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Hardware Store All-Stars: Nevada, Utah and Arizona

BY Steph Koyfman

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 Nevada, Utah and Arizona.

Nevada: Home Hardware & Variety is the Boulder City area’s requisite one-stop shop, famous for its extensive selection, owners (brothers Randy and Roger Tobler took over from their father, Herber Tobler, who was formerly the mayor of Boulder City) and resident bird, an African gray named Delzin who has its own Facebook page. Boasting 15,000 sq. ft. in addition to a 2,000-sq.-ft. building for feed and a nursery out back, the store has plenty of room for unique offerings like live animals, feed and hay, pet supplies, gourmet sodas, toys, fabric and scrapbooking supplies. Not to fret – plans are in the works for a walk-in petting zoo where children can encounter goats, chickens, rabbits and birds.

Utah: Sol Foods, Hardware and Camping is more than just a Springdale grocery store. The one-stop shop, located a stone’s throw from Zion National Park, is more or less an organic food market, hardware store, camping victuals provider, or some sort of mix of the three, depending on your needs. It’s the only full-service grocery store in Zion Canyon, and it ups the ante with gourmet specialty items, conventional groceries and gluten-free options. Also billed as Springdale’s first hardware store, Sol Foods may be one of the only places in the country where customers can pick up artisanal cheeses and welding supplies. Other items on the more rugged side of the store include paint and plumbing supplies, landscaping tools, fasteners, drill bits, hand tools, camping gear, swimming pool chemicals and a rental center.

Arizona: Another prime example of a community cornerstone, Havasu Do it Best Hardware in Lake Havasu City has been around since before there were paved roads in town. Actually, it was one of the first businesses in the area when it was built in 1964. It was later purchased by Scott LeGrand and his father in 1979, and it has stayed in the family ever since, with Scott’s wife and son handling their share of the operations today. It’s an original fixture of the community with a willingness to change, and with an exhaustive expansion in 2012, the store now enjoys substantially increased sales and a better traffic flow. Did we mention there’s a sandwich named in its honor at the deli down the street?

Later this week, HCN will highlight All Stars in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All Stars, click here.

 

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Hardware Store All-Stars: Washington, Oregon and Idaho

BY Steph Koyfman

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 Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

  • Washington: As outlined in "Seven Secrets of the Hardware Store All-Stars," many retailers succeed when they faithfully reflect the needs of their community. Island Do it Best Home Center and Lumber, located on the island of Vashon, features a broad assortment of upscale products tailored to the local waterfront homeowners. Owner Earl Van Buskirk expanded from 30,000 sq. ft. to 7.5 acres since buying the business in 1988 to make sure customers find everything they need on the remote island.
     
  • Oregon: Hardware stores don’t always fall within the purview of "cool," unless you’re talking about Parkrose Hardware in Portland. Recently, It was one of five stores across the entire Ace cooperative to be awarded the title of "Coolest Hardware Store." With a savvily designed website, cotton candy machines for rent and some classic how-to guides and videos, Parkrose meets its community’s needs in style.
     
  • Idaho: There may be more than one D&B Supply scattered across the state of Idaho, but their ratings are consistently good. Specializing in farm and ranch, as well as rodeo equipment and other hard to find products, D&B manages to speak to the heart of its community and stay current (live Chicken Chats on Facebook, anyone?). This is truly a one-stop shop, featuring farm & ranch, clothing, lawn & garden, pet supplies, home decor, automotive, toys and hardware.

Next week, HCN Daily will highlight Nevada, Utah and Arizona honorees. For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All Stars, click here.

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Ace continues splash in paint department

BY Ken Clark

Orlando, Fla. — First came a roll out of Clark & Kensington private label paint. Next came a blockbuster deal with Valspar. And now comes the introduction and unveiling of the Paint Studio, the new brand for Ace Hardware’s self-described “Paint Reinvention” program.

It’s all part of Ace Hardware’s efforts to get relevant and make noise in the retail paint arena, said John Surane, senior VP merchandising, marketing and sales.

“We are going to launch the Paint Studio across the nation in May 2014 in a very big way,” Surane told the General Session audience during the Ace Hardware Fall Convention & Exhibits here at the Orange County Convention Center.

“We’re not interested in being a small player, and being less relevant than the other guys,” Surane said.

In the next seven months Ace is hoping to bring the Paint Studio format to some 3,000 stores. 

Market share has moved from about 4% is about 6.4%, “but we’re just getting warmed up.” Grabbing paint business market share becomes more difficult as the co-op moves closer to its goal of 10%.  

With Valspar’s support, the Ace paint team is fueling its paint store makeover with $75 million investment in stores to launch the paint studio. 

Surane said it won’t be easy. “There’s going to be problems and issues, but you have a support team that’s going to help you through those,” he said.

The Paint Studio is branded with a four-sided overhead sign that brands the store within the store as “the Paint Studio” and the tagline “dream in color.”

It also included 8-foot color displays of Clark + Kensington on one side, and Valspar on the other. A center gondola endcap serves up promotional graphics and an optional video screen.

Ace has collected 2,375 completed agreement forms with retailers to start the process toward the store-remodeling program, Surane said.

Ace says it will spend $25 million just in paint in 2014 beginning in May. “I’m pretty sure we’re going to reach a lot of customers,” he said.

 

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