OK Lumber declares bankruptcy
OK Lumber, a Fairbanks, Alaska-based Ace Hardware-affiliated lumber dealer, has declared bankruptcy, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
An attorney told the newspaper that competition from big-box retailers and high utility costs led to the filing. Also, the company incurred higher costs from a leased six-acre portion of land that was used for its lumber yard.
The company has been in business since 1967.
Owner Richard Kruckenberg, who bought the business from his parents in 1996, told the newspaper in June that the business planned to downsize or move to another location to reduce costs.
Dealer dodges credit card scam
Credit card criminals appear to be targeting pro dealers and home centers to separate them from valuable power tools.
Tom Smart, paint manager at the Amenia, N.Y. location of pro dealer H.G. Page & Sons, alerted Home Channel News to a fraud attempt involving an operater-assisted-phone call, a credit card purchase and an overnight delivery of a $700 miter saw.
Before the order was shipped, FedEx’s security division contacted Smart and described the purchase as fraudulent, he said.
“Apparently, we’re not the first store where this happened,” Smart said. “This month it seems to be miter saws.”
The scam artists use the operator-assisted call for the hearing impaired as a way to prevent tracking of the call.
The fraudulent call came to the Amenia store in Dutchess County on Tuesday. “Naturally, it happens when we’re busy at the counter,” he said.
Smart alerted H.G. Page’s Poughkeepsie, N.Y. headquarters and the Dutchess County sheriff. If similar calls come in, the store employees have been advised to get a mailing address and a telephone number and tell the caller that the store will call back to complete the order. “If it’s not legitimate, you find out real fast,” Smart said.
Gittlitz joins ‘First Look Housewares’
Organizers of the First Look Housewares Show have announced a partnership between Ian Gittlitz, former president and CEO of business-to-business publisher ICD, and Rob Cappiello, president of First Look Housewares and a longtime organizer of industry trade shows, notably the National Hardware Show.
The show, a preview event for the housewares industry, has been set for Jan. 8 to 10 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Cappiello said of Gittlitz: “His vast knowledge of the industry, his contacts and friendships will help make the First Look Housewares Show a first class event serving the housewares community.”
The show is meant to help “retailers and manufacturers to get together right after the close of the fourth quarter to review the previous year and find the winning products for the coming year,” Gittlitz noted. “Timing is key and only the First Look Housewares Show is addressing that point.”
According to Cappiello, the show will emphasize new products and is “designed to allow retailers to get through the show floor quickly.” Booth sizes will be limited to a maximum of 400 square feet per exhibitor. The show is slated to feature more than 300 exhibitors of a wide range of household items, including kitchen electrics, bath products, storage and organization items, cleaning supplies and more.