End of the line for Fleeger’s PRO Hardware
Fleeger’s PRO Hardware — once a three-store Toledo, Ohio-area hardware chain — is closing its last remaining store after 65 years in business.
An article in the Toledo Blade quotes co-owner Laura Fleeger-Koenig: "In past recessions we’ve done better because people have been cutting back but fixed up their homes themselves. But that didn’t happen this time with the foreclosure issue."
Fleeger’s, which at one time operated three stores, closed a store in 1998 and closed its original store in 2009. The final store, now closing, is located on South Byrne Road, in Toledo.
The company’s Web site offered a good-bye message to customers, including a thoughtful final word: "Throughout our 65 year history, we have been driven to serve our customers and our community with the values passed down from the previous generations including integrity, honestly, hard-work, service, sharing of our knowledge, as well as our compassion for others in our community who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families."
At True Value event, open casting
When True Value retailers assemble in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 20 to 22, the Chicago-based co-op will invite retailers to audition for its television campaigns.
According to Chris Taylor, True Value’s director of communications, the one-day-only open auditions for camera-friendly retailers will be among the highlights of the co-op’s market event. The retailers selected will play roles in the co-op’s national advertising campaign in 2012.
Also at the three-day market will be an increased emphasis on farm and ranch, Taylor said. While a small assortment of farm-and-ranch items was organized at the most recent True Value market in Philadelphia, the Orlando market will showcase a full-blown section with 90 vendors and 15 new product classes. Pet, equine and automotive will be among them.
"This is part of a longer-term strategy to help our retailers grow their businesses in new categories that are profitable," Taylor said.
The overarching theme for the event remains: "Winning at Retail," she added.
Hardware store sales grow in 2011
According to government data released this week, businesses classified as hardware stores showed gains for the month of December and the full year of 2011.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Monthly Retail Trade Report for December 2011 — the latest month of available data for hardware stores in the NAICS 44413 classification — hit $1.777 billion on an unadjusted basis. That’s up from $1.732 billion in November.
The unadjusted full-year sales for NAICS 44413 rose to $20.21 billion, up from $19.27 billion in 2010.
The full-year 2011 figure was the highest since 2008, when hardware store sales were $20.26 billion.