DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Westlake Ace expands in Wichita

BY HBSDealer Staff

Westlake Ace Hardware has acquired two stores in Wichita, Kansas, increasing its total store count to 98 locations in eight states.

“Westlake Hardware’s vision is to be the best, most helpful hardware stores on the planet,” said Tom Knox, CEO of Westlake. “We are excited to deepen our roots in Wichita and expand our relationship with the community. As we continue to grow, we will always be there to help our customers keep their households running smoothly by providing the highest level of service, know-how, and products.”

The new stores are located at 642 N. Andover Rd. in Andover, Kansas, and 6230 E. Central Ave. in Wichita, Kansas. Both locations were formerly Williams Ace Hardware stores that are in the process of being re-branded as Westlake Ace locations.

While both new stores will sell products like fasteners, tools, plumbing and electric supplies, paint, outdoor living and BBQ products, and lawn and garden supplies, the Andover location will also continue to carry farm & feed supplies.

General Managers have also been named at both locations: Michael Thornton in Wichita, and James Jaeger in Andover.

Westlake Ace has three other locations in Wichita: 3110 E. Douglas, 2559 S. Seneca, and 8829 W. Central.

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People of the Year: Steve Synnott

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The past 12 months add up to a very big year for Steve Synnott.

The home improvement industry executive oversaw a merger that brought PRO Group and Reliable Distributors together under one roof, forming an entity with an increased competitive advantage and a larger presence in hardware distribution.

The companies announced the deal in October, which will add 74 distributors to the PRO Group network and $2 billion in volume.

Synnott became CEO in 2003. Since he purchased the privately-held company from Gary Cosgrave in 2012, the goal has been steady: to deliver added value to the company’s members. Now, he has high hopes for the merger’s ability to reduce infrastructure costs and other channel costs for member suppliers, distributors and customers.

Additionally, the merger will expand the variety of suppliers and distributors and the synergies among them, boosting purchasing power and product selection in the same breath.

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HBSDealer recognized 15 passionate industry players in our most recent issue. Did we miss anyone? We encourage you to share with us examples of industry leadership in 2016. Write to us at [email protected].

 

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PLMA salute’s Ace’s holiday lights

BY HBSDealer Staff

Ace Hardware announced its private label brand Celebrations has been named a 2016 award winner by the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA).

Celebrations Platinum LED holiday lights won the PLMA’s Salute to Excellence award for the Home and Seasonal category. Nominations were judged based on overall concept, innovation, presentation and value.

“The Ace team is honored to be recognized by the Private Label Manufacturers Assocation for our Celebrations Platinum LED holiday lights,” said Cynthia Brasic, global private label manager, Ace Hardware Corp. “We’re thrilled that our rebranding efforts have caught the attention of the industry, and most importantly, we look forward to delighting shoppers in Ace stores this holiday season.”

The Celebrations line is one of seven private label brands at Ace.

Ace’s recognition from PLMA is the result of a packaging refresh for the Celebrations holiday line. The rebranding initiative centered on making packaging as informative as possible with consumer-friendly bullet points, icons and updated imagery to help customers understand the upgraded features and benefits.

Nominations for PLMA's annual Salute to Excellence Awards are made by retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, brokers and trade suppliers. Products are divided into Food & Drink Awards and Home & Health Awards and then subdivided by category of product. Products must have been introduced into the marketplace within the preceding 12 months.

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