DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Past winners of Retailer of the Year

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In 2011, Westlake Ace Hardware took top honors as Home Channel News "Retailer of the Year." The Lenexa, Kan.-based 88-store retail company has successfully planned and executed a customer service initiative and re-established its mission to serve the needs of project-oriented DIYers through a program called Project North Star. 

Here are the recent HCN Retailers of the Year:

2010: Leeds, Ala.-based Marvin’s Building Materials and Home Centers

2009: Retail Partner of the Year: Memphis, Tenn.-based Orgill

2008: Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s

2007: Brentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply Co.

2006: Atlanta-based The Home Depot

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A new CEO steps in at Handy Hardware

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Members of the Houston-based Handy Hardware co-op received an e-mail message Thursday afternoon from Kenneth White, a partner at consulting firm Tatum, announcing that White will assume the post of CEO.

Several weeks ago, Handy’s board of directors hired Tatum to "assess the critical operating, financial and IT related issues currently facing Handy Hardware," according to Thursday’s letter. The board voted to accept Tatum’s action plan. 

Tina Kirbie will remain as president, responsible primarily for member-dealer relations. However, departmental heads previously reporting to Kirbie will report to White. "Tina has been and will continue to be the ‘face of Handy,’" according to White’s letter.

On April 11, Handy issued a press release announcing its 4.1% first quarter sales increase. In the same release, the co-op pointed to problems with the transition to a new computer operating system. 

“We have gotten past the worst of this transition and our numbers are climbing back up to our historical service level marks,” Kirbie said in the April 11 release. 

Handy Hardware recently opened a distribution center in Meridian, Miss., its second. 

Tatum describes itself as a consulting firm that blends interim executive services, executive consulting and executive search, with expertise in financial matters and technology projects. 

 

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Pongs Do it Best has big plans in Indonesia

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best Corp. signed a deal that will bring the Do it Best brand to Indonesia for the first time. The deal also landed Do it Best a partnership with Paulus Ong, who helped grow Ace Indonesia from three stores in 1999 to 45 stores in 2011.

Grand openings are planned for Aug. 3 for the first four Pongs Do it Best Hardware stores in Jakarta.

“This is part of our Extreme Growth plans as we continue to expand our footprint internationally,” said Bob Taylor, president and CEO of Do it Best. “This signing brings our international presence to 50 countries, and we continue to look for new opportunities world-wide.”

Paulus Ong, former director of operations for ACE Indonesia, received exclusive rights to the Do it Best brand in Indonesia in the deal announced this week. Ong’s plan calls for the opening of four stores in Jakarta, measuring a combined 100,000 sq. ft., in August. According to Do it Best, Ong’s long-term plan is to open a total of 40 Do it Best stores with a combined square footage of 500,000 sq. ft., over the next five years. Pongs Do it Best Hardware stores will consist of three formats: convenience stores, super stores and hyper stores.

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