Two veteran House-Hasson Hardware department heads retire
When Larry Fennell, House-Hasson’s retiring information systems director, came to the Knoxville, Tenn.-based distributor 26 years ago, there were five computer terminals in the entire business. "Today we have 85 hand-held computers just in the warehouse," he said. "Technology drives every facet of the business."
House-Hasson announced that Fennell and 30-year veteran Tim Lawson, the company’s VP of operations, are retiring. Fennell is being replaced by Dennis Quilliams, who has nearly 30 years experience in computers and information technology. In operations, Don Phillips, who has worked in logistics and management for several companies, will take over for Lawson.
“Our company is truly fortunate in that we’ve had professionals in leadership positions who have been with us for decades,” said Don Hasson, company president. “Now we have outstanding people ready to step in to continue House-Hasson’s momentum and growth.”
Lawson also said operations changed dramatically during his tenure. “When I started it was 100% paper,” he said. “The speed and efficiency of what we can do now would have been science fiction not too many years ago.”
The independent regional distributor serves 17 states and the Caribbean region. Its annual sales top $200 million, the company said.
Hardware store all stars: Conn., Del. and Fla.
The May issue of Home Channel News compiled the first-ever Hardware Store All Star list. Here are three more of the 50: standout stores from Arkansas, California and Colorado.
Killingworth True Value. Since gracing the cover of the Home Channel News March 2010 issue, Killingworth True Value president Jackie Cost has seen the word get out about the store’s major renovation. She’s also seen community involvement increase. Case in point, the Killingworth Youth and Family Services division sets up a tent at all of the store’s outdoor special events. Coming up this month: a Mow and Grow event with Husqvarna and Jonathan Green grass seeds.
Rommel’s Ace Hardware. Rommel’s Ace Hardware operates 11 locations on the East Coast, including three in Delaware — Dover, Seaford and Selbyville. The retailer is a part of Rommel Holdings, whose varied interests include four Denny’s restaurants and a Skateland roller skating rink. The motto is clear: “We can get you in, get you help, and get you on your way in 15 minutes or less.”
Sunshine Ace Hardware. Sunshine Ace has six locations in South Florida, but the downtown Naples store is unlike any of the others, said store manager Sherry Kish. Walk into the sporting goods area and you see a very large fishing boat. Above the boat is a mangrove and beside the mangrove are two large murals depicting the area. And all around, the store uses a cinnamon, beige and green color scheme to hammer home the one-of-a-kind impression.
On Thursday, store profiles from Georgia, Hawaii and Idaho.
Hardware Show to open with depth and diversity
As the National Hardware Show prepares to kick off in Las Vegas next week, event organizers say the show continues to attract a lineup of retailers and distributors described as "one of the deepest and most diverse" in the show’s 66-year history.
The traditional powerhouses of Home Depot, Walmart, Sears, Costco and Leroy Merlin will be represented at the May 10 to 12 event, but so will additional retailers such as ShopRite/PriceRite, SkyMall, Amazon.com, QVC and Cabela’s. There will also be a significant number of independent hardware retailers representing the Ace, True Value and Home Hardware cooperatives, as well as distributors like Orgill, Distribution America, Gro Group, Lancaster and others.
“For retailers and distributors, the National Hardware Show represents a way to stay ahead of the competition and put the latest and most innovative products in front of their customers,” said Rich Russo, event director, National Hardware Show. “We look forward to an attendee list that reflects not only a Who’s Who in home improvement but a variety of outlets that show how much our industry continues to expand to include the entire channel.”
The categories of buyers attending this year also include BJs; Target, HSN, Price Chopper, CVS and Albertson’s; Arett Sales Corp., Commerce Corp. and Foster’s.