HARDWARE STORES

Illinois Ace Hardware store to close

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ace Hardware in Rock Island, Ill., will close, the Quad-City Times reported. A going-out-of-business sale started July 10.

The 17,900-sq.-ft. building opened in 2007. It is not known what type of business will replace the hardware store, but developers say there is interest in the property, which cost $1.4 million to develop.

The store issued a press release saying the decision to “cease operations was not based upon national or regional economic conditions. The decision has been reached to transition the site to an alternative use that will have a positive impact on the city of Rock Island and the citizens of Rock Island.”

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Ace study measures small business outlook

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Significant numbers of U.S. small business owners are optimistic about the U.S. economy, Ace Hardware reports after conducting a national study.

More than three in 10 participants in the Ace Hardware Entrepreneurship Study reported the economy either has not had a negative impact on their business (15%) or that they believe the economy will recover enough within a year to have a positive impact (16%). Further, 53% estimated the economy will turn around enough within the next two to three years to have a positive impact on their business, the company said.

“Based on our experience working with thousands of entrepreneurial store owners, these results reflect the ability of small businesses to be more responsive to their local market, more flexible in approach and more nimble to execute when facing economic challenges, likely more so than large corporations,” said John Venhuizen, VP business development at Ace.

When asked the most effective way government can assist them to survive and thrive, 43% said tax cuts, while 16% said easier access to loans, 16% said federal grants, 13% chose incentive programs, and 11% pointed to reduced regulations.

The Ace Hardware Entrepreneurship Study surveyed 538 U.S. small business owners to gain their perceptions on the motivations, challenges and benefits of entrepreneurship, the company said. The national Web-based poll was conducted in the spring.

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True Value sues Hackett’s department stores

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Hackett’s, a department store chain based in Gouverneur, N.Y., confirmed that True Value has filed a lawsuit against the company for nearly $1.8 million in unpaid debt. Hackett’s CEO Herbert Becker also said his company is in negotiations with the Chicago-based co-op to continue featuring True Value departments in several Hackett’s locations.

“We fell into a dispute with them, but now we’re talking about trying to put something together that will make us happy and will make them happy — and ultimately, make the customers happy,” Becker told HCN.

For now, True Value signs are covered up in Hackett’s stores, but Becker is hoping that will change in the near future.

“We’re talking to them every day, trying to come up with a resolution,” he said.

Hackett’s, which is owned by Gouverneur, N.Y.-based Seaway Valley Capital Corp., is one of the nation’s oldest retailers with roots dating back to 1830. This full-line department store chain specializes in name brand merchandise, and several locations have True Value hardware departments with traditional hardware, tools, plumbing, paint and electrical merchandise.

The company recently closed locations in Watertown, N.Y., and Pulaski, N.Y.

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