He’s looking to buy a hardware store.
The “he” is Eric Hassett, a third-generation owner of Hassett Ace Hardware, headquartered in Half Moon Bay, California, a family-owned business since 1957, with five stores in the San Francisco Bay area.
Consolidation is the name of the game today.
“The average age of a hardware store owner, over the years, has stayed high,” said Hassett, speaking by phone.
There really isn’t much succession planning going on these days, said the owner. “The easiest exit path for an owner considering retirement is to sell.”
“There are more businesses for sale than ever before, that I’ve seen,” said Hassett, “Crown, Sunshine and Westlake are buyers.”
As for purchasing, he said it is significantly safer to go into an existing location. “It’s a ‘known’. You take a walk-through and do the sniff test and you know.”
Buying out the owner of an already existing hardware is more predictable for the buyer, and you can assess opportunities, such as the store needing updates, and “you can see distresses where profits can be increased,” said Hassett.