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In Home Depot, magazine takes bilingual approach

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The launch of a bilingual pro-contractor magazine has Home Depot’s VP pro business seeing opportunity to reach more customers.

The magazine — Pro Construction Guide/Constru-Guia al dia — is described as the first fully bilingual pro-targeted magazine in the U.S. It will be available for free in about 2,000 Home Depot stores.

“We are excited to bring the first fully bilingual construction trade magazine to the Pros in all of our U.S. Home Depot stores,” said J.T. Rieves, VP pro business for The Home Depot. “Home Depot has distributed the 100% Spanish-language Constru-Guía al día in more than half of its U.S. stores for nearly seven years, and we have seen it used as a resource by both our associates and our pro customers. By expanding into English-language content and growing the distribution, we’re now making this a resource available to all of our U.S. pro customers.”

Written from one cover in English and from the other in Spanish, the articles will focus on job-site know how, safety, tools/supplies and business basics. It will launch this year with summer and fall issues.

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This mobile app is for the mom-and-pops

BY HBSDEALER Staff

From small business movement Independent We Stand, a new app helps consumers easily locate locally owned businesses across the country in lieu of their big-box competitors.

"This is a tool for travelers and locals alike, giving people the opportunity to find the locals’ favorites or discovering a business they didn’t know existed," said Bill Brunelle, executive director of Independent We Stand. "Using the app is as simple as writing ‘pizza’ or ‘paints’ and having all of those types of independent businesses in your location come up."

The app uses a search engine composed of millions of small businesses, allowing users to easily search using a zip code, location or search term. It also features business pages including Yelp! reviews, photos and website links.

"Big box stores have big budgets for marketing and app development," said Nick Jiannas, VP sales and marketing for STIHL Inc., founding sponsor of Independent We Stand. "But there is growing demand on the part of consumers to buy from local retailers, like our STIHL dealers, and thanks to Independent We Stand small businesses now have a search application of their own to drive traffic right to their doors."

The app is available for both iPhone and Android. Check out the cute (albeit cheesy) "Find Love in All The Local Places" promo trailer here.

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Fastenal posts sales gains in Q1

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Winona, Minn.-based Fastenal Co. reported net sales of $876.5 million in the first quarter ended March 31, an increase of 8.7% over the same period last year. 

Net earnings increased 2.6% to $111.9 million. 

Those gains came despite the weather. “In 2014, our sales growth was hampered in January and February due to a weak economy and foreign exchange rate fluctuations (primarily related to the Canadian dollar); however, the biggest impact was a severe winter in North America and its negative impact on our customers and our trucking network,” the company said. 

The company’s store count was 2,683, up from 2,660 in March of last year.

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