Hardware store sales grow in 2011
According to government data released this week, businesses classified as hardware stores showed gains for the month of December and the full year of 2011.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Monthly Retail Trade Report for December 2011 — the latest month of available data for hardware stores in the NAICS 44413 classification — hit $1.777 billion on an unadjusted basis. That’s up from $1.732 billion in November.
The unadjusted full-year sales for NAICS 44413 rose to $20.21 billion, up from $19.27 billion in 2010.
The full-year 2011 figure was the highest since 2008, when hardware store sales were $20.26 billion.
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A made-for-TV hardware story
To those who still think social media is an exercise for those with more time than sense, consider this story from Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
A local resident named Jim Black looking to do something to support local business generally, and Chagrin Hardware specifically, wrote an email to about 40 friends. It read: “Let’s show our support for one of our local businesses. I challenge everyone to spend AT LEAST $20 at the hardware [store] on the 21st.”
A few Facebook postings later, the small business phenomenon known as a “cash mob” descended on the store and made the 21st of January the busiest day ever for Chagrin Hardware, a Do it Best dealer on 82 N. Main.
“We think probably 1,000 people came through the door,” third-generation co-owner Steve Shutts told Home Channel News. “Our big forte is being able to wait on people in the aisles. We couldn’t even do that because we were ringing the cash registers all day.”
Was it a surprise? “Actually, people had come in earlier in the week and said, ‘I want to spend my $20 now.’ We started asking questions, so we knew that something more was going to happen on the 21st.”
Since the store opened in 1857, it was the biggest sales day, with sales turbocharged by a factor of seven or eight, he said.
When asked how business was on a Wednesday in February, Shutts said: “It’s a little quieter today.”
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CNRG’s latest acquisition: Elliott’s Hardware
Natchez, Miss.-based Central Network Retail Group (CNRG) announced the acquisition of Elliott’s Hardware, which operates three stores in the Dallas area. The transaction closed Feb. 1. All three stores will continue to operate under the Elliott’s Hardware banner.
“Elliott’s Hardware is an iconic brand in the hardware industry. We are very excited about the opportunity to build upon the company’s strengths and grow the brand in the Dallas market and beyond,” said Boyden Moore, president of CNRG. “We are also pleased that Andrea Spencer, granddaughter of Jerre Elliott, will continue to work with the CNRG team going forward.”
CNRG currently operates 24 home center and hardware stores in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas. The group says it is creating a multi-format, multi-brand operating company through strategic partnerships and acquisitions. The brands include Home Hardware Center, Morrison Terrebonne Lumber Center, NFL Home Center and now Elliott’s.
“The CNRG team brings a wealth of knowledge to the table,” said Spencer. “Joining CNRG’s group of stores will provide Elliott’s Hardware the resources and expertise we need to grow.”
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