Orchard sharpens its model
There’s a change in leadership at Orchard Supply Hardware, but not in strategy.
The San Jose, California-based hardware store chain, a standalone business unit of Mooresville, North Carolina-based Lowe’s, last month named Bob Tellier as its president. Tellier’s out to prove that there is a place in the market between the big box and the convenience-oriented neighborhood hardware store.
“We’re sitting right in the middle,” Tellier told HBSDealer. “We’re still not the big-project guy, but we have the footprint to make the hardware store more of a shopping experience.”
One of the major themes in the company’s “neighborhood store” format is the concept of “affordable upscale,” he says. Around the aisles and checkout lanes of the new stores, one sees shades of Smith & Hawken or Frontgate.com.
At the end of 2014, 38% of the company’s store base had the new “neighborhood” format, which was introduced about three years ago. And by the end of 2015, it’s expected that 65% of the stores will be upgraded.
Orchard’s growth goal is to reach 100 stores and $1 billion in sales by the end of 2017.
Around the new store format, there are numerous examples of attention to detail — from the hands-on Tool Box power tool department to the retro candy and retro soda at the front of the store.
“It’s about being relevant, and maybe even a little quirky,” Tellier said.
Hands up for hand tools
With so many exciting developments happening in the world of building materials and smart appliances, it’s easy to overlook some of the more quotidian items kept in every contractor’s toolbox. But lest anyone’s forgotten, hand tools are a reliable small-ticket revenue source for hardware stores, and there’s a lot to talk about regarding innovation in 2015.
Here are a few new and exciting things from the world of hand tools.
Wiha BiCut Diagonal Cutters
Wiha (pictured above) has figured out a way to let you have it both ways, and all with single-handed operation. With a press of the “power” button, these cutters shift into a high-leverage mode with extra cutting force. (wiha.com)
Stanley Fatmax Straight Cut Aviation Snip
Stanley just went ahead and released 19 new Fatmax-brand snips, which feature new-and-improved, extended-life cutting blades. These Aviation Snips follow the aviation tradition of high mechanical power in a short blade length. (stanleytools.com)
DeWalt MIG Weld Framing Hammer
New from DeWalt is a series of MIG Weld Framing Hammers with a superior swing, vibration-absorbing grip, all-steel design and one-handed magnetic nail placement. (dewalt.com)
Leatherman Signal Survivalist Multi-Tool
In what the toolmaker referred to as the “first Leatherman of its kind,” the Signal packs must-have features into one useful tool, including a ferrocerium fire starter, whistle, pliers, can opener, saw, awl, hammer and more. (leatherman.com)
Irwin Vise-Grip Cutting Pliers
The Irwin Vise-Grip family got a bit larger last fall with the addition of a series of new cutting pliers. The new pliers feature Irwin’s trademark PowerSlot Technology for increased power and ease of use. (irwin.com)
Malco TurboXTools Quarter Panel Hemming Air Tool
Winner of the SEMA Best New Collision Repair & Refinish Product Award for 2014, the QHT from Malco uses air power to bend and close wheel arc flanges at high precision and fast speeds. (malcoproducts.com)
Channellock Professional Screwdriver
All-American-made screwdrivers are a relatively new development at Channellock, but these latest offerings feature the company’s trademark heat-treated steel, blasted tips for use in electronic applications, and a high-torque acetate handle. (channellock.com)
Snap-On Industrial Long Handle Ratchet
Snap-On recently came out with a 1/4-in. drive ratchet, which it claims sets the record for the longest straight handle for its drive size. A low head height and Snap-On’s Dual 80 technology complete the package. (snapon.com/industrial)
Milwaukee Hammer Tacker
This new Hammer Tacker, just released in January, purports to last three times as long as the competition. A rust-resistant, all-metal frame helps the tacker withstand drops of 10 ft. or more. (milwaukeetool.com)
Micronized copper preservative technology
MicroPro® Brand Pressure Treated Wood Products
MicroPro treated lumber products can be used for interior and exterior uses, including above ground, ground contact, fresh water and critical structural members.
- Lighter “Natural” color.
- Improved painting and staining qualities.
- Better corrosion protection for exterior code-approved fasteners and hardware.
- Approved for aluminum contact.
- End uses include interior and exterior above ground, ground contact, and fresh water immersion.
- Building code compliant.
- MicroShades® innovative micronized pigment color choices Pressure-treated wood colors similar to redwood and cedar.