Kenmore may be the next Sears brand to expand
Sears Holdings is looking for other retail outlets to sell its Kenmore-branded appliances, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to a LinkedIn job posting, Sears is searching for a chief marketing officer for its appliance line who will promote appliance purchases through “external groups” such as Costco.
Costco recently struck a deal with Sears to carry a selection of its Craftsman brand tools, which are also available at Ace Hardware stores.
A Sears spokesman confirmed the job posting, describing it as a way “to identify new, emerging ways to reach current and future target audiences.” He added that there is no exact timeline for when Sears might “go external” with the Kenmore line.
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Ace Hardware recognizes “cool” stores
Ace Hardware has recognized four member stores with the company’s first-ever “Coolest Hardware Store” awards.
The four winners, named during Ace’s annual Platinum Conference held in Las Vegas this summer, share common traits yet offer local flavor and product selection above and beyond most hardware stores:
• Sunshine Ace Hardware in Naples, Fla., located just minutes from the beach, is a reliable resource for locals and visitors, ready to hook the catch of the day and complete home maintenance projects. The store features aisles stocked with fishing supplies, including rods, hooks, sinkers, bobbers and more, along with a broad selection of do-it-yourself necessities. Michael Wynn, president of Sunshine Hardware, works with some associates that bring up to five decades of experience to their customers.
• In Charlotte, N.C., residents turn to Blackhawk Ace Hardware for home maintenance products, helpful advice and whatever pleasant surprises owner Jim Wilkerson has in store. The in-store Blackhawk wood shop is staffed with craftsmen that handle small wood projects, a service not offered in other Charlotte hardware stores. Blackhawk Ace also features a garden department stocked with unique plants selected by the garden center manager on regular trips to the Pacific Northwest.
• Suburban Washingtonians receive a green helping hand from Old Takoma Ace Hardware in Takoma Park, Md. The store has seamlessly integrated the local green-living commitment into its product offering. Carrying a variety of organic and eco-friendly product options such as paint, cleaning supplies, fertilizers, potting soil and recycled paper products, Old Takoma Ace owner Gina Schaefer has fostered a loyal customer base that can rely on the store to carry the products they desire.
• Across the country in Yankton, S.D., Kopetsky’s Ace Hardware provides everything Yankton-area residents need for outdoor recreation, from bikes to kayaks, on top of a stellar hardware selection. Owner Leo Kopetsky helps people avoid traveling more than 100 miles to a larger city in order to purchase equipment for outdoor activities and comfortable living at home.
“We applaud all of our winning stores, their owners and staff for their commitment to helpful service in the community,” said Kane Calamari, VP retail operations and new business at Ace Hardware. “Our co-op business model lends itself to stores that can differentiate themselves based on the community they’re in. We are proud that these four local Ace Hardware stores have made a strong effort to provide their customers with products that fit their way of life.”
Owners received trophies to commemorate their awards.
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Readers Respond: The Obama jobs plan
The absence of housing initiatives was just one criticism we heard from readers regarding President Obama’s $47 billion jobs plan:
"Washington, D.C., has the cart before the horse. There has to be DEMAND for products before businesses can hire people. Housing is the best category to jump-start more businesses throughout the USA. Housing drives our economy in so many ways. However, if housing affordability is not in line with consumer income, savings and trust in the future, there will be no job creation on a scale that will bring us back to prosperity, let alone out of recessionary thinking.
“It is increasingly apparent that the President and Congress (as well as the banking system) have little clue regarding the day-to-day running of a business. It also seems lacking in the knowledge of U.S. citizens’ needs. We are ‘voters’ to the politicians running our government, instead of ‘their employers.’ "
— Jim Schweiger
“I don’t feel [the jobs plan] will do any real good because it focuses on a microcosm of the overall economy. This small group that will benefit coincidently has a major union presence (Operating Engineers Union). The housing construction industry does not have this presence. Also, the housing industry consists of many small ‘mom and pop’ companies. It’s not like the Roosevelt ‘New Deal’ era when such infrastructure projects were largely manual labor and thus created tens of thousands of jobs. With our current technologies, they will only employ a couple of thousand — not nearly enough to make a dent in the problem.”
— Kent Pearson
"Housing will lead us out of this mess, if we support it."
— George Pattee
In general, I agree with the
In general, I agree with the President very little; on his jobs plan I agree with him even less. However, from what I read, on the basis of demographics, housing isn't coming back any time soon, if ever. To sit back and wait for or expect the government to take some kind of action that will somehow trigger another building boom is in someways a definition of madness. The world economy--let alone the US economy--is in a deep transitional phase, and, just like 1980, what comes out on the other side will look nothing like the economy of the past thirty years. Chris Clements Portland, OR