House-Hasson sees ‘strong’ economy

Based on activity at House-Hasson Hardware Company’s three annual buying markets, the economy is doing better than you might think, if you’ve been reading the financial section of the newspaper.

“Various news reports say the economy is slowing down, but there’s no evidence of that at our markets,” said Don Hasson, president of the Knoxville, Tenn.-based distributor. “The economy hasn’t slowed down that we can observe, based on the buying patterns of our dealers, the growth of vendors at our markets, and the results each are achieving.”

Hasson also had a positive take on lumber-price deflation. He said lumber is down about 30% in cost, and that has led to an increase in sales volume. “That’s a boon to homebuilders, construction contractors and the whole economy,” Hasson said.

The distributor declined to reveal its annual sales figures. But House-Hasson reported a 15% increase in “Bonus Buy” specials in individual items and assortments at its October market in Tennessee.

Meanwhile, House-Hasson said it has benefited from the demise of rival distributor HDW in some southern territories.

“Our dealer and sales base expansion into Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas is having a great effect,” said Patrick McCutcheon, House-Hasson VP of sales. “We added sales staff that had previously worked with HDW, a now-closed Greenwood, Miss., hardware distributor. They have knowledge of these new areas for us and credibility with dealers. It’s benefitting everyone.”