Hardware All Stars: Alabama & Alaska
Now in its fifth year, the 2015 Hardware + Building Supply Dealer All-Star project is designed to recognize retail excellence.
After a months-in-the-making review of nominations from vendors, distributors and manufacturers, HBSDealer published a list of 50 All Stars from 50 states. The 2015 All-Star project is sponsored by Epicor.
The full article can be found online in our digital issue. In the meantime, here’s our digital spotlight on this year’s honorees from Alabama and Alaska.
Weathers Hardware could stand out sufficiently for its customer service and associate training, but it’s also a part of a larger, rather unusual retail concept: Weathers lays claim to several locations that specialize in furniture and appliances in addition to the standard hardware store product assortment.
Weathers operates 10 locations, including Weathers Ace Hardware in Boaz and Oneonta, a couple of rental centers, plus a Weathers True Value Hardware in Albertville.
Hammer & Wikan True Value
The Hammer & Wikan name has been an Alaskan stronghold since 1921, having expanded since to include three locations – inclusive of a grocery store. Its hardware and convenience outfit honors the town’s Norwegian heritage with an assortment of gift items, in addition to a full line of paint, home improvement, hunting, camping, housewares, appliances and more.
The store is one of three outlets of the Hammer & Wikan company, formed in 1921 by John Hammer and Andrew Wikan. The retailer’s hardware and convenience store occupies the original Hammer & Wikan location.
Acme Tools gets an updated corporate HQ
Online retailer Acme Tools is embarking on an expansion project to support its growth in the e-commerce sphere — that of its corporate headquarters in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
"The additional space will allow us to have the entire corporate staff in the same building and provide for improved communication at all levels," said Steve Kuhlman, VP corporate operations for Acme Tools. "This expansion provides needed space for all departments and in particular for the growth of our call center staff and the growing number of buyers supporting our online business."
When complete, the new headquarters will feature a new addition with a "stunning new entrance," executive offices, board room, conference rooms, open work areas, new lunch room and large 35-person employee training room, where associates will attend manufacturer and company training programs.
The current corporate offices will undergo a remodeling as well, and existing warehouse space will be repurposed into new parking spots and green space.
Though construction already began late last year, the project is ongoing through its scheduled completion date of Sept. 1.
Additionally, the new headquarters is collocated with the Acme Tools store and Acme Rents in Grand Forks.
"One of our goals with this project is to expand our corporate presence in this location and in doing so revitalize this area along North Washington Street in Grand Forks," stated Kuhlman.
All in all, the new corporate headquarters will measure 15,000 sq. ft.
The Home Depot holds hurricane workshops
The Home Depot will be holding its third-annual nationwide Hurricane Preparedness Workshops this Saturday, May 30, 2015.
The event will be held in nearly 700 stores across the U.S. to help customers in storm-prone regions prepare for the summer and early fall hurricane season. Topics to be covered include understanding hurricane alerts and categories, how to create a storm survival kit, choosing a generator, overall safety tips and repairing a home in the aftermath.
"Our associates are passionate about being a trusted resource for our communities, friends and neighbors in both storm preparation and disaster recovery," said Marc Powers, executive VP, U.S. Stores, The Home Depot. "As our company prepares for hurricane season, our Hurricane Preparedness workshops encourage communities to prepare to be in the best possible position when a storm strikes."
The American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be in attendance. Additionally, this year's event will feature participation from Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that unites the skills of military veterans with first responders to deploy emergency response teams in the wake of natural disasters.
The workshops are free and open to the public, held from 10-11:30 a.m. local time.