Friedman’s to add fourth unit in Petaluma
Independent hardware chain Friedman’s Home Improvement has revealed plans to open a new location in Petaluma, a Northern California town where it first opened in 1946 before its flagship store burned to the ground in 1976. According to an article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, plans call for a 78,000-sq.-ft. main store in Deer Creek Village, where Friedman’s will be the anchor tenant.
The front of the store is planned to have two 35-ft.-tall "living walls" covered in live greenery that will be fed and watered automatically, changing with the seasons. Two similar 16-ft. walls will bracket the entrance to the 20,000-sq.-ft. garden center.
Lumber sheds will carry a full assortment of building materials. Plans are to open the store in the fourth quarter of 2013, pending city approval.
Home Depot tried to make a go of it in Petulama but closed its small-format Yard-birds stores in 2006. Lowe’s had planned to take the anchor tenant spot that Yardbird’s will occupy, but pulled out during a downsizing move, the newspaper reported.
Friedman’s also has outlets in Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Ukiah. The Santa Rosa store, which opened in 1971, is 100,000 sq. ft.
Advantage gains Ace Rewards certification
Advantage Business Computer Systems, a subsidiary of ECi Software Solutions (ECiSolutions.com), today announced that Ace Hardware has given its final certification to their ECi Advantage business system software for integration with the Ace Rewards program.
The integration is a significant milestone for ECi, allowing them to fully service the entire spectrum of Ace Hardware customers. Both of ECi’s LBMH solutions are now certified. ECi RockSolid received its final certification in October 2011.
“It extends our reach by allowing Ace dealers using an ECi solution to offer a valuable benefit to their customers, said Scott Stanford, president of ECi’s LBMH Division. “A rewards program is a great customer retention tool.”
ECi Advantage is a full-spectrum business system developed specifically for lumber, building materials and hardware dealers. It is specific to mid-to-large-sized dealers who have a need to automate almost every aspect of their business — from quoting to invoice to point of sale and beyond. Ace Rewards is a retail incentive program that awards points based on dollars spent, provides members advanced notice of sales, members-only coupons, and allows members to submit rebates online rather than having to mail them in. Members also receive in-store discounts.
“Offering Ace Rewards to the consumer is very important to Ace Hardware dealers,” Stanford continued. “With the Ace Rewards program now available in our RockSolid and Advantage products, we are offering all Ace dealers — from the small, single location to the large multi-store center — a complete choice in business systems.”
Got milk? Lawrence Bros. combines hardware and grocery
A 16-unit supermarket company in Texas and New Mexico is taking the plunge into the hardware business at one of its stores.
A 32,000-sq.-ft. store in Abilene, Texas, has altered its format to combine hardware and groceries., with 35% of the building dedicated to home improvement and repairs, according to an article in the Abilene Reporter-News.
Another unusual operational feature of the CashSaver Cost Plus Food Outlet is its pricing strategy — described as cost plus 10%.
Lawrence Bros. operates 16 stores in Texas and New Mexico, and has teamed with Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware as its supplier.
The combination of hardware and groceries was described as a groundbreaking partnership between a grocery store and a hardware business, but it’s not the first.
In Louisiana, Kief Hardware, a Do it Best dealer, offers a sizeable grocery business in a format called Kief Hardware Neighborhood Market. Menards also was an early experimenter in the grocery business, with several aisles in its big-box format dedicated to grocery staples.