State-by-state Hardware Store All-stars: Tenn., Texas and Utah
The first-of-its-kind Home Channel News list of 50 hardware store all-stars appeared in the May issue of Home Channel News and recognized a diverse group of high-performance retailers — large, small, urban and rural. Below, the state-by-state guide winds through Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
Cole’s Home Solutions
A dramatic, one-of-a-kind home center and hardware store in Millington, Tenn., was built from the ground up to beat the big boxes and swing for the fences. Bathroom fixtures have running water, and an actual garage inside the store allows for product education; or better yet, just plain tinkering with the cool tools. With categories organized and displayed in vignettes and with a design heavily inspired by Bass Pro Shops and Cracker Barrel, plus a countertop luncheonette, the store has something for everyone.
Price Hardware True Value
The Atlanta, Texas-based single-store operator in a town of 6,000 draws regularly from a 20-mile radius. Inside the 39,000-sq.-ft. store — which took on a Destination True Value format late last year — are classic assortments, plus co-owner Carol Price’s Kitchenette, a housewares store with a fully functioning kitchen. One of True Value’s 15 “Best Hardware Store in Town” honorees this year, the store is also the 2011 Golden Hammer “Tools of the Trade” Award winner.
On the home page of Orem, Utah-based Parley’s Hardware website (parleyshardware.com), owner Parley Hellewell speaks to his customers in a video clip, saying how “My wife thinks I’m crazy” for running a hardware store instead of retiring. But don’t let the overalls fool you. Hellewell operates a home improvement store that few single operators can rival. In addition to core categories, Parley’s Hardware has installed sales, a handyman service, and separate divisions that handle insulation, air-duct cleaning and HVAC services. Classes are held on site five nights a week, ranging from salsa-making and women’s self defense to contractor-oriented topics. “What more fun can there be than going down all day and playing in a hardware store?” Hellewell asks.
The next edition of HCN Thursday will profile all-star retailers in Utah, Vermont and Virginia. Or, to read the original story as it appeared in the May issue of Home Channel News, log on or register here.
Phoenix-area retailer joins Ace’s 10-person board
Ace Hardware retailers Jim Ackroyd and Gina Schaefer, and financial executive Jeffrey Girard were re-elected to Ace Hardware Corp.’s board of directors at the hardware co-op’s annual stockholders meeting June 14 at its corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill.
Ace retailer David Karsten was elected to his first term on the board. Ackroyd, Girard, Schaefer and Karsten each will serve three-year terms on the 10-person board of directors, which sets strategic policy and direction for Ace management.
Ackroyd, 55, was elected to his second three-year term as a member director. He serves as the CEO of Vision Ace Hardware, a 10-store chain based in Naples, Fla. In addition to his work with Ace, Ackroyd has previously held CFO positions and managed real estate development companies.
Schaefer, 40, was elected to serve a second three-year term as a member director. Along with husband Marc Friedman, she owns and manages Logan Hardware, the parent company of seven urban Ace Hardware stores in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Schaefer, who has won numerous business and entrepreneur awards, is also heavily involved in community organizations.
Karsten, 47, joins the board for his first term as a member director. He opened his first Ace Hardware store nine years ago in the Phoenix area after serving as a trader at the Chicago Stock Exchange. Since then, Karsten has expanded his business, opening two additional Ace stores with a strong focus in niche merchandising.
Jacksonville, Fla., resident Girard, 63, was elected to serve a second term as a non-member director and is qualified as an “audit committee financial expert” for SEC purposes based on his CFO tenure at two Fortune 500 companies. Girard also serves on the board of Winn-Dixie Stores.
“We’re drawing from some of the most innovative and experienced Ace retailers, as well as other outstanding industry professionals to help lead Ace’s strategic initiatives in the years ahead,” said David Ziegler, Ace retailer and chairman of the board for Ace Hardware. “I’m extremely proud of the diverse points of view and experience on our board of directors; it is a direct representation of the distinctiveness of our unique Ace retailers.”
Sears to spin off Orchard Supply
Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings Corp. said it plans to spin off its interest in Orchard Supply Hardware Stores, an 89-store chain that operates in California.
Orchard Supply Hardware — also known as OSH — recently named Mark Baker, a former top merchant at The Home Depot, as its CEO. OSH is based in San Jose and posted $660.7 million in sales in 2010, with a profit of $8.7 million.
Provided the deal goes through, it is expected that OSH will be traded on Nasdaq as a stand-alone company. Currently, Sears owns 80% of OSH. The rest of the California hardware store company is owned by Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund.
Orchard Supply was founded in 1931, and acquired by Sears Roebuck in 1996.
When he took over as CEO in March, Baker described OSH as "an exceptional retailer with a unique value proposition comprised of service, selection and convenience."