Pipe manufacturer plans expansion
JM Eagle, one of the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic pipe, is expanding production of solid-wall high-density polyethylene (PE) at two of its plants to meet demand in northern U.S. and Canadian markets.
Converting its Sunnyside, Wash., plant from PVC to PE production and boosting the number of PE lines at its Meadville, Pa., plant, the company aims to better serve the customers seeking products for water and sewer. The Sunnyside plant will also produce PE pipe for irrigation, and both plants will produce products for power and communication application.
With 22 manufacturing plants throughout North America, JM Eagle manufactures a wide array of high-grade, high-performance polyvinyl chloride and high-density polyethylene pipe across a variety of industries and applications, including utility, solvent weld, electrical conduit, natural gas, irrigation, potable water and sewage.
Home Depot will defend its lead in power tools
Speaking at The Home Depot’s 2012 Investor and Analyst Conference in Atlanta, Home Depot executive VP merchandising Craig Menear revved up the power tool rhetoric.
Menear said the company intends to defend its position as power tool market share leader.
He also described power tools as a category with a relatively high vulnerability to online competitors. One of the best defenses is a large fleet.
“Our 2,200 stores are convenient for our pro customers when they have a tool go down on the job,” Menear said. “We are now executing a strategy to compete across all channels of the business.”
The company is also playing offense in the category, developing and maintaining strategic relationships with suppliers that bring new products to Home Depot as exclusives, he said. Also, the company is building its capabilities in the area of product repair.
And online, Home Depot is fighting fire with fire, he said. “Rapid expansion of online assortments and brands has produced excellent results in this channel as well,” he said. “We have grown market share the last two quarters faster than the online market leader.”
The online-market share leader would be Amazon, which many believe is benefiting from smartphone-fueled consumer behavior that lets shoppers browse in a store, search online for cheaper prices and buy somewhere else.
Fifty winning retailers, state by state
The 2012 Home Chanel News Hardware Store All-Star list recognizes stores that in some way, shape or form distinguish themselves among competitors and customers.
The four stores listed here are part of a larger group — one store from each state in the country — that represent the hardware store virtues of ingenuity, helpfulness and customer service. Here are stores from Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Jersey:
Ace Alameda Station
Owner Andy Carlson holds a “Grill Your Ace Off” barbeque contest each year where 25 teams with names like “This Flame is Not Yet Rated” vie for Ace gift cards of $500 and $250. All grilling is done on Big Green Eggs although the June 9 competition will introduce Weber grills. All proceeds benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Although it primarily serves the industrial/commercial sector, don’t tell the people of southern Las Vegas this isn’t their neighborhood hardware store. A full assortment of electrical, plumbing, tools and paint comes from Orgill and Do it Best. A special sign department carries 60 SKUs in stock and can order any custom sign. Caution! Men at work.
Benson’s Lumber & Hardware
Whether you need a few simple hardware supplies or estimates from a complicated blueprint, Benson’s said it can help. The hardware store has been serving the Londonderry community for 100 years, and most of its staff is longtime employees considered experts in their fields. “Our nursery is huge,” owner Brad Benson said. “You name it, we got it.”
Home Hardware & Supply
At 5,300 sq. ft., Home Hardware & Supply is a giant at selling gas grills. The two-time Bergen County hardware store of the year nestled among affluent neighborhoods is the state’s top Weber dealer. How? “We fire up the grills and give away free hot dogs for four hours every Saturday,” said owner Rick Kadien. “That’s a great sales tool. Plus, assembly and delivery are always built into the price.”