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Member Insurance taps Johnson Controls for marketing exec

BY Brae Canlen

Mary-Jo Salzburg, the former director of marketing at Johnson Controls, has re-joined Member Insurance Agency as VP marketing.

Salzburg’s 15 years of marketing experience includes media strategy, database marketing, advertising, public relations and trade shows. Since 2008, she has been the marketing communications program manager for Johnson Controls, a Milwaukee-based provider of equipment, controls and services for heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration. The company also provides products for the automotive industry.

Prior to Johnson Controls, Salzburg held the position of director of marketing at Member Insurance. With her previous experience at Member Insurance she brings back her marketing expertise and knowledge of the insurer’s client base and niche business, the company said in an announcement. 

Member Insurance supplies insurance to independent hardware stores, lumber and building material dealers, nursery and garden centers, and rental centers, specializing in cooperatives and associations. 

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Dealer remakes hardware store into luxury K&B showroom

BY HBSDEALER Staff

It was certainly a risk, but third-generation dealer David Goldberg knew he had to do something about declining sales in his Bethesda, Md., hardware store, according to an article in the Washington Post. After visiting a trade show in Germany in 2008 and buying a luxurious sink, Goldberg installed it in Union Hardware and watched his customers’ reactions.

Three years later and several more buying trips to Europe under his belt, Goldberg has transformed his 97-year-old hardware store into a showroom of sinks, tubs, showers and toilets, including a $7,300 black model that opens automatically and plays a variety of music.

While there have been bumps in the road — retraining sales staff to become familiar with European styles, for example — Goldberg said he’s doing better than he was in the early months of the recession.

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Tractor Supply to move into former Yardbirds site

BY HBSDealer Staff

A long vacant home-improvement store in Petaluma, Calif., will soon erect a Tractor Supply sign, according to an article in The Santa Rosa Press Democrat. 

The former Yardbirds, operated by Home Depot after it purchased the Northern California chain of hardware stores, closed in 2009. Several retailers have expressed interest in it, according to news reports, including Lowe’s, who pulled out of the running last month.

Tractor Supply, a farm, ranch and home improvement store based in Brentwood, Tenn., already operates another store in Sonoma County, according to the article. Altogether, the retailer owns more than 1,054 stores in 44 states.

Projected opening for the 40,000-sq.-ft. Petaluma store is Jan. 28.

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