House-Hasson likes what it sees at market
Knoxville, Tenn.-based House-Hasson Hardware says its June 19-21 dealer broke all previous records for attendance, attracting some 2,300 to 2,400 people.
“We sold more of every product,” said Don Hasson, president. “People are feeling better about the economy, and when they feel better they buy more. That means dealers are buying products looking to the next six months rather than the next few weeks.”
The company is also seeing good growth in its international business, concentrated in the Caribbean, Hasson said. “We had a dinner with about 30 of our international dealers on Saturday night after the market ended because they don’t fly out until the next day,” he said. “This is a part of our business that is really expanding.”
The harsh winter continues to shape buying patterns.
“We’re seeing good sales on plumbing items that people ran out of during the cold weather,” Hasson said. “The popular term was ‘Beat the freeze.’ Everything in plumbing sold well, as did light bulbs that are being phased out for LED and Halogen bulbs. “
House-Hasson serves dealers in 17 states and the Caribbean.
Mahurin out at Orchard Supply Hardware
Steve Mahurin has left Orchard Supply Hardware, where the veteran home improvement merchant and retail industry executive held the title Chief Retail Officer.
According to the San Jose, Calif.-based retailer, Mahurin’s position was eliminated as the company transitions to a focus on operations and expansion.
“Steve was instrumental in helping us launch the vision and the brand,” said Bob Tellier, Orchard’s senior VP of merchandising. “Our needs now are in the areas of operations and execution, and that’s where we are focused.”
Orchard has 72 stores, mostly in California. Its stated goal is to reach 100 stores and $1 billion in sales in three years.
The company is carving a retail niche with a midsize and full-line hardware store – typically about 32,000 square feet plus a garden center — with a focus on paint, repair and the backyard. The store design can be described as a combination of the traditional and the upscale.
Orchard is owned by Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s, but operates as a standalone company.
Before joining Orchard Supply Hardware in 2011, Mahurin served as executive VP merchandising for Office Depot where he was responsible for all merchandising and related functions. Previously, he held the position of senior VP and chief merchandising officer for True Value, where he oversaw the merchandising and supply chain organization.
Prior to his time with True Value, Mahurin held a number of senior positions over nearly 13 years at The Home Depot, where he ultimately served as a senior VP.
The elimination of Mahurin’s position coincided with the reorganization of the retailer’s regions and consolidating operations under an existing regional VP.
“All of the focus is on opening new stores and managing our growth,” Tellier said.
House-Hasson Hardware market turns on the tech
Technology and its role at retail will fuel discussions at the upcoming House-Hasson Hardware June dealer market.
The market is set for June 19-21 at the Sevierville Events Center, Sevierville, Tennessee, just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
House-Hasson, which serves more than 2,000 dealers in 17 states and the Caribbean, will unveil for their hardware store and lumberyard dealers the company’s present – and future – technological advancements to help them be more profitable and efficient. These include e-mail via the “cloud”; virtualized computer systems, “Go Green” paperless warehouse operations; increasing warehouse bandwidth by a factor of 10; and other steps to ensure dealers have advanced technology serving them, said Don Hasson, president of House-Hasson Hardware.
“This is all about our dealers’ profitability,” Hasson said. “We’re looking forward to demonstrating to dealers what we’ve put in place to help them meet their individual profitability goals.
“We talk to dealers, ask them questions, and we put ourselves in their place to consider what we’d need and want to help our hardware store or lumberyard run well. That combination is leading to exciting technological developments. The company’s emphasis on technology enables dealers to communicate with their customers in a 21st Century fashion,” he said, “and if customers find it easy to do business at a hardware store or lumberyard they’re more likely to be loyal customers.
“Also, technology brings younger customers into dealers’ stores, and that’s where the future is for our industry,” he said.
Ron Yatteau, House-Hasson online services director, will lead the technology seminar at 3 p.m. on June 19.
“By the end of the year we hope to completely discontinue analog ordering devices such as modems, faxes, phase-out of our CD Catalog, and move exclusively to these newer technologies,” Yatteau said.
“As technology changes it’s important to keep systems current to take advantages of new services, speed critical functions, and expand enterprise security,” Yatteau added.
Among other seminar topics: a demonstration of House-Hasson’s new assortment program, pricing tools, and the company’s news blog.