Made in D.C. gears up for second wave of local stewardship
On the heels of its successful first season, A Few Cool Hardware Stores will be launching the second installment of its Made in D.C. program, which is expanding to the co-op’s four Maryland locations as a separate program called Made in Maryland.
The Ace Hardware dealer initially developed the program in response to demand for locally sourced products. In partnership with Think Local First D.C., owners Marc Friedman and Gina Schaefer beta launched the program in April 2013 to help support the local economy and encourage creative entrepreneurship in the D.C. area.
"The Made in D.C. program was so well-received in Washington D.C. that we wanted to expand it to our Maryland stores," said Schaefer. "We love the idea of sourcing products locally, and we know our customers do, too. It is our responsibility as a local business to take action to provide those opportunities for the vendors and promote economic growth in their communities."
Made in D.C.’s second season will start on Aug. 1 and will take place at the 9 AFCHS locations in D.C. and Maryland. Each store will have a dedicated section showcasing handmade products by a local manufacturer.
Vendors interested in participating in the program must reside in the D.C. or Maryland area and must submit their applications by July 5.
Ace names new board members
Ace Hardware has announced the appointment of two new member directors to its board of directors: Stew Elliott Jr., of Elm Grove, Wis.; and Amy Kaplanis of Granby, Colo.
Elliott, 55, is a majority shareholder of Elliott Ace Hardware, a four-store Ace chain located in the western suburbs of Milwaukee. Prior to taking ownership in Ace Hardware, Elliott held a leadership sales role with Amerock, a vendor serving the convenience hardware industry, for six years.
Kaplanis, 43, is an owner of Country Ace Hardware in Granby, Colo. Prior to becoming affiliated with Ace, Kaplanis worked for Accenture in its Consulting and Services practices for about 10 years. Additionally, she worked for Black & Decker for six years.
The company also voted to extend chairman David Ziegler’s term, now expiring in 2014. Ziegler, 57, was named chairman of Ace Hardware board of directors in 2008. He is co-owner of Ziegler’s Ace Hardware, a nine-store chain in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. In 2013, Ziegler became a Fellow for the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).
A total of 11 individuals, including nine retailers and two outside directors, comprise Ace’s board of directors.
House-Hasson unveiling local website tool for dealers at June dealer market
In response to demand for Web-savvy tools and a localized focus, independent retail hardware distributor House-Hasson has created a website tool that will allow customers to order products from the House-Hasson website and pick them up at a store near them.
House-Hasson’s 2,000-plus independent hardware store and lumber yard dealers will be able to employ the electronic tool to help promote a hyper-local marketing ethic to their customers and offer a digital solution to the printed circular.
“Customers will be buying locally, from their neighborhood stores, not placing an online order in the classic sense,” said Ron Yatteau, House-Hasson’s director of online dealer services. “What makes our program unique is that we’re not branding the product’s name: we’re branding the dealers’ stores.”
In addition to the use of a cloud-based website, House-Hasson will be adding social features to the program to help users stay relevant and more connected to their customers.
The tool will be unveiled at the House-Hasson summer dealer market in Sevierville, Tenn., between June 20 and 22.