Santa Cruz to get new hardware store
A former Blockbuster video store in Santa Cruz, Calif. will reopen as Santa Cruz Hardware this coming July, according to an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Ace dealer Rodney Hoffer, owner of Aptos Hardware and Westside Hardware, got his start in the home-improvement business by working at Santa Cruz Hardware, originally founded in 1883. Hoffer bought the business in 1986, relocated it after an earthquake damaged the store, and later closed it, due in part to a lack of parking.
Fast forward to 2011, and Hoffer’s two stores, one in San Cruz and the other in Aptos, a wealthy coastal enclave in Santa Cruz County, are both doing well. Hoffer’s third store will not be affiliated with Ace but will be “independent,” Hoffer said in the article. He will finance the remodel of the 5,000 sq. ft. unit out of cash flow, and was able to get his city permits approved in one day.
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Ace Hardware opens in Ardmore, N.C.
According to an article in the Winston-Salem Journal, an Ace Hardware store opened last week in Ardmore, N.C., just outside of Winston-Salem.
The 6,000 sq.-ft. store replaces a Sportsman’s Supply Co., which was closed since 2008, and could reflect a positive sign for the area’s retail market, according to the newspaper.
Douglas Brown, the store’s owner, opened another Ace Hardware in Greensboro, N.C., in October, the paper said. In Ardmore, one of the interesting features of the Ace store will be a U.S. Postal Service office inside the store. The post office is expected to open in early May.
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RONA prowling for U.S. lumberyards
Canadian home-improvement retailer RONA is still looking for commercial and pro-oriented acquisitions in the United States — and it has as much as C$300 million (US$316 million) to spend, according to a Reuters article.
RONA CEO Robert Dutton told Reuters in an interview last week that his Quebec-based company is focusing on U.S. distributors or commercial and professional-orientated units, rather than customer-facing retail stores.
He pointed out that close to 45% of the pro market is controlled by independents and therefore fragmented.
"We realize that we can be the consolidator in this side of the business in the United States," Dutton said. He added that RONA was prepared to spend between C$50 million and C$300 million on one or more acquisition targets.
RONA has made no secret of its desire to enter the U.S. market and set 2011 as its target date. But now the home-channel company, Canada’s largest with nearly 700 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats, has attached a dollar figure to its acquisition plans.
Last year RONA announced its intent to “establish a national platform in the commercial and professional market” in its own country. The C$6 billion firm has made a series of purchases of Canadian building materials stores, as well as recruit independent LBM outlets to join under the RONA brand.
They should approach 84
They should approach 84 Lumber...they need some management and leadership.