Monroe’s dealer market looks to spring
Monroe, N.C.-based distributor Monroe Hardware reported record attendance at its spring dealer market.
Specific attendance numbers were not disclosed, but the company said its two annual shows attract a majority of the company’s 2,500 customers and its top 300 manufacturers.
Held at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center in Concord, N.C., the February event is used primarily as a preparation for the spring retail season. The distributor’s upcoming September show is slated for Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Monroe Hardware is a member of Distribution America.
House-Hasson sees rise in store construction projects
Knoxville, Tenn.-based House-Hasson Hardware set a company record in 2013 for new and remodeled hardware store and lumberyard projects, the company announced.
House-Hasson’s 30 new-store and remodeling projects, called store sets, topped the previous high mark of 25 set in the previous year.
“These numbers are growing because dealers are seeing new or renovated stores as a great investment, and they’re taking advantage of deals the depressed real estate market has enabled them to make on building and locations,” President Don Hasson said.
“We saw this unfolding last year and thought it might be a trend originating within the economic downturn,” he added. “Entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs for a reason: they’re always looking for ways to advance. The growth in our dealer technology support is probably a lead horse pulling their wagon.
House-Hasson heads into 2014 with more such projects pending than at the start of any year in the company’s 107-year history. It opened 2014 with a record 44 projects on its planning boards.
The company has a corporate team set up to work with dealers on their new or renovated store planning; design; layout; merchandising; dealer and customer support; electronic functions; and every other component of opening the new business.
Dave Helfenberger, House-Hasson vice president of marketing, said dealers are combining real estate bargains with a series of features House-Hasson has added to improve dealer profitability.
“These store sets are very serious, detail-oriented and large projects for dealers,” Helfenberger said. “It’s mainly about more square feet, more product facings, and producing more sales per square foot.”
House-Hasson Hardware serves some 2,000 independent hardware stores and lumberyards in 17 states and the Caribbean.
At Rocky’s, pets get tons of donations
Springfield, Mass.-based Rocky’s Ace Hardware collected more than 4 tons of pet food, along with beds, leashes, treats, toys and cleaning supplies and delivered them to local animal shelters. The final weight of pet food amassed totaled an amazing 8,776 pounds.
Rocky’s is a family-owned business with 32 stores in the Northeast and Florida. Each of the 32 stores partnered with an area Humane Society or Shelter to collect food during the holiday season for the much-forgotten and unfortunate animals in our own community. “The outpouring from our customers was, just in previous years, truly heartwarming. Every year I am taken back by the level of support this drives receives. All of us at Rocky’s extend sincere thanks to our neighbors who gave so generously,” said Rocco Falcone, president and CEO.
“This annual drive gets bigger and better every year. This year’s total was absolutely staggering,” said Geoffrey Webb, director of marketing and advertising. “Last year we were able to donate 6,556 pounds of food plus accessories. This year the extraordinary efforts of our store team members in rallying behind this worthy cause along with the outstanding generosity of our customers resulted in an unprecedented total amount of donations.”
The program supported 30 organizations that provide shelter, veterinary care and comfort for homeless animals in five states. “Besides the enormous increase in food donations, we were also able to pass along much-needed cleaning supplies, feeders, pet crates, leashes and other items as designated by the shelters on their wish lists,” added Webb.
Here is how the program worked: Customers and Rocky’s employees alike made donations of pet food and supplies at their local Rocky’s Ace Hardware store. The store teams also worked closely with their neighborhood shelters to find and collect non-food items the organization needed. The stores collected all donations and drove them to their locally chosen charity. Nutro Pet Foods helped kick-start the program with a donation of $1,500 worth of premium dog and cat food. The drive started in November, and goods were delivered around Christmas.
“The campaign has become an annual tradition here at Rocky’s,” Falcone said. “Our team members often make donations of their own and many volunteer at a neighborhood shelter. All encourage our customers to support the drive. We are honored to be a catalyst in achieving these outstanding results for the homeless and abandoned animals in our communities."