DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Miami Home Centers joins the True Value family

BY HBSDealer Staff

South Florida's Miami Home Centers is the newest addition to the True Value Company cooperative, the company announced Thursday.

The new addition is a family-owned home center offering hardware and home, kitchen and bath decor.

"Becoming a part of the True Value family and having access to exclusive brands further supports our competitive edge," said Dan Hitchcock, owner of Miami Home Centers. "One of the primary drivers of converting to True Value was being able to offer our customers their private label paint, Easy Care."

Miami Home Centers has been serving local homeowners, contractors and businesses since 1954 throughout the South Miami, Pinecrest, Tamiami and Miami Beach areas.

"Our top priority is helping our Members achieve retail excellence while accelerating their growth and profitability," said True Value's senior VP growth Tim Mills. "We're thrilled to welcome Miami Home Centers to the True Value family and become their trusted partner as they continue to grow their entire business, including paint."

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New DC brings full line of Masonite doors to Colorado

BY HBSDealer Staff

Rugby Architectural Building Products, a two-step distributor with 28 locations in 20 states, opened a new distribution center in Denver. As a Masonite All Products Distributor, Rugby’s entry into Colorado marks full availability of Masonite’s selection of exterior doors in the state for the first time. 

The location also offers a range of non-structural architectural-grade building products, including laminates, adhesives, functional and decorative hardware, solid surfacing, MDF, particleboard, melamine (TFL), hardwood plywood and wood veneers.

“With a strong reputation for superior customer service and reliable, on-time, accurate deliveries, Rugby will be a welcome addition to the building supply channel in Colorado,” said John Beeken, VP and business leader, North America for Masonite. “The distributor has been a loyal partner with Masonite for three years, and we are thrilled to be a part of the company’s continued expansion. The location’s opening will increase the design possibilities for area builders and homeowners by providing our diverse array of high-quality, innovative door and glass products.”

Rugby’s new facility will serve building material dealers along the Front Range, including the mountains, Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Fort Collins, and Greeley, and into southern Wyoming and Cheyenne. Along with offering Masonite’s full line of interior and exterior doors and door glass, the distribution center provides pre-hanging services. 

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Ace Hardware gets to work in Chicago

BY Ken Clark

Chicago — At Ace Hardware's general session — part state-of-the-business address, part pep-session — executives celebrated overall business growth and laid out some plans for bigger, bolder and smarter investments in the brand.

Serving as the kickoff for the Aug. 20-22 Ace Fall Convention & Exhibits, the Thursday morning general session included plenty of performance-related statistics. John Surane, executive VP merchandising, marketing and sales for the Oak Brook, Ill.-based co-op, highlighted some positive trends over the last three years, among them: 514 new stores, wholesale sales up $1.2 billion and retail transactions up 4.6%.

"But are we satisfied?" Surane asked the audience of dealers assembled in the packed Arie Crown Theater of the McCormick Place Convention Center. "No way."

Surane and CEO John Venhuizen encouraged dealer members to keep up the pressure. "There are far too many enemies with far too much money to think we can coast," Venhuizen said.

"We live in a world where the stuff we sell is increasingly price transparent, and the people we sell to are increasingly price sensitive," Venhuizen added.

Along those lines, the co-op emphasized a need to make "bigger, bolder and smarter" investments in the brand. That includes more TV and digital exposure, deeper penetration of Ace Rewards in local markets, and an organized effort to increase margins on promotional items.

During a general session video, various merchandise managers promoted their highlights, including "farm and rural," — a large and growing category in which poultry-related products have shown triple digit growth in the last five years — pet supplies, cleaning supplies, and lawn and garden.

Also to kick off the convention, Ace presented its 2015 All Star Retailer award to Dan Olson of  Olson's Ace Hardware, Franklin Park, Illinois, in whose name $25,000 will be presented to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

The ideas of leadership and community service figured prominently in Venhuizen's opening and closing remarks.

"Yes we keep score with money, but business is about people," he said. "A lucrative store enables you to be about something way bigger than just money."

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