Orchard Supply builds brand identity
San Jose, Calif.-based Orchard Supply Co. CEO Mark Baker described the retailer’s efforts to keep the brand fresh while also honoring the company’s 80-plus-year history.
An emphasis on the in-store experience and local knowledge is key for the California chain, Baker explained during his presentation to the Presidents Council advisory board meeting during the International Builders’ Show here in Orlando, Fla.
"We’re not a small big box, but a really big small box," he said.
Orchard Supply’s 87 locations — all in California — range from 42,000 sq. ft. to 75,000 sq. ft., he said, carrying 45,000 SKUs.
The local-market concept, which fuels growth in the grocery sector at companies such as Whole Foods and Fresh & Easy, is a force in hardware retailing also, he said. And Orchard Supply believes it has an opportunity to grow with its access to capital combined with an ability to engage customers in local markets.
In 2012, Orchard expects to open three new stores and remodel six.
Asked about the possibility of expanding beyond California, Baker said such a move is a logical next step for the company, but he offered no time frame for doing so. Strong lawn and garden markets — Pacific Northwest and Las Vegas, for instance — are natural areas of expansion, he added. "We see near term California is where we should be and continue to grow out," he said.
Five key priorities for Orchard Supply are:
• Project a consistent and compelling brand identity;
• Drive sales through merchandising and marketing initiatives;
• Improve operational efficiencies;
• Align resources and talent; and
• Strengthen the company’s financial position.
Three Fountains Ace Hardware Named ‘Best Hardware Store’
Three Fountains Ace Hardware has been recognized as the “Best Hardware Store” by Lexington Life (S.C.) magazine’s “2012 Best of Lexington Life” reader poll.
“I credit our entire team for receiving this impressive award,” said Terry Reynolds, owner of Three Fountains Ace Hardware, in West Columbia, S.C. “Every day our employees come to work and get great joy out of providing excellent customer service to everyone who walks in the door. That, coupled with our vast product knowledge, has really cemented our place in the community as the go-to hardware store.”
The locally owned Three Fountains Ace Hardware has been operating for 20 years.
“We applaud Three Fountains Ace Hardware’s owners and staff for their commitment to excellent service in the community,” said Kane Calamari, VP retail operations and new business at Ace Hardware. “We have a dedication to helpful customer service throughout all of our stores, and Three Fountains is a strong example of this great service in action.”
In 2011, Three Fountains Ace Hardware was named the “Best Place to Buy Paint” in the Lexington area.
Obit: Ray Burgess of Burgess Hardware
Ray Burgess, who ran Burgess Hardware in west Tulsa, Okla., for more than 40 years, passed away on Jan. 30, according to an article in the Tulsa World. He was 73 years old.
Burgess Hardware opened in 1943 when Burgess’ parents, Millard D. and Laura Burgess, bought an existing hardware store that had been operating since 1918. Burgess took over the store in 1962.
The store was known for its “odd and interesting [offerings], including items from bygone eras,” according to the paper.