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Home Depot will defend its lead in power tools

BY Ken Clark

Speaking at The Home Depot’s 2012 Investor and Analyst Conference in Atlanta, Home Depot executive VP merchandising Craig Menear revved up the power tool rhetoric.

Menear said the company intends to defend its position as power tool market share leader.

He also described power tools as a category with a relatively high vulnerability to online competitors. One of the best defenses is a large fleet.

“Our 2,200 stores are convenient for our pro customers when they have a tool go down on the job,” Menear said. “We are now executing a strategy to compete across all channels of the business.”

The company is also playing offense in the category, developing and maintaining strategic relationships with suppliers that bring new products to Home Depot as exclusives, he said. Also, the company is building its capabilities in the area of product repair.

And online, Home Depot is fighting fire with fire, he said. “Rapid expansion of online assortments and brands has produced excellent results in this channel as well,” he said. “We have grown market share the last two quarters faster than the online market leader.”

The online-market share leader would be Amazon, which many believe is benefiting from smartphone-fueled consumer behavior that lets shoppers browse in a store, search online for cheaper prices and buy somewhere else.

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Fifty winning retailers, state by state

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The 2012 Home Chanel News Hardware Store All-Star list recognizes stores that in some way, shape or form distinguish themselves among competitors and customers.

The four stores listed here are part of a larger group — one store from each state in the country — that represent the hardware store virtues of ingenuity, helpfulness and customer service. Here are stores from Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Jersey: 

Colorado
Ace Alameda Station
Denver
Owner Andy Carlson holds a “Grill Your Ace Off” barbeque contest each year where 25 teams with names like “This Flame is Not Yet Rated” vie for Ace gift cards of $500 and $250. All grilling is done on Big Green Eggs although the June 9 competition will introduce Weber grills. All proceeds benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. 

Nevada
McFadden-Dale Hardware
Las Vegas
Although it primarily serves the industrial/commercial sector, don’t tell the people of southern Las Vegas this isn’t their neighborhood hardware store. A full assortment of electrical, plumbing, tools and paint comes from Orgill and Do it Best. A special sign department carries 60 SKUs in stock and can order any custom sign. Caution! Men at work.  

New Hampshire
Benson’s Lumber & Hardware
Londonderry, N.H.
Whether you need a few simple hardware supplies or estimates from a complicated blueprint, Benson’s said it can help. The hardware store has been serving the Londonderry community for 100 years, and most of its staff is longtime employees considered experts in their fields. “Our nursery is huge,” owner Brad Benson said. “You name it, we got it.”

New Jersey
Home Hardware & Supply
Waldwick, N.J.
At 5,300 sq. ft., Home Hardware & Supply is a giant at selling gas grills. The two-time Bergen County hardware store of the year nestled among affluent neighborhoods is the state’s top Weber dealer. How? “We fire up the grills and give away free hot dogs for four hours every Saturday,” said owner Rick Kadien. “That’s a great sales tool. Plus, assembly and delivery are always built into the price.”

For the complete list of 50 winning retailers, state-by-state, register or log in to Homechannelnews.com.  

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GE to open appliance showroom in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart

BY Ken Clark

GE Monogram will open its second design center in the nation at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart in March 2013. It will be located at LuxeHome, on the ground floor, a boutique showcase for home-building products and kitchen and bath renovations. 

GE opened its first Monogram Design Center in New York City’s Architects & Designers Building in 2008. The NYC center has increased share of GE Monogram appliances in the northern region by 50% since it opened.

The GE Monogram Design Center in Chicago will feature working kitchens for cooking demonstrations by a professional chef and a showroom equipped with more than 50 GE Monogram appliances that will be outfitted with high-quality, fashionable cabinetry, millwork and finishes. Design of the 3,500-sq.-ft. center will begin this summer with construction starting in January 2013.

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