Former Westlake Ace Hardware execs open second store
A second Nuts and Bolts Hardware store — this one located in Independence, Mo., near Kansas City — celebrated its grand opening Oct. 3 to 5.
The event came several weeks after the flagship store, a 51,000-square-foot Destination True Value format, was opened in Overland Park, Kan., by Brian Richards, a former executive at Westlake Ace Hardware, and partner Scott Westlake, also formerly of Westlake.
According to Richards, the new Nuts and Bolts is a 28,000-square-foot store that showcases more than 300 kinds of locks, a tool wall with “big-box selection” and complete departments in paint, lawn and garden and outdoor cooking.
“In a time when retailers are fine-tuning how few employees they can get by with on the floor, Nuts and Bolts is loading its sales floor with associates who are not only available, but knowledgeable,” he said. “The digital kiosk and the high-definition LED signs provide the interactive experience that customers demand, while the store’s lighting, fixtures and layout are dramatically up-to-date.”
Richards, the company president, spent more than 30 years with Westlake — a 90-store chain with stores in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico — before partnering with Scott Westlake, the grandson of Westlake Ace’s founder.
Athird Nuts and Bolts Hardware store is under construction in Arlington, Texas, with the projected grand opening date in February 2009.
Madison, Wis., True Value store holds grand opening
North Side True Value Hardware, located in Madison, Wis., held a two-day grand opening Oct. 4 and 5, after relocating from a 12,000-square-foot to a 14,000-square-foot space, store manager Jeff Jacoby said.
During the weekend celebration, the store raffled off a patio set, gas grill, patio heater and lawn mower, and sold bratwurst, hot dogs and soda for $1 each, donating the proceeds to the American Red Cross.
“It was one of the biggest weekends ever for us,” Jacoby said.
The new store focuses on core hardware categories like hardware, plumbing and lawn and garden, and owner Tom Meikle has also added the Benjamin Moore line of paint and an outdoor furniture department. Meikle also owns a store in Columbus, Wis.
Lincoln Electric acquires Brazilian manufacturer
Cleveland-based professional tools manufacturer Lincoln Electric has announced the acquisition of a 90 percent interest in Sao Paulo, Brazil-based Brastak.
The $30 million deal increases Lincoln Electric’s worldwide operations. Brastak produces brazing products, used in the welding and repair of pipes and plumbing.
“The Brastak acquisition represents the expansion of our brazing product line as well as our continued expansion into developing international markets,” said John M. Stropki, chairman and CEO of Lincoln Electric. He said the move primarily will help the company serve professionals in South America.
Lincoln Electric is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of arc welding products.