In Milwaukee, hard times for hardware stores
According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the number of independent hardware stores in Milwaukee has shrunk 50% since the mid-1990s.
The article quotes Doug Mamayek, owner of Mamayek’s Hardware, which is one of several recent hardware stores in the area to close. "We haven’t been profitable probably for almost 10 years now," he told the newspaper.
Competition from national chains plus the weak economy were cited as causes for a rapid decline in the area’s independent hardware stores, from 50 Milwaukee County stores in the mid-1990s to about 25 today.
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Two hardware stores to merge
Two hardware store owners in Clovis, N.M., one an Ace dealer and the other affiliated with Do it Best, have decided to merge, according to an article in the Clovis News Journal.
Burns Do-it Center will relocate on the site of Triangle Ace Hardware, according to the owners, James Burns and Richard Petty.
Burns, who will run the new (and yet-to-be-named) store, also operates locations in Tucumcari and Raton, N.M., and Texline, Texas. He said a lack of space in his Clovis store prevents him from carrying more building materials.
“The merger with Triangle will allow [my] customers a greater selection of merchandise, including lumber and building materials,” Burns told the newspaper. “It will also give Triangle’s customers access to Merrilat cabinets, Mohawk, Beaulieu and Shaw flooring, as well as installation on those items."
The new store both men
The new store both men envision, they said during a recent interview, will be a combination of a friendly neighborhood hardware store and home improvement center for the do-it-yourselfer with products and services not available at most big box chain stores.
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OSH shares slip on Orchard’s first day of trading
On its first day of trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol "OSH," Orchard Supply Hardware fell $1.47 to close at $23.55.
It was a lackluster day for the company’s stock, but the San Jose, Calif.-based hardware chain is eager to begin corporate life as an independent publicly traded company, said CEO Mark Baker.
The retailer completed its spin-off from Sears Holdings Dec. 30 at 11:59 p.m.
"During the past year, our team has made significant progress toward developing a differentiated home improvement retail experience," said Baker. "We’re implementing new customer service initiatives and merchandising strategies, and have begun transitioning our stores to a new updated and customer-friendly format that more effectively showcases our merchandise and service offerings. We believe these actions will enable us to leverage the 80-year history of the Orchard brand in order to drive long-term growth and build value for our shareholders.”
Orchard now operates 87 full-service hardware stores in California.
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