Hardware Store All-Stars: Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa
HCN congratulates the 50 hardware store, home center and farm & ranch retailers who made the annual HCN Hardware Store All-Star list.
Now in its third year, HCN’s annual list of high performers recognizes hardware stores — one from each state — that are outstanding in their field. The complete list and analysis can be found in the September issue of HCN. Meanwhile, HCN Daily will work its way across the country with mini profiles, continuing this week with Nebraska, Kansa and Iowa.
Nebraska: The tiny community of Ashland felt the absence of its local lumberyard when it closed, but luckily, recent retiree Dean Curtis decided to rise to the occasion. With some help from the SBA and Do it Best Corp., Curtis purchased a portion of the former lumberyard property and finished with a remodeled building containing twice the retail space. Today, C&L Hardware operates on the premise of "we may not have it now, but we can get it for you" – modestly downplaying its, in all actuality, fairly extensive product offerings.
Kansas: Megan Menzer, the fourth-generation owner of Newton’s True Value Hardware in Independence, puts a decidedly fresh-faced spin on business proceedings. Borrowing knowledge from her father and using her next-generation savvy to bring the store up to speed, Menzer recently opened the new location in Independence with a Destination True Value format and a whopping $42,000 in sales during the first three days alone. Her handiness with social media, resourcefulness as a DIY consultant and rotating schedule of store events has caught the attention of a younger audience, many of whom are buying their first homes.
Iowa: Serving its small community of 1,500 people well is Marcus Lumber Company, a lumberyard stocked with 10 delivery vehicles, 25 employees and an 18,000-sq.ft. showroom. This wealth of resources contributes to A-level service, and with four of the youngest generation working full-time in the industry, the fourth-generation business has managed to stay firmly in the family. With a fully engaged community and staff, the business has firmly cemented itself as a Marcus mainstay.
Next week, HCN will highlight All-Stars in Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All Stars, click here.
Lee Cockerell to kick off Do it Best event
Lee Cockerell, retired executive VP of Walk Disney World will deliver an address on customer service at the Do it Best Fall Market Oct. 19.
Cockerell’s presentation: “The Customer Rulse … The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service,” will take place at the Do it Best Fall Market Kickoff Breakfast.
Cockerell will share the service rules he learned at three service organizations: Hilton, Marriott and Disney.
Pre-registration is required for the $15 per-ticket breakfast event.
Ace repackages private label hardware
Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware has retooled the packaging for its builders hardware department.
According to Cynthia Brasic, Ace brand manager, the new color-coded labels help make the selection process easier for the consumer. It’s the first packaging makeover in the co-op’s builders hardware aisle in about 20 years, she said.
“It’s more user friendly,” Brasic told HCN. “We actually color-coded the packaging so that we make it more shopper friendly. All the bullet points have been updated so that it’s not industry information – its information that will help the consumer make a decision.”
The new packaging has a sustainability angle, too. A trap-blister package replaces a clam-shell package. Brasic says the new packaging will introduce savings of about 8.4 million water bottles per year.
The repackaging is a significant step for Ace’s private label portfolio. Ace has dubbed the program: “Hardware: Unlock the Potential.” The repackaging program has affected about 1,400 skus, Brasic said, and the program is expected to be in full bloom in the first quarter of 2014.
The new packaging was introduced to dealers at the Ace Fall Market in Orlando.