This year is turning out to be just a little better for the housing industry than the past few years. As this column is being written, Home Channel News is reporting new-home sales coming in at the highest level in more than two years. Inventory of existing homes is down 20% from last year also. Granted, these past few years have been historically low years, forcing our readers, advertisers and all of their customers (builders and us, the general public) to baseline, streamline and work for real sunshine in our markets.
Robert and Vicki Amberg, owners of Gerstner Hardware in Glenn, Mich., recently proved their commitment to their surrounding community by re-locating a nearby Post Office designated to close and incorporating it into their store.
The story reminded me of my Uncle Jerry, proprietor of an independent store stuffed with hardware SKUs and located in South Newfane, Vt.
This summer, my dad, he one of the “Greatest Generation,” passed away after a full life. He died in the home he built with his own hands for our family in 1958: a three-bedroom cape on the south shore of Long Island, about 3 miles north (as the seagull flies) of the Great South Bay.
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?