Michigan hardware store damaged by blaze
Ward’s Do-it Center, a hardware store in Hamburg Township, Mich., reopened on May 14 after a fire destroyed nearly half the store the week before, according to an article in the Livingston Daily.
Firefighters from several municipalities near the southeast Michigan town battled the May 9 evening blaze, which damaged or destroyed two other stores in the strip mall they share. No one was hurt.
Steve Ward, owner of Ward’s Do-it Center, said the fire crippled 50% of his operation and destroyed the garden center. He erected tents behind the store to replace the garden center until a permanent structure can be rebuilt, hopefully within three months.
The cause of the blaze has not been determined.
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House-Hasson seizes opportunity, expands paint market
Knoxville, Tenn.-based regional hardware distributor House-Hasson Hardware is expanding its paint and sundries offerings with the addition of a new sales team from an unidentified “financially ailing paint company,” according to an article in the Knoxville News.
“We are getting full-blown into paint and paint sundries," company president Don Hasson told the news outlet.
House-Hasson, a wholesale distributor of products to independent hardware stores and lumberyards, has added a 10-person sales team and their territories from a company that Hasson declined to identify. While House-Hasson already sells paint to hardware stores and lumberyards, this will allow the company to also sell through paint stores, he said.
The Merit Group, the nation’s largest distributor of paint sundry products, filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week. The Spartanburg, S.C.-based company, which does business as Lancaster and Five Star, has obtained a commitment for a $55 million debtor in possession financing from its senior lender to continue operations during the reorganization process. But it has announced its intention to explore a possible sale as a strategic alternative.
House-Hasson has spent $3 million in the last 15 months, adding warehouse space, new truck bays, racks, conveyor systems and technology upgrades to its warehouses as a result of the company’s 2009 acquisition of Moore-Handley, an Alabama-based hardware distributor. The distributor serves nearly 2,000 independent hardware dealers in 17 states and the Caribbean. Annual sales are approximately $200 million.
House-Hasson has problems
House-Hasson has problems that they fail to address. They refuse to listen to dealers to improve their structure. Not sure if it's the Southern Lack or just not too sharp. Ducks better start lining up or they will fail quickly. Think they need new blood. Too many stiffs.
Top Guns assembled at National Hardware Show
Described as the industry’s "most successful and innovative independent retailers," the Top Gun retailers this year hail from Texas, Oregon, Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts.
Organized by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and Hardware Retailing magazine, the 2011 Top Guns are:
• Tony Brookhouse, representing Koopman Lumber Co. in Massachusetts;
• Cally Coleman Fromme, representing Zarsky Lumber in Texas;
• Dennis Orem, representing Jerry’s Home Improvement Centers in Oregon; and
• Gina Schaefer, representing seven Ace Hardware stores in the Washington, D.C., area.
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