HARDWARE STORES

Michigan hardware store evolves out of dollar store

BY HBSDealer Staff

According to an article in the Grand Haven (Mich.) Tribune, a dollar store in Ferrysburg recently expanded into a full-blown hardware store.

The new 12,000-sq.-ft. store is called North Bank Hardware, affiliated with Do it Best. It is co-owned by John Leppink and Rich Cole. It used to be the Grand Dollar store.

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Do it Best recaps highlights — including a $105.8 million rebate

BY Ken Clark

At the 2011 Do it Best Fall Market in Indianapolis, the co-op distributed $105.8 million in combined rebates to member dealers. It was the eighth straight year that the distribution exceeded $100 million. 

“The distribution of these rebates to our member-owners is one of the most important and rewarding things we do,” said Bob Taylor, Do it Best Corp. president and CEO. “Even in the face of challenging economic times, our team is proud to demonstrate our commitment to the bottom line through operational efficiency and continuous improvement in our programs and services."

Business improvement again played a major role at the market. One lesson emphasized this year was the importance of developing a power department within the store. The best retailers, according to Taylor, make strong statements within their markets in their attempt to own various categories.

"Folks sometimes get hung up worrying too much about the competition and not enough about their own business," he told Home Channel News.

The co-op also emphasized the idea of customer rewards as a concept for 2012. 

Attendees of the market also had a chance to learn some life lessons from the world-famous basketball analyst Dick Vitale. The former coach and longtime ESPN analyst gave a spirited presentation that included the four Ds of success — desire, determination, discipline and dedication. "It really resonated with the crowd, and we received so many great comments," Taylor said.

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best Corp. also reported gross sales of $2.41 billion for the fiscal year, which ends in June. That’s up from $2.38 billion in the prior year.

So far in 2011, sales are running 8% ahead of last year, he said. Also welcome was the fact that 2010 was the first year since 2006 that all of the co-op’s sales categories finished ahead of the previous year.

"There are some things starting to move in a more positive direction," Taylor said. 

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True Value reports strong third quarter

BY Ken Clark

True Value Co. reported revenue of $445.7 million for the quarter ending Oct. 1, an increase of 3.6% from $430.2 million for the same period a year ago. The cooperative posted a quarterly net margin of $18.1 million, an increase of 3.4% versus $17.5 million one year ago.

“I am happy with our third-quarter performance,” said president and CEO Lyle Heidemann. "Our members’ retail sales were up 4.1%, with all departments running an increase and all regions of the country performing well. Our core wholesale comp store sales were up 3.1% in the quarter. Both measures were aided by heavy rainfall in the Northeast.”

For the nine-month period, True Value reported revenue of $1.423 billion, an increase of 2.6% from $1.386 billion for the same period a year ago. The 2011 year-to-date net margin was $47.9 million, down 7.5% or $3.9 million, from $51.8 million one year ago.  Lower warehouse sales and higher fuel costs drove the profit reduction.

“Not only are our financial results on plan for the year, strategically, we continue to invest in our retailers’ store remodels and new stores," Heidemann said. "So far this year, 788,000 sq. ft. of retail space has been converted to our recommended retail format, Destination True Value (DTV), up 13.5% from 694,000 sq. ft. at this time last year. Retail sales of DTV format stores continue to exceed all other stores by 9%.”

True Value, headquartered, in Chicago had sales of $1.8 billion in 2010. The True Value cooperative includes approximately 4,700 independent retailer locations worldwide.

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