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Throwback Thursday: The reluctant handyman

BY HBSDealer Staff

A 2013 GfK Roper survey found that 70% of Americans prefer DIY renovations. But apparently, that wasn't always the case.

Back in 1980, Lowe's rolled out an advertising strategy that was aimed at its customer base of gun-shy renovators.

The October 13, 1980 issue of National Home Center News, the predecessor of HBSDealer, spotlighted the ad campaign, which featured a protagonist named Harvey Hackit.

Hackit appeared in television ads, in-store signs and a circular, showing him as "the reluctant handyman" who "used to be all thumbs, completely lost in the do-it-yourself jungle," and who "just couldn't hack it."

That all changed when Hackit discovered Lowe's, of course.

"He's a good visual shorthand and a simple way to give the reluctant, Saturday morning do-it-yourselfer some courage," said William Brantley, the Lowe's director of investor relations at the time. "We saw the character evolve from early scratch boards and he has become better. People are talking about him and saying that Harvey Hackit is their father or their cousin. They know someone like him."

"He doesn't have a wife yet," said Brantley, "but I suspect there might be a Hazel Hackit out there too."

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MiTek acquires DIY Technologies

BY HBSDealer Staff

MiTek Industries, Inc. has acquired DIY Technologies, a Tucson, Arizona-based provider of web-based design software for a wide range of home improvement and renovation projects.

“I am delighted with the acquisition of DIY, which has an enviable leadership position as a provider of on-line design software to the do-it-yourself, home improvement market. This acquisition is yet another extension of our leading position in technology serving the residential construction industry,” said Tom Manenti, Chairman and CEO of MiTek.

“DIY has established long-term relationships with some of the nation’s largest and most-respected retailers and building-products manufacturers," added Manenti. "The combination of MiTek’s software and capital resources, along with DIY’s comprehensive web-based software, will provide unparalleled technology tools that will enhance our customers’ value proposition.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Michael Heisler and his team to the MiTek family and look forward to supporting their business model while expanding their software offerings and services, as we continue to grow DIY’s business,” Manenti commented.

Michael Heisler, CEO and founder of DIY added, “This acquisition is the culmination of more than ten years of successful partnering with MiTek. I am excited that DIY and all our employees have joined the MiTek and Berkshire Hathaway family. I have seen how MiTek truly ‘lives’ its core values, and because of this and its compelling vision of providing unrivaled, highly productive technology to the global residential and commercial construction industry, I know MiTek is the ideal home for DIY.”

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Amazon fulfillment service grew more than 50% during holiday season

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The Amazon Marketplace, an online mall that that allows third-party sellers to reach customers around the world, hit big milestones during the holiday season.

The amount of merchandise that the marketplace’s Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) service shipped during the holiday season worldwide grew more than 50%. The increase was based on the “millions of items” that Prime members ordered from sellers in the Seller Fulfilled Prime program, a service that offers free two-day or next-day shipping. On Cyber Monday alone, sellers worldwide received orders for more than 28 million items, the company said.

Amazon Marketplace hit a number of milestones for 2016, including:

• FBA delivered more than 2 billion items worldwide.

• Active sellers worldwide using the FBA service grew more than 70%.

• Outside the U.S., FBA units shipped grew more than 80%.

• Using the FBA service, Amazon sellers from more than 130 different countries around the world fulfilled orders to customers in 185 countries.

• The Seller Fulfilled Prime program added more than 6 million new items that are now Prime eligible across the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Japan.

• Sellers on Amazon that reached $100,000 in sales grew by 30%.

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