Gillman Home Center acquires Aurora Lumber
Gillman Home Center, the nine-unit hardware and pro dealer based in Batesville, Ind., has acquired Aurora Lumber, a 150-year old company located in Aurora. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to Curtis Gillman, Gillman Home Center vice president of operations, the company will begin making strategic updates to Aurora Lumber immediately, expanding its product selection, and initiating store enhancements inside and out. The company will eventually transition to the Gillman Home Center name and brand identity, the company said in a press release.
“This really will be the best of both worlds for Aurora Lumber’s customers and employees,” Gillman said. “We are excited about combining the aspects that have made Aurora a successful business for more than 150 years with the unique benefits of Gillman Home Center and creating an outstanding new lumber and home improvement resource for the community.”
Owned by the Petty family for more than 50 years, Aurora Lumber sells lumber, hardware and specialty items for contractors and remodelers.
“We believe this is the best decision for the future of our business and its role in the Aurora community,” explained John Petty of Aurora Lumber. “It ensures Aurora Lumber will remain an important resource. Just as importantly, our employees can continue to provide outstanding service and support to our customers. We look forward to this new chapter in our company’s story with Gillman Home Center.”
Gillman Home operates nine locations in Indiana and Ohio and has approximately 200 employees.
Product Central: Skilsaw
Of course, good things come in small packages. But everyone also knows that awesome things come in big packages with warnings on the side of the box and sharp, shiny accessories.
The power tools assembled in the latest edition of the HBSDealer merchandise review represent both types of packages. They also represent a category that can position retailers firmly in the mind of the consumer as a core hardware destination.
Power tools are not without their challenges, to put it mildly. Competition is fierce from the toughest competitors. And few categories are more sensitive to price differentials and more subject to price comparisons. The retail rule of thumb in this area: If you’re in power tools, get in power tools in a big way. Awareness of product innovations is one key to being a big player.
Here is one power tool notable from HBSDealer’s annual roundup:
Skilsaw is a pioneer of the portable circular saw. Here’s the brand’s entry into the linear cutting market — a 13-amp reciprocating saw with patented Buzzkill technology. The works inside suppresses vibration up to 35% over the competition, the company claims. (skilsaw.com)
Check out other products featured in the October 2017 issue of HBSDealer magazine.
Hey, what’s the rush?
Eager to get merchandise into shoppers’ hands the same day they place an order, 65% of retailers will offer same-day delivery within two years. This was according to the “2017 Digital Commerce Benchmark Survey,” from Boston Retail Partners.
Currently, 51% of retailers indicate they offer same-day delivery, up from 16% last year, and within two years, 65% plan to offer this service. Delivery via a third party service, such as Uber or Lyft has also increased from 20% last year to 32% this year. The reason for the increase: retailers want to provide different options that enable customers to shop, purchase and receive their goods on their own terms.
Looking ahead, same-day delivery services will be even more innovative, as retailers explore autonomous fulfillment. Brands will also pursue self-driving vehicles and “helper robots,” the study said.
“With Amazon offering same day delivery in some markets, the push is on for retailers to get items delivered to customers as soon as possible,” said Jeffrey Neville, VP at BRP. “Autonomous delivery and distribution are the next step with self-driving vehicles soon a reality and a few food delivery start-ups already testing the concept.”
These developments are pre-requisites if retailers want to adapt to the new customer journey, and accommodate the blurred lines of retail and innovative methods of shopping driven by mobile technology, artificial intelligence and rapidly changing fulfillment methods. To succeed, retailers may need to reinvent themselves to create an effective blend of the physical and digital worlds to maintain customer loyalty, the report explained.
To prepare for the future of retail, the study outlines three key customer imperatives:
- Personal: Combining behavioral, historical and customer profile data empowers retailers to deliver tailored and relevant content to meet customers’ individual needs. In fact, 38% of retailers indicate that improving personalization is a top digital customer experience priority.
- Ubiquitous: Customer expectations for a personalized, seamless experience require retailers to follow customers’ journeys as they research and shop from anywhere. That’s why 49% of retailers will offer customers the ability to ‘start anywhere, finish anywhere’ within five years.
- Unified: Retailers’ technology, processes and organization need to be unified and aligned across channels to offer a seamless and consistent customer experience. Thus, 54% of retailers indicate that creating a consistent brand experience across channels is a top priority.
In a separate study, shipping speed was found to be so important to online shoppers that 87% said this category was a key factor when deciding whether to shop with an e-commerce brand again. That’s according to “How Fast Delivery and Quality Packaging Drives Customer Loyalty,” a report from Dotcom. Sixty-seven percent of online shoppers would pay more money to get same-day delivery if they needed the package by a deadline, such as an anniversary, while 47% would pay more for same-day delivery simply because they wanted their package more quickly. Both statistics demonstrate that consumers distinguish between a need and a want, yet desire fast shipping when available, the report summarized.
The Home Depot said last week that it’s joining Google Express this fall, adding Google Assistant’s voice shopping ability for customers via the Google Express website and app.
Last month, Walmart similarly announced its partnership with Google to bring voice shopping to Walmart customers. Some 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month this year, according to research released in May from eMarketer.