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Study looks at hardware demand

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Demand for builders’ hardware is expected to rise 2.1 percent per year through 2012, an improvement over annual gains of 1.2 percent from 2002 to 2007, according to a just-released study by the Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research firm. In current dollars, sales are projected to reach $11.1 billion in 2012, although low-price imports and declining metal prices will dampen overall values.

Among the various products, locks and other safety devices are forecast to account for the largest share of the builders’ hardware market. In the residential sector, continued homeowner interest in personal safety will add to sales. Demand for locks and other safety devices in the non-residential market will be lead by a desire for enhanced security in schools, universities, hospitals and other health care facilities. Electromagnetic locks will offer some of the best growth opportunities, particularly among property managers.

The residential market accounted for 55 percent of all builders’ hardware demand in 2007 and will remain the leading market in 2012, the Freedonia report said. Demands will be led by the eventual recovery of the U.S. housing market, as more new homes are completed and need hardware on doors, windows and furniture.

Furniture is expected to account for 37 percent of total demand of builders’ hardware in 2012. Advances will be led by the popularity of home entertainment systems and home offices, which require hinges, pulls, slides and furniture locks.

Other sections of the report look at the leading suppliers of builders’ hardware, their respective market shares and the role played by off-shore manufacturers.

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Madison, Wis., True Value store holds grand opening

BY HBSDEALER Staff

North Side True Value Hardware, located in Madison, Wis., held a two-day grand opening Oct. 4 and 5, after relocating from a 12,000-square-foot to a 14,000-square-foot space, store manager Jeff Jacoby said.

During the weekend celebration, the store raffled off a patio set, gas grill, patio heater and lawn mower, and sold bratwurst, hot dogs and soda for $1 each, donating the proceeds to the American Red Cross.

“It was one of the biggest weekends ever for us,” Jacoby said.

The new store focuses on core hardware categories like hardware, plumbing and lawn and garden, and owner Tom Meikle has also added the Benjamin Moore line of paint and an outdoor furniture department. Meikle also owns a store in Columbus, Wis.

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Lincoln Electric acquires Brazilian manufacturer

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Cleveland-based professional tools manufacturer Lincoln Electric has announced the acquisition of a 90 percent interest in Sao Paulo, Brazil-based Brastak.

The $30 million deal increases Lincoln Electric’s worldwide operations. Brastak produces brazing products, used in the welding and repair of pipes and plumbing.

“The Brastak acquisition represents the expansion of our brazing product line as well as our continued expansion into developing international markets,” said John M. Stropki, chairman and CEO of Lincoln Electric. He said the move primarily will help the company serve professionals in South America.

Lincoln Electric is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of arc welding products.

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