HARDWARE STORES

Florida hardware store bans the penny

BY Brae Canlen

An 84-year-old hardware store in Coconut Grove, Fla., has decided to join the modern movement to do away with pennies in cash transactions, according to an article in the Miami Herald.

Shell Lumber now has a large sign at the front door with an image of a penny with a red slash through it. It reads, “No more pennies!” The sign also explains that the store will round up cash sales in the customer’s favor, which maxes out at four cents. 

The store owner, who still gives out free popcorn and snow cones in the summer, said he was spending too much staff time counting roughly 1,200 pennies needed each day for the stores’ 10 registers. Credit card customers will pay the full amount because no pennies have to change hands.

Shell Lumber is following in the footsteps of military commissaries, which stopped shipping pennies overseas in the 1980s and randomly round up purchases on U.S. bases. Canada has announced a plan to eliminate its own one-cent piece as a cost-saving measure. 

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Ace dealer to use land bank for new Grand Rapids site

BY Brae Canlen

With the help of a county land bank and a city redevelopment agency, Rylee’s Ace Hardware is planning a new store on the site of an abandoned gas station in Grand Rapids, Mich., according to a report in MLive.com.

Rylee’s president Lori Terpstra, who also operates three other hardware stores, hopes to build a new 10,000 sq. ft. unit by early March, 2013. The project was made possible by  the Kent County Land Bank Authority, which decided to buy the property for $65,000-plus in back taxes on Rylee’s behalf before it went to a tax foreclosure auction. Rylee’s put up the money for the land bank acquisition, according to the news report. 

“It couldn’t happen without the land bank,” said the land bank agency’s executive director, David Allen. “We were able to assure them they wouldn’t have to go to the auction and compete with an out-of-state bidder.” The land bank, whose mission is to stabilize neighborhood property values, made no profit on the deal.

Because of the former gas station, the site is contaminated with several underground gasoline storage tanks that need removal. Funding from the city’s Economic Development Office and the Environmental Protection Agency will help the Ace dealer recoup the costs of the clean-up, according to the article. 

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Hillman adds to executive team

BY Ken Clark

The Hillman Companies and its subsidiary, the Hillman Group, have announced that they have hired two executives to fill newly created positions at Hillman.

Effective May 7, 2012, Doug Roberts joined the company as general counsel and secretary. Roberts, 49, has 25 years of wide-ranging experience, including expertise in mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, general corporate and international matters. Prior to joining Hillman, Roberts was a partner at Thompson Hine in the firm’s corporate transactions and securities and international practice groups and was the chair of the firm’s private equity subgroup.

Effective May 29, 2012, Todd Spangler joined the company as senior VP, president and general manager and will lead Hillman’s Tempe, Ariz., facility. Spangler, 42, is an operational and engineering leader with a 20-plus-year track record of continuous improvement and customer satisfaction in a variety of manufacturing environments. Most recently, Spangler was director of site operations and plant manager for First Solar.

Mick Hillman, CEO, commented on the executive changes: "We are excited to have Doug and Todd on board. Given the rapid growth in both size and complexity of Hillman, Doug’s expertise will be a great asset. And with much of the growth coming from our Tempe operations, Todd’s focus on operational excellence will take that organization to the next level."

Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Cincinnati, Hillman is a leading value-added distributor of more than 80,000 SKUs, consisting of fasteners, key duplication systems, engraved tags and related hardware items to more than 20,000 retail customers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America and Australia, including home improvement centers, mass merchants, national and regional hardware stores, pet supply stores and other retailers. Hillman provides a comprehensive solution to its retail customers for managing SKU intensive, complex home improvement categories. Hillman also offers its customers value-added services, such as inventory management and in-store merchandising services.

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