HARDWARE STORES

Westlake Hardware to send out mobile weather alerts

BY Brae Canlen

Westlake Ace Hardware is partnering with SoundBite Communications, a provider of mobile marketing solutions, to launch a campaign that sends weather-related mobile notifications combined with special marketing offers. Called “Weather the Storm,” the mobile alerts allow Westlake’s customers to receive communications based on National Weather Service information and their particular zip codes.

Liz Benditt, director of customer relationship development at Westlake said, "When the weather turns bad, we’re ready with the advice and products our customers need to protect their homes and property. In fact, weather emergency preparedness is one of Westlake’s specialties and the launch of the text alert program, leveraging SoundBite’s mobile marketing offering, is another way we ensure our customers are well prepared for whatever Mother Nature dishes out."

Westlake Ace Hardware, the largest member of the Ace Hardware co-op, operates 88 neighborhood hardware stores in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. 

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How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?
HARDWARE STORES

Rona announces two executive hires

BY Brae Canlen

Rona, the largest chain of home improvement retailers and distributors in Canada, has appointed Dave Carr to the position of VP retail, Western Canada, and François Hardy to the position of VP dealer-owner network development.

After beginning as an employee of a TOTEM store lumberyard in 1992, Carr quickly climbed the ranks to become assistant manager, then store manager. After managing several stores in Alberta, Carr became a regional manager, then general manager, and finally VP of TOTEM in 2008, three years after Rona’s acquisition of the company.

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Rona operates a network of more than 950 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats, with more than C$6 billion in annual sales. 

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How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?
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The other side of Mark Baker

BY HBSDealer Staff

In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, former Home Depot merchant Mark Baker — now the CEO of the newly public Orchard Supply Hardware — talks about his expansion plans for the California chain, last year’s net losses ($15 million to $17 million), his favorite mode of transportation (a Cessna Caravan) and his motorcycle (a Harley-Davidson Road King). 

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