HARDWARE STORES

Kingfisher has a new idea for Chinese DIY retail

BY HBSDEALER Staff

British retail giant Kingfisher plans to go about its DIY retail business in China with a new approach, according to an article in the Financial Times.

The company’s CEO Ian Cheshire told the newspaper that big-box DIY "is not the model for China," which has proven difficult for DIY retailers to gain acceptance. The international retailer is trying a showroom format targeting the do-it-for-me customer.

Two years ago Kingfisher closed 22 of its DIY stores in China. It now operates 40 stores in China. 

Atlanta-based Home Depot also recognizes Chinese resistance to western-style DIY habits, and it too has closed a handful of stores over the past two years, cutting its presence there to eight locations. In February, Home Depot announced an effort to focus its China business on select, high-growth markets, especially Tianjin and Xi’an. 

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Michigan hardware store evolves out of dollar store

BY HBSDealer Staff

According to an article in the Grand Haven (Mich.) Tribune, a dollar store in Ferrysburg recently expanded into a full-blown hardware store.

The new 12,000-sq.-ft. store is called North Bank Hardware, affiliated with Do it Best. It is co-owned by John Leppink and Rich Cole. It used to be the Grand Dollar store.

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Do it Best recaps highlights — including a $105.8 million rebate

BY Ken Clark

At the 2011 Do it Best Fall Market in Indianapolis, the co-op distributed $105.8 million in combined rebates to member dealers. It was the eighth straight year that the distribution exceeded $100 million. 

“The distribution of these rebates to our member-owners is one of the most important and rewarding things we do,” said Bob Taylor, Do it Best Corp. president and CEO. “Even in the face of challenging economic times, our team is proud to demonstrate our commitment to the bottom line through operational efficiency and continuous improvement in our programs and services."

Business improvement again played a major role at the market. One lesson emphasized this year was the importance of developing a power department within the store. The best retailers, according to Taylor, make strong statements within their markets in their attempt to own various categories.

"Folks sometimes get hung up worrying too much about the competition and not enough about their own business," he told Home Channel News.

The co-op also emphasized the idea of customer rewards as a concept for 2012. 

Attendees of the market also had a chance to learn some life lessons from the world-famous basketball analyst Dick Vitale. The former coach and longtime ESPN analyst gave a spirited presentation that included the four Ds of success — desire, determination, discipline and dedication. "It really resonated with the crowd, and we received so many great comments," Taylor said.

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best Corp. also reported gross sales of $2.41 billion for the fiscal year, which ends in June. That’s up from $2.38 billion in the prior year.

So far in 2011, sales are running 8% ahead of last year, he said. Also welcome was the fact that 2010 was the first year since 2006 that all of the co-op’s sales categories finished ahead of the previous year.

"There are some things starting to move in a more positive direction," Taylor said. 

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