HARDWARE STORES

Handy Hardware points to strong market

BY Ken Clark

Handy Hardware Wholesales San Antonio market, Aug. 10 to 12, saw an attendance increase of 11.2% over 2011, the Houston-based hardware co-op reported. 

Handy gave away six Toyota Tundra trucks during the market weekend, and it expects warehouse sales from the event will be at an all-time high, said Mickey Schulte, VP marketing and purchasing.

“We also debuted two new areas at this market: our merchandising services area, which focuses on how to re-energize your store and add extra areas of profit,” Schulte said. “And our oil field services area, providing the essentials to sell to the petroleum industry.”

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Small businesses still unsure of economic recovery

BY Brae Canlen

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) small business index, a monthly report on the economic health and outlook of the nation’s small, independently owned businesses, measured 91.2 for the month of July, slightly below its June reading of 91.4. Optimism fell for the third consecutive month, reaching its lowest level in nine months.

Respondents to the survey were pessimistic when it came to both sales and earnings; they did not expect either to rise in the near future. The small businesses were also negative in their overall economic outlook. 

Not everything was doom and gloom, however. Respondents said they hoped to do more hiring and raise their selling prices. They also expected credit conditions to ease. 

IHS Global Insight economist Chris Christopher said he has already noticed a drop in optimism among small business owners since the beginning of the summer. “The [NFIB] report is not good since small businesses are feeling the brunt of this sluggish economic recovery,” Christopher said. “The real downer in this report is that small businesses do not see much hope for positive earnings. The good news in this report is that more firms feel the need to hire, and the overall outlook did not fall by much. Looking ahead, small business optimism should still remain in a depressed state of affairs until there is considerably more stable consumer spending growth and renewed confidence that the government can provide solutions to Main Street.”

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New cash mob destination: Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware

BY HBSDealer Staff

A cab mob has hit another hardware store — this time Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware in Lakeland, Fla., according to an article in The Ledger. The hardware store had been hurting from the weak economy. 

About 300 people descended on the store between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Store manager Scott Yarbrough said the store doubled what it normally sells on a Saturday.

The organizer, Chrissanne Long, said the event has created an online community of local business owners and supportive people, according to the article.

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