A new owner for Frager’s Hardware
Frager’s Hardware on E Street in Washington, D.C. is getting new ownership. The store announced plans to sell to the owners of the group known as “A Few Cool Hardware Stores,” which also operates in and around the nation’s capitol.
Frager’s, which has been operating as a True Value store, will become the 12th AFCHS store, and convert to the Ace Hardware co-op, under the plan.
Founded in 2003 with flagship store Logan Hardware, AFCHS owners Gina Schaefer and Marc Friedman say the Frager’s still will continue to exude local charm.
“Marc and I are extremely proud to continue the Frager’s legacy on Capitol Hill,” said Schaefer. “We have admired John and his operation since the day we opened our first location in 2003 and are looking forward to meeting our new community.”
John Weintraub, has been owner of Frager’s Hardware on Capitol Hill since 1975. The store dates back to 1920, and the Warren Harding administration.
“Frager's is a thriving operation with a fantastic staff and we've proven that we can adapt and innovate to meet changing circumstances and evolving customer needs here on Capitol Hill. Teaming up with AFCHS will strengthen and energize both operations and ensure our customers and community receive the same high quality service we've built our business on for generations to come," says Weintraub.
The store will celebrate the change in ownership this summer with a community party and sale.
Highly recommended for dealers
The National Hardware Show comes to Las Vegas May 9-11, bringing more than 2,500 exhibitors to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
It’s easy to get lost amid that massive merchandise assortment. That’s why the show’s organizers have put together a recommendation program.
"We started providing exhibitor recommendations last year as a way to help attendees narrow down the exhibitor field so they could focus on their main product categories of focus as well as give exhibitors the opportunity to attract retailers looking for their specific products and services," says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. "The program was so successful that we're not only implementing it again this year, we're making it even better."
Here’s how it works. When attendees register for the Show, they are asked to provide information about the product categories they are most interested in shopping at this year's show. Then they'll receive a personalized list of suggested exhibitors they should make sure to check out.
A new twist to the program in 2017: Independent Retailers will be matched with exhibitors who have marked in their profile that they are ready to sell to Independents at the show, offering another way for Independent Retailers to make the most out of their trip to Las Vegas.
Exhibitors, too, are asked to provide more information when they update their online and printed directory listing to help guide interested attendees to their booths.
Registration is for the show is complimentary until Monday, May 8. After May 8, there will be a $125 onsite registration fee. To register at no cost in advance, visit www.nationalhardwareshow.com.
Women who mean business
During an interview with Ace Hardware Corp. CEO John Venhuizen, it was learned that the co-op had hired an executive in charge of product innovation.
“Really,” a reporter asked. “I’d like to see all the cool stuff in his office.” Oops.
Her name is Maya Schultz, the coop’s new product innovation lead.
I should have known better. We are already working on a special report to appear in the June issue of HBSDealer: “Women Who Mean Business.”
There are no statistics readily available; only anecdotal observations and executive photos (largely of men in suits) in the back pages of annual reports. But few will argue that the hardware and building supply industry gets lower than average marks for diversity. That’s not for lack of role models. Maggie Hardy Magerko is pushing the envelope at 84 Lumber. Jennifer Scanlon sits in the top spot at blue blood building product giant USG. And around the country, women who mean business are visible leaders in stores and lumberyards.
We’ve asked several of them for advice to women starting out, and we’ve received several great answers.
Cally Fromme is VP of business development for Kodiak Building Partners. And she’s also a former chairman of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. “Keep your eyes and ears open, and you will learn something every day. Keep a sense of humor, and always, always take the high road.”
Jean Niemi is True Value’s VP of communications. “I’ve had a front row seat, both at Home Depot and True Value, to see women make their dreams a reality as they opened their own stores or moved up in the executive ranks. You have to believe everything is possible. There are no limits.”
Gina Schaefer is owner and chief localist at A Few Cool Hardware Stores in and around the nation’s capital: “Do not approach the building supply industry any differently than you would any other industry. Businesses need well-rounded leaders who understand people and number management as much as product knowledge.”
And here’s advice from Schultz: “Be an agile learner. New experiences bring challenges and the greatest learning opportunities. You will experience successes and failures. What matters is how you apply those lessons learned to future situations.”
To find out what’s cool and innovative on her desk, see our story on page 18.