Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: DIY Home Warehouse digs in

BY HBSDealer Staff

D.I.Y. Home Warehouse knew it was in for a fight in 1998. The page-five article of the Jan. 26, 1998 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, featured the headline: “As Depots encroach on its turf, DIY Home Warehouse gears up.”

According to the article, the 16-store DIY Home Warehouse changed its logo and shifted its inventory “as Home Depot stomps into northeastern Ohio.”

Unfortunately, the tactics didn’t work. DIY Home Warehouse closed its last store in August 2001.

But the Valley View, Ohio-based company didn’t go down without a fight. In addition to changing its color scheme from orange and black to turquoise and yellow, it expanded its FrugalBees closeout concept as it de-emphasized flooring and power tools – two categories dominated by Home Depot.

According to Dennis Hoff, VP and general merchandise manager, the typical 84,000 sq. ft. Home Warehouse had to pick its spots when competing against the larger home improvement warehouse competitors. One spot was plumbing and paint, described as company strengths. And DIY Home Warehouse also boosted its furniture selection as a differentiator.

DIY Home Warehouse also had high hopes for Frugal Bees business. According to Hoff, a closeout annex and its constantly changing merchandise mix draws people into the store even when they are not involved in home projects. While the focus remained on its core business, the FrugalBees featured a wide range of products that included toys, books, towels, cookware and sporting goods. “We’re going for a broader appeal than just the traditional mix,” Hoff said.

Do you remember DIY Home Warehouse? Let us know at [email protected]


HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact us at SchafferAssociates.com

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Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Safe, with Handy Dan

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Aug. 29, 1977 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, shined the editorial spotlight on home security under the headline “Security still a growth category.”

To illustrate the point, a photo depicts a Handy Dan “Home Protection Center,” including a scrambled list of bolts, locks, bars and other items to keep homes safe. The illustrated Handy Dan himself says “Let Handy Dan show you how to install security devices to protect your home and property.”

Around the industry in the late 1970s, safety was a big seller. “Security is a big, big area for us now,” Steve Jones, a buyer for NBC’s Coooper’s Ward & Harrington and People’s Lumber chains, told NHCN. “We’ve increased our SKUs by 30% in the last year.”

A big driver of sales for Denver’s Economy of Lumber in 1977 was the media, according to buyer Stephen Stookesberry. A robbery in a headline put cash in the register. And at the Ohio Handyman chain, Ed Grimes reported that locksets were big sellers, along with “see-through door viewers.”

It’s interesting to imagine what these dealers would think of high-tech security and video systems that are commonplace today. Send us your thoughts to [email protected].


HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact us at SchafferAssociates.com

 

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Throwback Thursday: Tried and Truitt

Back in 1988, NHCN covered a California dealer’s formula for success

BY HBSDealer Staff

The April 18, 1988 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, described Berkeley, Calif.-based dealer Truitt and White’s formula for success.

The article’s third paragraph dives into that formula: “an unusually talented and skilled sales force, a finely tuned inventory mix and a commitment to employee development and training.”

And then there’s something extra:

“One of the unique operations Truitt and White has recently instituted is the development of a parts and repair division for air-powered tools for contractors. Dan White, one of Bob White’s two sons who are involved in management and the company’s heir apparents, said it has trained a crew of employees to provide the added service.

“’One good thing about this operation,’ Dan White said, ‘is that we have the expertise to break down manufacturers’ tools and in that way, it helps us decide which lines to carry.’”

In 1988, the Bay area competition was stiff: Pay ‘N Pak, Builders Square and Home Depot were all in the mix. But Truitt and White has survived and thrived. In early 2014 The Marvin Design Gallery by Truitt & White expanded their operations by opening a showroom in Seaside, California.

Check out the company’s current website here.


HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact us at SchafferAssociates.com

 

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