HARDWARE STORES

Hardware store inspires country musician

BY HBSDealer Staff

Up-and-coming country-music performer Casey Clark from North Carolina is no stranger to Buffalo Shoals Do it Best, which has played a role in the artist’s creative process.

Clark explains the background of his song “Get My Chair Out” here:

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Small Business Saturday is around the corner

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Independent We Stand organization is at it again, promoting small businesses. The nationwide movement of independent small business owners has created an app to help consumers shop on Small Business Saturday, coming up Nov. 25.

“Our goal is for small businesses to come out on top after the holiday shopping season,” said Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand. “To do that, we make consumer access to small businesses convenient and easy through this app, that way shoppers can support their favorite businesses and in turn, their communities, not just on Small Business Saturday but year-round.”

Each year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, consumers make a positive impact on their communities by shopping small in their neighborhoods and the numbers show it:

• In 2016, an estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, marking a 13 percent increase from 2015, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

• This year, the National Retail Federation forecasts a 3.6 to 4-percent increase in holiday retail sales.

With the new app. Consumers now have a convenient way to make shopping small even easier. The Independent We Stand Buy Local app turns mobile devices into small business store finders. The app is designed to enhance the user experience by helping shoppers discover unique locally owned shops and restaurants, read helpful reviews and recommendations and look for local events, concerts and festivals, among other things.

The Buy Local app filters out big box stores and delivers millions of locally owned listings nationwide and is available for both Android and Apple devices.

Merchants and consumers can learn more about Small Business Saturday and how to get involved by visiting ShopSmall.com or IndependentWeStand.org. The Independent We Stand movement is sponsored by Stihl Inc. Associate sponsors include PPG Pittsburgh Paints and Do it Best Corp.

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Westlake grabs a slice of Chicago

BY Ken Clark
Westlake Ace Hardware, the 100-plus-store retail division of Ace Hardware Corp., will enter the Chicagoland market through the acquisition of Buikema’s Ace Hardware.
 
Westlake agreed to acquire the seven-store Chicago-area hardware store in a deal expected to be completed on Jan. 2. With this acquisition, Westlake will operate 115 retail hardware locations in the U.S. 
 
“We are excited to expand in the Chicago area, and look forward to continuing Buikema’s Ace Hardware’s outstanding tradition of customer service,” said Tom Knox, CEO of Westlake. “As Westlake expands, our goal will never change – always help our customers keep their households running smoothly by providing the highest level of service, know-how, and products.”
 
[For more on Westlake’s attitude toward growth, click here.]
 
The new Westlake stores will retain the Buikema’s Ace name, as well as its former management, store personnel, and the current product mix. Founded in 1948, Buikema’s Ace Hardware has grown to include seven stores throughout the Chicagoland area: 
 
1030 North Washington St. (Naperville, Ill.)
5035 Ace Ln. (Naperville, Ill.)
963 West 75th St. (Naperville, Ill.)
2240 South Route 59 (Plainfield, Ill)
445 Weber Rd. (Romeoville, Ill.)
1705 North Main St. (Wheaton, Ill.)
90 East Loop Rd. (Wheaton, Ill.)
 
Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.
 
According to Kyle Buikema, president of Buikema's Ace Hardware, “Through three generations, my family has built Buikema’s Ace Hardware into what it is today – a vital business partner in the communities we serve. Handing over the reins to Westlake Ace Hardware at this point in our history makes a lot of sense, as their excellent reputation, shared values, and focus on continuity will help Buikema’s Ace continue to prosper well into the future.”
 
Jessie and Clarence Buikema opened their first store, Naperville Ace Hardware, in 1948. Since then, successive generations of the Buikema family have expanded the family business throughout the Chicagoland to include three locations in Naperville, two in Wheaton, and stores in Plainfield and Romeoville. The chain currently employs nearly 200 people.
 
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