconsin.

“Our goal will be to transition the existing business with uninterrupted service,” said Steve Betzler, VP sales for Empire. “As an added benefit, American Brand customers will be offered a variety of new merchandising programs to enhance their sales and, of course, they will be offered access to the entire Empire line.”

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Hardware shows plan to co-locate in 2011

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Las Vegas — The National Hardware Show and the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) announced plans to co-locate their two shows beginning in 2011.

Described as the “National Hardware Show held in conjunction with the NRHA All-Industry Convention,” the first such event will take place in Las Vegas May 10 to 12, 2011.

Dennis MacDonald, senior VP National Hardware Show; and Bill Lee, managing director of the NRHA, announced the plans for the co-location plan here at the National Hardware Show.

“With this agreement, we are able to more fully and deeply serve the industry in one annual gathering, thus unifying the industry in a way that is very much needed right now,” Lee said.

“Moving our NRHA Annual Convention to the National Hardware Show allows even more home improvement retailers to benefit from all that NRHA does to help them operate their stores more profitably,” commented Don Lochard, NRHA board president. “This change will allow our entire industry to come together to learn from each other and to work together to make our industry stronger. I would encourage every one of my fellow hardware retailers to join me in Las Vegas in 2011.”

The 2010 NRHA Annual Convention remains slated for July 19 to 20 in Savannah, Ga.

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Ace names director of consumer marketing

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ace Hardware has appointed Jeff Gooding as director of consumer marketing. Gooding will oversee creative advertising, media buying, public relations, Acehardware.com, digital and mobile marketing, the Ace Rewards customer loyalty program, local and regional marketing and consumer insights and analytics. Gooding will report directly to John Surane, VP consumer marketing, merchandising and paint for Ace.

Previously Gooding was senior VP marketing and group account director for Revolution Marketing. He also has served in senior leadership positions at Bally Total Fitness, General Motors, Championship Auto Racing Teams, Lee Hill, Royal Crown Co. and Sports/Celebrity Incentives.

“Jeff’s extensive knowledge of all aspects of marketing will make him a valuable asset as we launch our new multichannel advertising campaign that positions Ace as the premier destination for home maintenance projects,” Surane said.

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