DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Strasser True Value celebrates 100 years

BY HBSDealer Staff

Kansas City-based Strasser True Value recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary with the biggest sale in its history.

The retailer celebrated 100 years on the occasion of its anniversary this past May 6.

Additionally, Strasser held its 10th annual Tool Sale in April, netting a $100,000 bump in sales over last year. This was the largest Tool Day in the store's experience, owing in part to heavy promotion in local radio, TV and print advertising, with the addition of social media outreach.

“We were thrilled to support Strasser’s 100 year anniversary event," said Brian Barbour, National Account Manager True Value, Milwaukee Tool. "The loyalty Strasser’s has built in the Kansas City market is second-to-none, so it is no wonder they have been able to thrive for so long. Their event is always well attended and has helped us to build a tremendous partnership!”

Co-owner Leroy Andrews and his son Travis made sure to provide a full tool assortment that appealed to its wide array of customers, which span contractors, pro users and DIYers.

"It was such an honor to be a part of such a historic event at Strasser’s True Value," said Chandra Stoupa, National Account Manager True Value, Stanley, Black & Decker. "Travis made this event very special with incredible deals to say thank you to their customers. It is so rare to find the family atmosphere that you find at Strasser’s. I am blown away by the number of customers they know by name. This level of customer service is what got them to 100 years as a retail icon in Kansas City, and no doubt will take them to 200."

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Ace gains on income with minimal movement on revenue

BY HBSDealer Staff

Ace Hardware reported a slight increase in revenue during the first quarter, as well as more substantial progress in net income.

Revenue came in at $1.2 billion, up 0.1% from the first quarter of 2016. Net income of $28.3 million was up 8.4% over the year.

Same-store sales were down 0.2% due to decreased customer traffic, reported by the approximately 3,000 Ace retailers who share daily retail sales data.

John Venhuizen, president and CEO of Ace, acknowledged the somewhat lackluster sales performance.

“I’m delighted to report an 8.4% increase in net income, a double digit jump in accrued patronage dividends for our owners and surpassing a global store count of 5,000 stores in the quarter," said Venhuizen. “While revenue improved, our increase fell short of our expectations. And despite the obvious temptation, I’ll resist pinning the blame on the less than favorable weather.”

Retail revenues from Ace Retail Holdings were $52.0 million in the first quarter of 2017, however, up 2.8% from the first quarter of 2016 thanks to the addition of new retail stores. However, same-store-sales decreased 3.0%.

The co-op also added 16 new domestic stores and cancelled 21 for a net decrease of 5 stores during the quarter — a total domestic store count of 4,358. This was still up 56 stores from the first quarter of 2016.

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A brave, new World and Main

BY HBSDealer Staff

The changes at World and Main LLC have been significant. But the company says it hasn’t changed its focus on bringing products to its customers.

The Cranberry, New Jersey-based home improvement distributor and family of brands named Bryan Yeazel as new CEO in August of last year. In November it sold its Houston-based hardware distribution business formerly known as Handy Hardware. And the company named a trio of c-level executives to its ranks in March.

One of those executives, Brenda Heffelfinger, spoke with HBSDealer during the recent National Hardware Show, where the company showed off the latest from its brands, which include AquaPlumb, Comfort Zone, WordLock, Ultra and more. 

“While there have been many changes, our commitment to the retailer is steadfast and now stronger than ever,” Heffelfinger said, when asked if the changes brought a new emphasis to World and Main. “We continue to research, create and launch dozens of new products that meet consumers’ needs every year.”

At the company’s booth in Las Vegas, the product displays included evaporative coolers, barn door hardware and newly branded paint brushes.

“World and Main is a national distribution company that develops, markets and distributes products to leading retailers, wholesalers, home centers, hardware stores and more,” Heffelfinger said. “Our focus is to support our customers by offering excellent service and by bringing new products to market in our key core product categories.”

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