Hardware Store All-Stars: Alaska and Hawaii
Knowing your niche is good — but sometimes it's a matter of sheer survival.
HBSDealer's fourth annual list of Hardware Store All-Stars recognizes hardware stores that adapt to the unique realities of their environments, all while maintaining classic traits of good retailing.
HBSDealer Daily has profiled the honorees, moving across the map of the United States from East to West — concluding this week with Alaska and Hawaii.
Alaska: Hunting supplies, fishing rods and Interior Alaska's largest selection of fasteners bolster the All-Star status of Sentry Hardware, suited to the unique needs of Alaskan customers. The retailer's Wooly Rhino division purveys performance apparel for the Alaskan female DIYer.
Hawaii: With five Hawaii locations, Big Island's HPM (Hawaii Planing Mill) brings the All-Star traits of growth and service. A recent expansion has extended the dealer's reach to Oahu, Maui and Kauai. That's good news for these communities, as the HPM Foundation has donated more than $500,000 annually to 11 different non-profit organizations.
For the full print issue feature and state-by-state list of HBSDealer Hardware Store All-Stars, click here for the September digital edition.
Know any stores deserving of the All-Star title for 2015? HBSDealer is now taking nominations. Send us a note here explaining why your store of choice rises above the rest.
From Cambridge, the news could be better
As the broader housing market continues its sluggish recovery, growth in home improvement spending is also expected to soften throughout the coming year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity.
The indicator comes from the people at the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The LIRA projects annual growth in home improvement spending will decelerate from 6.3% in the first quarter of 2015 to 1.6% by the third quarter.
“Due in part to weakening home sales last year, growth in remodeling spending is expected to deflate somewhat in 2015,” says Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center. “Homeownership rates continue to slide as lending remains tight and first-time homebuyers are not yet returning to the market.”
“Although contractor sentiment has cooled in recent quarters, it remains favorable overall,” says Abbe Will, a research analyst in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “House price gains are moderating but still strong and home sales appear to be turning a corner now, all of which bodes well for continued, if more moderate, home improvement gains for 2015.”