For fifth-straight year, Ace leads J.D. Power list
The J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Store Satisfaction Study ranked Ace Hardware highest in customer satisfaction among home improvement retail stores. It’s the fifth straight year for the recognition.
“Ace is a go-to resource in communities large and small throughout America, and our retailer-owned stores know how to deliver on the brand’s helpfulness promise,” said Ray Griffith, president and CEO of the Oak Brook, Ill.-based hardware co-op with some 4,500 stores. “We strive to make a positive impact on our customers and be the ‘helpful place’ they know and trust.”
The J.D. Power and Associates study is based on responses from more than 6,900 consumers who purchased home improvement products or services in the previous 12 months. Ace Hardware ranked highest among major retailers with an overall satisfaction index score of 786 on a 1,000-point scale. According to consumers, Ace performs particularly well in the staff and service and store facility categories.
The score is based on performance in five areas: merchandise, price, sales and promotions, staff and service, and store facility.
Past winners of Retailer of the Year
In 2011, Westlake Ace Hardware took top honors as Home Channel News "Retailer of the Year." The Lenexa, Kan.-based 88-store retail company has successfully planned and executed a customer service initiative and re-established its mission to serve the needs of project-oriented DIYers through a program called Project North Star.
Here are the recent HCN Retailers of the Year:
2010: Leeds, Ala.-based Marvin’s Building Materials and Home Centers
2009: Retail Partner of the Year: Memphis, Tenn.-based Orgill
2008: Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s
2007: Brentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply Co.
2006: Atlanta-based The Home Depot
A new CEO steps in at Handy Hardware
Members of the Houston-based Handy Hardware co-op received an e-mail message Thursday afternoon from Kenneth White, a partner at consulting firm Tatum, announcing that White will assume the post of CEO.
Several weeks ago, Handy’s board of directors hired Tatum to "assess the critical operating, financial and IT related issues currently facing Handy Hardware," according to Thursday’s letter. The board voted to accept Tatum’s action plan.
Tina Kirbie will remain as president, responsible primarily for member-dealer relations. However, departmental heads previously reporting to Kirbie will report to White. "Tina has been and will continue to be the ‘face of Handy,’" according to White’s letter.
On April 11, Handy issued a press release announcing its 4.1% first quarter sales increase. In the same release, the co-op pointed to problems with the transition to a new computer operating system.
“We have gotten past the worst of this transition and our numbers are climbing back up to our historical service level marks,” Kirbie said in the April 11 release.
Handy Hardware recently opened a distribution center in Meridian, Miss., its second.
Tatum describes itself as a consulting firm that blends interim executive services, executive consulting and executive search, with expertise in financial matters and technology projects.