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Wichita retailer wins golden honor

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The scent of freshly baked sugar cookies helped a Wichita, Kan., flooring retailer earn respect from its peers. 

Star Flooring, an independently owned shop in Wichita, Kan., took home the Gold Standard Award from the World Floor Covering Association.

The award includes a $5,000 check. 

“It is clear to me after reviewing multiple applicants that Star Flooring ‘left no stone unturned’ when it comes to the retail experience,” said Scott Humphrey, CEO of the WFCA. “Not only have they been recognized four years running in their largest daily as the No. 1 flooring retailer in the city, but they have completed a state-of-the-art store renovation with themed room settings, a children’s play space, and custom sample displays to keep everything clean and organized.”  

The store pipes in the scent of freshly baked sugar cookies to enhance the appeal of its kitchen showroom area. Also, the store’s sales force is comprised predominantly of certified interior designers.

Allen Clouse, director of retail sales, Star Flooring, stated, “We are honored to receive the Gold Standard award from the WFCA. The foundation of our family-owned business is based on the very principles this award represents. We work hard to continuously improve, and I am proud that the team is being recognized by the WFCA.

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United Hardware retailers meet in Minneapolis

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Attendees of the United Hardware January Buying Event at the Minneapolis Convention Center saw thousands of products, including an expanded "Gear Up, Get Outdoors." 

The front-and-center sporting goods and outdoors-related area "continues to be popular with United Hardware retailers seeking to carve out their niches in their local markets," according to the company. 

The Plymouth, Minn.-based co-op, with 1,200 dealers in 18 states and retail identities, including "Hardware Hank," also pointed to the success of the Store of Opportunity area. This area is described as a collection of products discounted by at least 30%, and one of the most popular areas of the show.

"The Store of Opportunity is a big way that we work with retailers to help them invest in their stores and focus on growth," said Steve Draeger, president and CEO of United Hardware.

The event also provided seminars on the new, internal United Hardware website. "We’re very excited about the new website," said Draeger. "Our retailers are very excited about the new features, and we think it’s a big step that will pay dividends in the future." 

United Hardware’s June Buying Market is slated for June 13-15, also in Minneapolis. 

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How emerging brands break through

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Why do dark horse companies win — and how do they win?

That topic is the focus of a new book by sales strategist and Elevation Forum founder Dan Mack: “Dark Horse: How Challenger Companies Rise to Prominence.” 

The best leaders and companies bring more than unique products or services to the market — they consistently tap into the 10 key growth enablers Mack outlines in his book.

Dan Mack’s "Dark Horse" is a documentation of his various experiences as a sales strategist and entrepreneur, having spent 25 years as a leader of two challenger companies.

The book is a summation of five years of research, interviews and consulting discussions with more than 100 emerging companies that, by all accounts, were outmatched by the competition — yet went on to great success.

Ken Martindale, president and COO of Rite Aid, called the book, "a must-read for anyone who is inventing or re-inventing their business."

"Dan truly understands the power of the ‘Dark Horse’ in a business setting,” said Joe Magnacca, president and CEO of Radio Shack. “Believe in the ‘Dark Horse’ — and be the first to see it."

Added Walgreens VP/GMM of beauty and personal care Shannon Curtin: "Dan has uncovered the hidden assets and blueprint that challenger companies utilize to unlock the secrets to game-changing results."

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