Phoenix-area retailer joins Ace’s 10-person board
Ace Hardware retailers Jim Ackroyd and Gina Schaefer, and financial executive Jeffrey Girard were re-elected to Ace Hardware Corp.’s board of directors at the hardware co-op’s annual stockholders meeting June 14 at its corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill.
Ace retailer David Karsten was elected to his first term on the board. Ackroyd, Girard, Schaefer and Karsten each will serve three-year terms on the 10-person board of directors, which sets strategic policy and direction for Ace management.
Ackroyd, 55, was elected to his second three-year term as a member director. He serves as the CEO of Vision Ace Hardware, a 10-store chain based in Naples, Fla. In addition to his work with Ace, Ackroyd has previously held CFO positions and managed real estate development companies.
Schaefer, 40, was elected to serve a second three-year term as a member director. Along with husband Marc Friedman, she owns and manages Logan Hardware, the parent company of seven urban Ace Hardware stores in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Schaefer, who has won numerous business and entrepreneur awards, is also heavily involved in community organizations.
Karsten, 47, joins the board for his first term as a member director. He opened his first Ace Hardware store nine years ago in the Phoenix area after serving as a trader at the Chicago Stock Exchange. Since then, Karsten has expanded his business, opening two additional Ace stores with a strong focus in niche merchandising.
Jacksonville, Fla., resident Girard, 63, was elected to serve a second term as a non-member director and is qualified as an “audit committee financial expert” for SEC purposes based on his CFO tenure at two Fortune 500 companies. Girard also serves on the board of Winn-Dixie Stores.
“We’re drawing from some of the most innovative and experienced Ace retailers, as well as other outstanding industry professionals to help lead Ace’s strategic initiatives in the years ahead,” said David Ziegler, Ace retailer and chairman of the board for Ace Hardware. “I’m extremely proud of the diverse points of view and experience on our board of directors; it is a direct representation of the distinctiveness of our unique Ace retailers.”
Sears to spin off Orchard Supply
Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings Corp. said it plans to spin off its interest in Orchard Supply Hardware Stores, an 89-store chain that operates in California.
Orchard Supply Hardware — also known as OSH — recently named Mark Baker, a former top merchant at The Home Depot, as its CEO. OSH is based in San Jose and posted $660.7 million in sales in 2010, with a profit of $8.7 million.
Provided the deal goes through, it is expected that OSH will be traded on Nasdaq as a stand-alone company. Currently, Sears owns 80% of OSH. The rest of the California hardware store company is owned by Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund.
Orchard Supply was founded in 1931, and acquired by Sears Roebuck in 1996.
When he took over as CEO in March, Baker described OSH as "an exceptional retailer with a unique value proposition comprised of service, selection and convenience."
State-by-State Hardware Store All-Stars: R.I., S.C. and S.D.
From New York’s Island to the Redwood Forests, the great American hardware store maintains a revered place in the commercial history of these United States. Below are high performers representing Rhode Island, South Carolina and South Dakota.
• Rhode Island
Adler’s Design Center and Hardware
“Adler’s is open, we have plenty of shovels and ice melt, and our parking lot is plowed. So don’t be an RI wimp. Come and visit us.” That was the Facebook posting from Adler’s Design Center and Hardware on Dec. 27, the day after the blizzard snowed in millions of people in the Northeast. The Providence store was quick to use social media to seize an opportunity. Whether it is 2011 or 1919 — when it opened as an Army-Navy store — two goals remain: Treat each customer with respect and offer quality at a reasonable price. Today as then, customers are treated like guests.
• South Carolina
Simpson Ace Hardware
Plenty of Ace stores participate in the co-op’s brown bag sale event, but not many get this question on their Facebook page: “Will 20% be taken off guns and ammo?” (The answer was “yes,” if it fits in the bag.) Simpson Ace Hardware has combined hunting, fishing, sporting goods and home improvement at its flagship store in Sumter, S.C. Brand name flip-flops and sunglasses straps join electrical and plumbing in its newest unit. The other three locations (two in Sumter and one in Manning) are more traditional hardware stores, although they also carry some of the non-traditional SKUs.
• South Dakota
Twin City Hardware
Lots of people living in Deadwood, S.D., didn’t care much for the HBO series named after their small town. Too much cussing, prostitution and other unseemly behavior. “We don’t all swear like that,” said Les Bellet, who owns Twin City Hardware with his wife Cindy. “But the show was really good for the town.” Deadwood draws a couple million tourists a year, who come to gamble in the casinos and see where Wild Bill Hickok died. Twin City Hardware serves the needs of both residents (population 1,272) and businesses, and Bellet has plans to expand into building materials. “We just want to be a medium-sized lumberyard,” he said. “A place where a guy can get 20 boards or some insulation.”
Next week, HCN Monday will profile all-star retailers in Tennessee, Texas and Utah. Or, to read the original story as it appeared in the May issue of Home Channel News, log on or register here.