LUMBERYARDS

Orgill points the way to price image

BY HBSDEALER Staff

BOSTON — When it comes to pricing, Orgill merchandising guru Paul Ohrberg has done the math, several times. And at the Memphis, Tenn.-based distributor’s Fall Market here, Orgill’s director of retail concepts shared some theories on price image.

Ohrberg’s presentation, titled “Merchandising Techniques: Increasing Your Add On & Impulse Sales,” covered a wide swath of store best practices. And it also hit on some specifics:

  • Limit product selection for temporary dump bins;
  • Choose items that can be stacked safely;
  • Display larger items at the main entrance to encourage the use of a shopping cart;
  • Use service counter displays to remind customers of something they may have forgotten;
  • Keep checkout display items generally under $5; and
  • Use endcaps to promote new items with good price value.

“If you scare them away on price with the first thing they see, they’re going to think you’re an expensive store,” he said. “Price image is key.”

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LUMBERYARDS

Empire’s anti-counterfeit crusade

BY HBSDEALER Staff

How can you tell a counterfeit from the real thing? According to Mukwonago, Wis.-based Empire Level, the screws of its genuine Torpedo level are hidden on the side. Also, counterfeits squeak when twisted.

The company says it is working aggressively to stop counterfeiting of its levels in two ways: blocking the import of knock-offs and pushing for removal of counterfeits from store shelves. The company has issued dozens of cease-and-desist letters to Chinese suppliers, as well as U.S. distributors and retailers dealing in the counterfeits.

It’s a battle worth fighting, according to Jenni Becker, Empire president.

“This counterfeit activity is a direct threat to our economy and American jobs, including the jobs of our 200 employees,” Becker said. “It hurts our business and our brand when people purchase counterfeit products that don’t perform to our standards. We know some consumers have been deceived by ads for these junk counterfeits, and it absolutely needs to stop.”

In recent months, tens of thousands of the knockoff units have been taken off the market, with related advertisements stopped. Empire Level has launched more than 100 enforcement efforts — including more than one with major retailers — resulting in numerous quick settlements.

Becker added: “If it’s coming from China, it’s not our Torpedo level.”


STAT WATCH

$1.26 billion

Amount of counterfeit goods seized at U.S. borders in 2012

Source: U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection

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Lumber, laws and lessons learned

BY HBSDEALER Staff

You’ve heard of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” But how about Smith Phillips Building Supply goes to Raleigh?

Here’s the story.

Chris Yenrick, president of Smith Phillips in Winston-Salem, N.C., was skimming through an obscure, state-government newsletter one day when he stumbled upon some disturbing news. North Carolina was about to hit pro dealers with some costly regulation.

And Carolina dealers weren’t even warned.

At issue were rules governing articulating boom trucks. The state was about to adopt a set of guidelines drawn up by OSHA on the national level — far-reaching crane rules that didn’t take into account the business practices of pro dealers.

“They had sent the proposal to builders, but builders don’t use cranes,” said Yenrick, the incoming chairman of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA). “No one had sent them to us.”

Acting fast, with the help of the Southern Building Material Association and a lobbyist from the NLBMDA, Yenrick was part of a group that won a delay in the implementation, and then an exemption for the industry from certain costly certification regulations.

It just goes to show, Yenrick said, if you’re not watching out for your own industry’s interests, anything can happen. And it probably will.

“We got in there and they heard us,” he said. “That was a very, very eye-opening experience.”

As incoming chair of the NLBMDA — a post he will enter during the 2013 ProDealer Industry Summit Oct. 23-25 in Nashville, Tenn. — Yenrick says his goal is to help build a louder voice for dealers and get more people involved in legislative issues. He also hopes to grow the Lumber Dealers Political Action Committee (LuDPAC).

“I feel as an independent dealer and as a lumber dealer, that all of us need to come together,” Yenrick said. “Both the national chains and the independent dealers need to make sure that we have a voice up on Capitol Hill, that promotes healthy regulation in our industry. We need to be the watchdog. Lawmakers at that level sometimes don’t think of the ramifications at the user level.”

Sometimes they don’t even read their own rules — which Yenrick says is one of the most eye-opening observations from the North Carolina crane episode.

In past years, Yenrick served as regulatory issues committee chair, as well as LuDPAC chair. In 2011, he was recognized as the NLBMDA’s “Grassroots Dealer of the Year.”

The incoming chair says the NLBMDA deserves much credit for improving its effectiveness and financial standing during the difficult housing downturn.

“Sometimes the stars have to align to make things happen,” Yenrick said. “But you got to keep on plugging away.” 

[email protected]

For information about the ProDealer Industry Summit, visit prodealer.com

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