Overstock Craftsman tools found at Menards
Postings and photographs on garagejournal.com have reported seeing Craftsman tool sets on sale at their local Menards stores. Sightings of a 104-piece Mechanics tool set selling for $99.95 in a Menards in Schererville, Ind., launched a discussion among tool aficionados about the price — considered on the high side — and how the tools ended up there in the first place.
Ace Hardware had announced an exclusive merchandising agreement allowing its dealers to sell Craftsman-branded tools in 2010, and the Oak Brook, Ill., buying group has been rolling out the program this year to hundreds of member stores. Ace did not answer a request for comment from Home Channel News on the Craftsman tools showing up at Menards.
The co-op has responded to concerns from its dealers, however. In a copy of an Ace Hardware memo obtained by Home Channel News, Ace merchants told members that the Craftsman tools at Menards were “overstock Craftsman inventory” and a one-time event. Ace members were assured that the $2 million buy was isolated to a limited number of SKUS.
“Sears’ EVP has given us clear assurances that this is NOT an on-going event or the beginning of a program with Menards,” the memo stated.
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In California, Orchard Supply reaches for its niche
An article in the San Jose Mercury News reported that Orchard Supply Hardware is working to distinguish itself from big and small competitors.
In addition to introducing a new logo and a new brand name — "Orchard" — the San Jose, Calif.-based company intends to earn a reputation as the place for backyard home improvement.
According to Tom Carey, senior VP for Orchard, the 89-store chain anticipates growth, perhaps even at the rate of 10 to 15 stores a year.
"Hardware stores should be fun," Carey told MercuryNews.com in an article about the challenges and opportunities for the California hardware chain.
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Hillman Group enters Builders Hardware category
The Hillman Group, a Cincinnati-based fastener manufacturer, has announced its entry into the Builder’s Hardware segment with the release of its Hardware Essentials collection. The new line utilizes color to differentiate the product categories — connection, reinforce, interior, security, miniature, decorative door, hinges, gate, storm and screen, and organize — to assist the end consumer in their shopping experience. Packaging includes cards, gravity feed, bulk, polybagged and flagged items. Detailed trilingual package instructions and project illustrations are also packaging highlights. The products are designed for both consumers and contractors.
The release of the product line is the culmination of several years of research, packaging development and merchandising design. The program is fully supported by several pieces of in-depth sales collateral, a state-of-the-art planogramming software program allowing for customizable displays, a customer service support line, in-store product knowledge training, and innovative "MS Tags" designed for hardware retailers.
Established in 1964, Hillman sells to hardware stores, home centers, pet suppliers, mass merchants and other retail outlets primarily in the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America.
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