Westlake goes to Washington (state)
Westlake Ace Hardware will acquire the Dennis Company, a five-store retail hardware chain in coastal southwest Washington. With this acquisition, expected to close in late March, Westlake will own 121 stores across ten states.
The Dennis Company has five locations in Washington: Aberdeen, Elma, Long Beach, Montesano, and Raymond. According to Westlake officials, it will be a seamless transition of ownership and the stores will retain the Dennis Company name, management, personnel, and the current product mix.
Upon acquisition, Dennis Company stores will become part of the Ace network, and will be a division of Westlake Ace Hardware.
The Dennis Company opened in 1905, and has been operated by four generations of Dennis family members. The Ace deal was arranged through the current Dennis co-owners, Brent and Randy Dennis.
“Westlake is a growing and vibrant brand,” said Joe Jeffries, president and COO of Westlake Ace Hardware. “We are excited to welcome the Dennis Company into the Westlake family, expand our relationship within the communities they serve, and continue their proud tradition of outstanding customer service.”
Westlake has followed a course of steady expansion in recent years. Most recently, Westlake expanded into Chicago with the acquisition of Buikema’s Ace Hardware.
Eye on Retail: Small retailers loom large on Amazon
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) selling on Amazon Marketplace rang up big sales in 2017.
In 2017, more than 300,000 U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses joined the Amazon Marketplace — a network comprised of companies that operate in every state in the U.S., and more than 130 countries around the world. More than 140,000 of these small and medium-sized businesses surpassed $100,000 in sales on Amazon in 2017.
Customers ordered “billions of items” from these businesses through Amazon’s Marketplace. More than one billion items were purchased during the holiday season, and more than 140 million items were ordered between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to the company.
Other SMB milestones achieved in 2017 include:
- Fulfillment by Amazon shipped billions of items worldwide.
- Amazon Lending, a program launched in 2011, surpassed $3 billion lent to small businesses on Amazon.
- Amazon Handmade expanded to encompass 10 categories offering customers more than one million handcrafted items from thousands of artisans and small business owners across all 50 states, and more than 60 countries.
“More and more small and medium-sized businesses are choosing to join the Amazon Marketplace and sell alongside Amazon to reach customers around the world,” said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. “Entrepreneurs and small business owners are succeeding on Amazon, and reinvesting in their local communities, efforts which create jobs and support local suppliers.”
Woydziak Do it Best lights up a small town
Things are looking a little bit like Christmas at Woydziak Do it Best in Lyons, Kan. Actually more than a little.
When a reporter called the store to inquire about its involvement in the Lyons, Kan., Lighted Christmas Parade, the distinctive sound of Christmas carolers could be heard in the background. “Oh, those are the local middle school children,” said Jason Huddleston, co-owner with his wife Danica. “We have them in the store today.”
Woydziak stepped up to take the reins of the Lyons Annual Lighted Christmas Parade in 2016, when it appeared to be on the brink of shutting down. The support continued – and participation doubled — in 2017, with 52 floats and one of the biggest events of its kind to illuminate Lyons main street. [The store's Facebook page has photos of the parade.]
Not only that, Santa Claus himself made an appearance in the store Dec. 16. And the middle school carolers — all 30 to 40 of them — were raising funds to help families in need.
The Huddleston’s have owned the hardware store in Lyons for about 8 years. Asked how these events, and others like them throughout the year, contribute to the success of the hardware store, Jason did not hesitate: “It’s immense. The impact is unbelievable, especially in a smaller town like Lyons (population 3,800). People here are gung-ho on community involvement. And it helps business as customers realize that we’re not here just to take their money, we’re here to build this community.”