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Kansas City region sees beginnings of new IKEA location

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Construction is now underway for a new Merriam, Kan. IKEA location. With the erection of the steel structure underway, the building is slated for completion in fall of 2014.

“It is exciting to see the steel frame of an IKEA store take shape," said Mike Ward, IKEA U.S. president. "So we are very pleased that the construction progress keeps us on track to open our Kansas City-area store next fall. We know that IKEA Merriam will meet the home furnishings needs of customers throughout Kansas, Missouri and beyond who have not had an IKEA store close enough to them to allow for more frequent visits. We are glad construction is going smoothly on our plans to bring IKEA to the heartland of America.”

The Kansas City-area store will measure 359,000 sq. ft. on an 18.4-acre lot along the eastern side of I-35 and Johnson Drive. 

Customers can expect to find approximately 10,000 products within its confines, as well as 50 room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area and a restaurant serving up the requisite IKEA offerings.

The new location is set to add 500 jobs during its construction, as well as 300 positions within IKEA upon completion. Seventy food-service jobs will also be available within the Restaurant, Swedish Foodmarket, Cafe Bistro and coworker cafe.

Unique to the area will be a geothermal system — the largest in Kansas and Missouri — to provide heating and cooling to the store.

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Home Depot retools the Husky brand

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Home Depot house brand has a new look, and according to the company, some new quality control.

Jim Recore, divisional merchandise manager for private brands at The Home Depot describes the Husky brand as one of about four that are “absolutely key to the success of our private label program.” 

Home Depot changed the color emphasis — from red to black — and also some improvements to the grips and handles and overall design of the tools.

As part of the normal course of business, the Depot merchants took a look at their offering. “We took a deep dive,” said Recore. “And there was some feedback that we weren’t happy with from our customers and associates.”

Compared with red, the new black color has the advantage of appearing cleaner to the naked eye, even when dirty, Recore said. But more importantly, the color announces the change to the consumer, he said.

The Husky brand dates back to the 1920s and the Husky Wrench company of Milwaukee. After nearly a century of buyouts and mergers, Home Depot acquired the brand name from Stanley about a decade ago.

In the last year and a half, the brand launched air tools, low-vibration sanders, a “reactionless” air ratchet, and stepped-up tool storage, Recore said. 

“We really have not moved pricing substantially,” he added.

 

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Armed with camera, analyst takes Sears to task

BY HBSDEALER Staff

What happens when an analyst of Belus Capital Advisors visits Sears? The results aren’t pretty.

Brian Sozzi’s Oct. 21 article received much notice in the media. His article is titled: “Sears is vanishing from our minds, the shocking 18 photos that show why.” 

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