HARDWARE STORES

CNRG acquires Marvin’s

BY Ken Clark

Natchez, Mississippi-based Central Network Retail Group has acquired 28-store Marvin’s.

In terms of footprint and sales volume, it’s the biggest acquisition for acquisition-oriented CNRG, which owns 13 other brands operating in 10 states. The move also reunites CNRG’s president Boyden Moore with the award-winning regional retail-chain he led as CEO until 2010.

“Marvin’s fits perfectly in our geography of stores, giving us a stronger position in the Southeast,” said Boyden Moore, president of CNRG. “Marvin’s is a very special brand and team of associates to me. I am especially proud to have the opportunity to add to the great history and growth of the company as a key brand at CNRG.”

Jimmy R. Smith, chairman of CNRG said: “We couldn’t be more excited about the addition of Marvin’s to our portfolio of stores and brands.”

In 2010, Marvin’s was recognized as Golden Hammer Retailer of the Year for its ability to innovate and compete against the national home centers. It championed an easy-to-shop and innovative store format. The stores sell a full assortment of lumber, hardware, plumbing, electrical, tools, paint, and lawn and garden supplies serving both DIY and Pro customers.

The company operates 28 home center stores throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee, with one under construction and set to open in October.

Marvin’s joins a growing list of CNRG brands. Among them are Town & Country Hardware (North Carolina), Elliott’s Hardware (Texas), Home Hardware Center (Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee) and LumberJack Building Centers (Michigan).

After Marvin’s, the next biggest company is Home Hardware Center, with 21 locations.

According to the CNRG website: “While all of our stores have large hardware and paint departments, strong staff and deep roots in their communities, they do vary in their focus and customer base.”

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Hardware All Stars: Maine & Rhode Island

BY Steph Koyfman

The retail sector is no stranger to change and upheaval, but the qualities that elevate stores to All-Star status are often timeless in nature.

This year's Hardware All Star selection (sponsored by Epicor) represented some of the country's best product knowledge, customer service, and community involvement, as well as some of the best stories and idiosyncracies.

The April issue of Hardware + Building Supply Dealer magazine contains the full list of 2015 honorees. Here are highlights from the class of 2015, continuing today with Maine and Rhode Island.

Caribou, Maine: S.W. Collins Co.

HBSDealer's 2014 Indepedendent Pro Dealer of the Year has a new design center, custom-millwork operation, and windows and doors business under its wing.

Though it's been around since 1844, this lumberyard company is still making big moves: It just opened up a new facility in Lincoln, featuring a 25,000-sq.-ft. drive-through lumberyard, an 18,000-sq.-ft. store and millwork warehouse.

For fifth-generation president Sam Collins, it all boils down to the culture S.W. Collins has created.

Cranston, Rhode Island: Durfee True Value Hardware

As Durfee True Value Hardware enters its fourth generation of ownership, the store is going back to the 1930s — at least in style. Wood wainscoting and drop-tin ceilings are part of a major refresh.

"We're every bit as modern as any other hardware store," said third-generation owner Paul Durfee. "We're just going back to our original look."

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Cole Hardware honored by CPSC

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Cole Hardware is one of four companies in California that was honored by the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) during its 6th Annual Arrow Awards ceremony at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on Aug. 6 at the California Resource Recovery Association’s 39th annual conference and tradeshow.

Cole Hardware won the Infinity Arrow Award for Service & Take-Back, which is given to a business with a take-back program for one or more products as an additional service to customers, and works with the producers of those products to develop safe storage and recovery of used products and packages.

Cole Hardware is one of the two original retailers that partnered with the San Francisco Retail Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program (Retail Program), allowing customers to drop off their household batteries. Cole’s take-back services have since expanded to all of its locations, collecting batteries, paint, fluorescent lights, and empty camp-size propane cylinders. Its four locations in San Francisco have collected 24% of the total waste by the Retail Program last fiscal year, including 1,500 lbs of household batteries.

Cole Hardware also partners with other organizations to accept electronic waste, scrap metal, old keys, printer cartridges, soft plastic, Brita products, and holiday lights for recycling.

“Cole Hardware is truly a leader in the retail industry by providing take-back services for such a large number of products,” said Heidi Sanborn, executive director of the CPSC.

All of Cole Hardware’s San Francisco locations are certified with the San Francisco Green Business Program, and it is one of the few partners in the San Francisco Retail Program that volunteer to provide take-back for all waste types in the program and collect at all locations.

“All Cole Hardware locations operate under the founder Dave's guiding premise: There are no strangers here, just friends we haven't met,” said Dave's son Rick Karp, who now serves as president.

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