Stihl Hardware All Stars: Idaho, Illinois & Maine
The 2017 class of Stihl Hardware All Stars come from all 50 states — and they each bring something unique to the table. Of course, there are common traits among the honorees — community service, perseverance and patience are among them.
The following three All-Star honorees reflect the variety of retail styles in the Class of 2017, and they also reflect the basic core of a Hardware All Star.
Rathdrum Trading Post
The ability to rally a community into action is a rare quality – even among All Stars. But that’s what happened at Rathdrum Trading Post Hardware. When the store received an unexpected notice of eviction from its landlord, the community rushed to the store’s defense, offering temporary space, manpower and trucks to keep the local hardware store going until it could find a permanent home. The happy ending arrived in September with the grand opening of the community focused 12,000 sq. ft. store.
RP Lumber Co.
The Edwardsville, Illinois-based lumberyard and home center was nominated on the strength of its story as a classic American success. And who could argue? From Bob and Donna Plummer’s single store in Staunton, Illinois in 1979, to a company with 60 locations across Illinois and Missouri. The business is split three ways – do it yourself, residential and commercial, from hand tools to blueprint takeoffs and design.
Rob Gardiner and his sister Susan Geyer showed the All-Star qualities of patience and perseverance when they opened Randolph Hardware in June 2015 – the families second store. After nine relatively quiet months, business began to boom, and it hasn’t stopped. Gardiner credits marketing, loyalty cards, quality brands and well-trained staff to do their work. There’s also a willingness to adapt and adjust, as in the case of a new light bulb aisle. “It’s important to stay current,” he said. “And sometimes that involves taking product off the shelf.”
Sears Hometown continues rollout of new appliance strategy
The ongoing rollout of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores' refreshed appliance strategy is touching down in three more stores in Kentucky.
A grand reopening celebration will be held June 16-17, 2017 at the Corbin, London and Monticello locations, during which consumers can take advantage of an additional discount of 10% off almost everything in the store.
The newly updated stores will feature a new product assortment, redesigned merchandising, new fixtures and signage, and comprehensive employee training, among other changes.
Most notably, appliances will take more than half the sales floor, featuring more brands and an improved presentation.
“We’ve made updates to every facet of our appliance retail strategy in order to provide Kentucky communities with a personalized shopping experience,” said Heather Briner, a district manager of Sears Hometown Stores in Kentucky. “We’ve integrated technology into the shopping experience to be able to provide customers with a wider selection of appliance combinations and features. In addition, shoppers can expect an elevated level of service from our associates, who have undergone comprehensive training on the top 10 appliance brands.”
The new floor plan also includes three kitchen vignettes to more fully showcase kitchen products. This allows stores to display an entire four-piece kitchen from multiple brands in a small amount of floor space, making it easier for customers to choose products.
A designated laundry innovation area will also showcase multiple brands and innovations that lets customers easily explore the differences between the various product lines.
Store associates also received brand-specific selling certification, and Kentucky customers also benefit from a new touch-screen kiosk where they can work with a salesperson or browse on their own to explore product options or make purchases.
Sears Hometown has been in the process of refreshing its stores in the above manner since 2015, and now has more than 635 “America’s Appliance Experts” locations across the United States.
Centennial Woods joins NLBMDA
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association welcomed a new member: Centennial Woods. The company is a supplier of reclaimed wood, and it is the newest member of the association’s Manufacturers and Services Council (MSC).
Centennial Woods maintains the world's largest sustainable source of reclaimed wood through the maintenance of the hundreds of miles of snow fences that line the highways of the state of Wyoming. Their aged snow fence wood is a nominal 1 x 6 and is either pine, spruce, or Douglas fir. These boards are FSC 100% Recycled. The Wyoming snow, wind, rain, and sun creates beautiful patinas on the wood that vary from grays, browns, and cinnamons.
Centennial Woods repurposes their nominal reclaimed 1 x 6s into a variety of products including wall planks, DIY installable planks, tongue and groove, shiplap, bevel lap and other milling is available as well. All their products qualify for MR3 & MR4 towards LEED projects. Additionally, Centennial Woods has developed Centennial Seal, a nano-technology product that acts as a sealant which repels water from the wood, yet does not change the patinas or texture of any wood, including their reclaimed wood.
"Centennial Woods is very excited and happy to now be a part of this fine organization helping the overall industry,” said Ed Spal, CEO of Centennial Woods. “We look forward to our participation and becoming more involved in the coming years."
The MSC is composed of the leading building material manufacturers and service providers serving the LBM industry.
NLBMDA's MSC members are established industry leaders who supply products and services to lumber and building material dealers and regional chains across the nation. The dedicated members of the council share a commitment to promoting and enhancing the success of independent dealers and regional chains.