HARDWARE STORES

Kent promotes hardware store cycling

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Parsippany, N.J.-based bicycle manufacturer Kent International sees momentum in bike sales in the hardware channel. The company now has six styles stocked in Orgill’s distribution system.

In addition to Mintcraft brand men’s and women’s steel frame and aluminum frame cruisers, Kent has men’s and women’s Giordano fitness cruisers in the warehouse, ready for shipment, said Kent’s Ron Lippner, VP sales.

"Every segment of cycling is growing," Lippner told Home Channel News, at the Kent booth on the Orgill Dealer Market floor in Orlando, Fla.

He pointed to a market that supports 18 million bicycle sales per year. Of those 18 million units, Walmart accounts for about 10 million, he said.

In dollar share, bicycle retailing is dominated by Walmart, where the price point tops out at about $150. The pure-play bike shops dominate the high end, where prices kick in at about $300 to $350, he said. Between those two are the sporting good stores. The spot for hardware stores to fit into this picture seems to be between the mass discounter and the sporting goods stores.

"Hardware stores, from my point of view, provide one-on-one relationships with customers, and that’s what bicycling needs," he said.

In addition to the six bikes stocked in the Orgill warehouse, Kent offers several other styles and models.

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ACO Hardware diversifies merchandise

BY HBSDEALER Staff

According to an article in The Detroit News, Michigan-based hardware chain ACO Hardware is launching a strategy to expand its merchandise mix to resemble a general store.

The company’s president is Dick Snyder, who spent 18 years with Wal-Mart Stores, before joining the 67-store ACO Hardware chain two years ago.

New merchandise will include food, furniture and flannel shirts, according to the article.

 

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Consultant: 1099 repeal seems likely

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Is the repeal of health care’s 1099 expansion imminent? Towers Watson consultant Regina Ihrke thinks so. 

During her presentation during True Value’s Spring Market, Ihrke interpreted remarks in President Obama’s State of the Nation address as a signal that the 1099 provision buried deep in the health care legislation will be repealed within the next year.

"This was snuck in there, and it would be administratively burdensome, especially for all small employers out there," Ihrke said. "I think he tried to make that point without saying those words."

The 1099 expansion — a provision calling for all purchases of products or services amounting to $600 or more to trigger the filing of a 1099 form — has been one of the more contentious features of health care reform. Designed to generate more tax revenue, the provision has been blasted by business advocates as a paperwork nightmare for businesses. 

 

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