HARDWARE STORES

Westlake grabs a slice of Chicago

BY Ken Clark
Westlake Ace Hardware, the 100-plus-store retail division of Ace Hardware Corp., will enter the Chicagoland market through the acquisition of Buikema’s Ace Hardware.
 
Westlake agreed to acquire the seven-store Chicago-area hardware store in a deal expected to be completed on Jan. 2. With this acquisition, Westlake will operate 115 retail hardware locations in the U.S. 
 
“We are excited to expand in the Chicago area, and look forward to continuing Buikema’s Ace Hardware’s outstanding tradition of customer service,” said Tom Knox, CEO of Westlake. “As Westlake expands, our goal will never change – always help our customers keep their households running smoothly by providing the highest level of service, know-how, and products.”
 
[For more on Westlake’s attitude toward growth, click here.]
 
The new Westlake stores will retain the Buikema’s Ace name, as well as its former management, store personnel, and the current product mix. Founded in 1948, Buikema’s Ace Hardware has grown to include seven stores throughout the Chicagoland area: 
 
1030 North Washington St. (Naperville, Ill.)
5035 Ace Ln. (Naperville, Ill.)
963 West 75th St. (Naperville, Ill.)
2240 South Route 59 (Plainfield, Ill)
445 Weber Rd. (Romeoville, Ill.)
1705 North Main St. (Wheaton, Ill.)
90 East Loop Rd. (Wheaton, Ill.)
 
Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.
 
According to Kyle Buikema, president of Buikema's Ace Hardware, “Through three generations, my family has built Buikema’s Ace Hardware into what it is today – a vital business partner in the communities we serve. Handing over the reins to Westlake Ace Hardware at this point in our history makes a lot of sense, as their excellent reputation, shared values, and focus on continuity will help Buikema’s Ace continue to prosper well into the future.”
 
Jessie and Clarence Buikema opened their first store, Naperville Ace Hardware, in 1948. Since then, successive generations of the Buikema family have expanded the family business throughout the Chicagoland to include three locations in Naperville, two in Wheaton, and stores in Plainfield and Romeoville. The chain currently employs nearly 200 people.
 
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Eye on Retail: PetSmart debuts new concept

BY Marianne Wilson

The country's largest pet supplies retailer is hoping to get a bigger share of the $5.4 billion pet care services market — the fastest growing segment in the pet category.

PetSmart unveiled a new store concept‚ The Groomery, focused exclusively on pet grooming services, with the first locations opening in Manhattan and Oak Park, Ill. Additional locations will open in Scottsdale, Ariz., with two more expected to be announced soon.

The new format features a salon-style modern design in a boutique-sized space of about 1,800 sq. ft. to 2,500 sq. ft., which is much smaller than a traditional PetSmart. It offers such classic pet grooming services as baths, brushes, haircuts, nail trims and grinds, teeth brushings, paw maintenance, flea & tick treatments and de-shedding.

In addition, it also offers pampering “Spaw” treatments featuring coconut and other scents, pet-specific deep moisture shampoos and conditioners from popular human brand. There is also a self-service dog wash, allowing pet owners to bond and bathe with their own pups.

The lobby area of The Groomery stores sell high-end health and beauty pet essentials such as shampoos, brushes, collars, leashes and treats, including an expanded collection of at-home pet grooming supplies.

"When taking your pet to be groomed, proximity to the home is a key factor for convenience and to help reduce a pet's anxiety,” said Joanna Zucker, VP of services, PetSmart. “We know that a significant portion of our grooming business comes from people living within close proximity to a PetSmart store. So, we created The Groomery store design to help us get closer to where pet parents and their pets are living, especially in urban markets."

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A farewell to the nation’s oldest hardware store

BY HBSDealer Staff

Elwood Adams Hardware in Worcester, Mass., has been in business since 1872, earning the designation “oldest hardware store in America.” The store intends to close for good on Oct. 20.

Here’s the CBS Sunday Morning segment on the historic business and the end of an era:

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