Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Rickel goes HoM

In 1990, a new era for Rickel’s home improvement model.

BY Ken Clark

The April 23, 1990 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, covered the opening of the brand new HoM prototype store from Rickel.

HoM’s fashionable prototype premiered in Toms River, N.J., “to positive reviews from industry watchers and consumers alike,” according to the story. The headline proclaimed: “Rickel ushers in a new era with HoM…”

A companion article continued the headline: “…  but without its president.” Bob Harrow left the 51-unit chain, apparently because of his refusal to relocate from Massachusetts to New Jersey, the article reported.

The Toms River, N.J., store was strong in decor.

But back to the prototype. The 67,000 sq. ft. store in Toms River eschewed building materials and broad plumbing and electric areas for higher-margin categories such as kitchen and bath and ready-to-assemble furniture. According to Rickel Chairman Moshe Meidar, the store is one in which “women are not intimidated and men aren’t challenged.”

Rickel spent months hammering out a $3 million design with Retail Planning Associates, a consulting firm based in Columbus, Ohio. The result was a “European look” that incorporated such things as a gourmet candy shop and a valet service for shoppers.

The 50-unit Rickels chain planned to convert three existing stores in New Jersey to the HoM format, with others to follow.

The transition between departments is designed to simulate the movement from room to room in a home.

Do you remember Rickels? Share your comments with us 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


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