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Kuiken Bros. throws a Garden State party

BY Ken Clark

New Jersey was lumbering with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, from destruction down the shore to power outages all over. But the show must go on — especially if it coincides with the host’s 100th anniversary.

Kuiken Bros. semi-annual Product Expo packed the Mahwah, N.J., Sheraton parking lot with contractor pickup trucks last month, as more than 1,000 builders, architects and designers braved the elements and long gas lines to attend the show.  

New Jersey and New York building communities have a tough challenge ahead of them with the recent destruction,” said Douglas Kuiken, president. The expo, he said, gave builders “an outlet” to network and swap stories.

 

The rebuilding isn’t going to happen overnight, he added. But Kuiken Bros., a fourth-generation pro dealer, intends to be there for its customers when it does.

 

We’re continuing to talk to our vendors and our customers to make sure we have the products they need,” said VP Nick Kuiken.

 

Some 50 vendors were set up in the hotel conference room, with a steady flow of traffic. Some of the highlights are shown below. 

Products keep changing, and you can’t fight against technology,” said Douglas Kuiken. “We embrace it — we keep looking for new products all the time.” 

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Danco acquires plumbing supplier

BY Brae Canlen

Danco, a maker of kitchen and bath fixtures and plumbing supplies, has agreed to acquire of MJSI Inc., a leading manufacturer of toilet repair products. The purchase price was not disclosed.

MJSI’s water-saving products include HydroRight dual-flush conversion kits, as well as HydroClean toilet fill valve and flappers. MJSI products are currently sold in Home Depot, Menards, Ace Hardware, True Value and Do it Best Corp., among other retail outlets.

"The acquisition of MJSI supports our company growth strategy to increase market share in current categories and strengthen our competencies for entering and winning in new categories through patented, consumer-driven product innovation," said Scott Thresher, CEO of Danco and LSP, its sister wholesale company. "Acquiring MJSI significantly strengthens our product offering in toilet repair, a key growth category for Danco."

Michael Schuster, the CEO and majority shareholder of MJSI, will join Danco and LSP. Schuster will work closely with the product and marketing teams to further strengthen the product innovation pipeline, the announcement said.

Danco will assume all responsibility for business operations of MJSI, including distribution, inventory management, customer service support, marketing and sales functions.

Headquartered in Dallas, Danco is one of the largest plumbing repair, replacement and remodel supplier in the home improvement industry. Its products are sold through Home Depot, Lowe’s and other retail locations.

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A screwdriver designed to increase turns

BY HBSDEALER Staff

When a product reinvents a tool as basic and time-tested as the screwdriver, it’s worthy of an endcap.

That’s the thinking of Lowe’s and other retailers that are promoting the new Black & Decker GYRO as the “world’s first motion-activated screwdriver.”

Introduced in October, the GYRO 4V MAX Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Screwdriver is expected to play well in the gift-giving season, according to Black & Decker executives. And it is particularly well suited for the video-game generation, they say. In Stanley Black & Decker’s most recent earnings statement, the launch of the Gyro — along with Matrix products — was credited with pushing organic sales up 4%.

“We’re taking a technology people are familiar with using in motion-sensing video games, smartphones and even toy helicopters, and using it in a new and innovative way to create a unique power tool,” said Matt Nestorick, product manager for consumer power tools at Black & Decker.

The tool’s utility is bolstered by variable speed capability — more twist equals more torque — and a built-in LED light. The MSRP is about $40.

A video on the Lowe’s endcap demonstrates the product benefits, which can be summed up simply: 1.) Hold the product; 2.) Turn to the right to activate forward motor; and 3.) Turn to the left to activate reverse motor. An actual gyroscope in the tool knows which way to engage.

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