DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Westlake Ace makes a cool donation

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lenexa, Kansas-based Westlake Ace Hardware’s summer fan drive to benefit the elderly generated some $30,000 worth of cooling equipment. 

The retailer partnered with The Salvation Army for the drive July 17 to Aug. 3. More than $30,000 was donated, equating to more than 2,000 fans donated — at cost — to The Salvation Army.

Westlake chose six markets in which to host the fan drive — Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Omaha/Lincoln, Wichita and Hutchinson, comprising of 49 store locations. Kicking off the fan drive with a donation of 50 fans per market, Westlake then asked customers to donate at the register. For a $5 donation, one ‘fan blade’ could be given, $10 provided two ‘fan blades’, $15 for ‘three blades’ or $20 for the ‘entire fan.’ 

“Our store managers and employees did a fabulous job of working with their local Salvation Army chapters and volunteers to make this a big success,” said Alicia Weber, director of marketing for Westlake. “By using local store marketing tactics such as offering free hot dogs/sodas, hosting a raffle or car wash and scheduling a radio remote, they were able to raise awareness of the program and increase donations.” 

Westlake operates 85 stores in the Midwest. 

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Ace rewires with Digital Lumens LED Lighting

BY HBSDealer Staff

Ace Hardware Corporation has employed the wares of Digital Lumens in upgrading the lighting of its 1-million-sq.-ft. Retail Support Center in Rocklin, California.

The facility has been outfitted in Digital Lumens Intelligent LED Lighting since October 2013, saving Ace an average of 81% on lighting-related energy use, the company said.

“As a member-owned cooperative, every dollar we save using the Digital Lumens system directly benefits our member stores,” said Reid Barney, facilities & loss prevention manager for Ace Hardware. “And since lighting is our single biggest energy warehousing expense, reducing lighting-related energy usage by an average of 81% since installing the system translates into extraordinary bottom-line savings. With higher quality light, we’ve more than doubled the foot candle readings within our facility, resulting in enhanced productivity and employee satisfaction – all while saving massive amounts of energy.”

The process involed an eight-month research project led by Pacific Gas & Electric to quantify the potential benefits, followed by the replacement of all 1,653 light fixtures in the facility. This in turn had the effect of reducing Ace’s power usage per square foot by 39.56%.

The PG&E study found that systems with "aggressive advanced controls" (read: the Digital Lumens system as it compares to basic LED lighting) deliver 43% more energy savings.

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Schaefer lauded as top female CEO

BY HBSDealer Staff

Gina Schaefer, CEO of nine-store, D.C.-area Ace chain A Few Cool Hardware Stores, was recognized recently as a top female CEO during the SmartCEO Brava! Awards.

Schaefer was among 32 women (of 200 applicants) recognized by Washington SmartCEO Media during the July 30 ceremony.

Schaefer has been at the helm of the Ace chain since opening her first hardware store in 2003. Today, she sits on the Ace Hardware Corporate Board and is the board president for Think Local First D.C., a board vice chair for House of Ruth and a member of the Advisory Board for Jubilee Jobs.

The Brava! Awards celebrate the top women in business throughout the Washington metro area and are profiled in SmartCEO magazine.

This year’s winners generate moe than $254.6 million in annual revenue and collectively oversee over 1,111 employees.

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