Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Supreme Court Edition

In 1999, a dealer won a pretty big case in a pretty big court of law.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Oct. 10, 1994 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, proclaimed in a page 4 headline: “Dealer gets day in Supreme Court — Oregon’s A-Boy wins first battle vs. city; to sue for losses.”

Sound impressive? It is. Here’s the story:

Dan Dolan, president of 11-location (including 8 home centers) A-Boy Stores of Portland, Ore., and his mother Florence, wanted to double the size of their 9,700-sq.ft. A-Boy Electric and Plumbing Supply store in Tigard, Ore., and pave the parking lot. But the city said A-Boy was required to offset the traffic impact of the expansion by relinquishing 10% of land for a public bike path.

The Dolans sued, citing the Fifth Amendment, which bars the taking of property by government agencies without compensation for the owners.

And here’s the bottom line: On June 24, 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Dolan’s favor in a 5-4 vote.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote the majority opinion in Dolan v. City of Tigard. Of all the cases decided during that particular term, he called the case the most important of the bunch.  He wrote Tigard had not adequately demonstrated the relationship between the additional traffic and the need for a bike path. He wrote that in the future, government must prove there is a “rough proportionality” between the development’s impact on the community and the size of the requested mitigation measures.”

The landmark case has its own Wikipedia page, explaining the case’s impact on limitations to the state’s ability to compel property owners to make certain public improvements.

Dolan had the last word in the article: “{The city of Tigard] singled out my mother and me to pay the price of a bike path for the public. We’ve got to keep government from going crazy.”

A-Boy continues to operate two stores in Portland.


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: AHMA’s Monopoly

In 1997, the American Hardware Manufacturers Association rolled the dice with a playful ad.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The May 5, 1997 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, included a two-page spread promoting what was then known as International Hardware Week. To illustrate the new easy-to-navigate lakefront complex of McCormick Place in Chicago, the organizers of the International Hardware Week designed a Monopoly board with plenty of old hardware show references.

Squares were labeled: “Keynote Address,” “Opening Reception,” and “Retail Concepts Center,” among many others. Instead of the B&O Railroad, the board featured “The El,” referring (of course) to the famous elevated trains of the Chicago Loop.

The modified playing board was accompanied by the headline: “Just follow the simple directions.”

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association described the 1997 International Hardware Week in Chicago – combining the National Hardware Show and the National Building Product Exposition & Conference – as “the biggest in history.”

While the AHMA lost control of the National Hardware Show in 2005 (the AHMA dissolved  in early 2018) the National Hardware Show lives on under the management of Reed Exhibitions. This year’s show is set for May 7-9 in Las Vegas.


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: The Red River flood

In 1997, Dealers in North Dakota dealt with a 500-year flood.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Aug. 4, 1997 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, covered the great flood of 1997 in Grand Forks, N.D.

Over a picture that brings to mind the current watery devastation in North Carolina, the headline reads: “Spring flood takes toll on Grand Forks dealers.” And the article explained that a blizzard, an ice storm and a 500-year-flood conspired to raise the waters of the Red River to damaging levels. The flood destroyed 5,000 area businesses and left many homes uninhabitable, according to the article.

Can today’s storm-rattled business owners learn from those who survived the great flood of 1997. Maybe they can.

Rick Simonson shows the height of the flood.

Rick Simonson was manager of hard-hit Simonson Lumber and Hardware. His message at the time was one of patience and perseverance. “When I walked in [the store], I could have gotten down and lost hope, and none of us would have tried. So you just grab a broom and a power washer and keep going. You’ve got to stay calm. You’re the leader.”

Bob Peabody, president of Lumber Mart, recommended to be aware that stress — an inevitable feature of flood devastation – can creep into decision making. “As you become subjected to more stress, you think you function, but you don’t.” He added: “If it were just Lumber Mart’s problems, it would be simple. I’ve got employee concerns, too.”

Peabody also stressed the importance of understanding what’s in your insurance policy.

Also quoted in the article was North Dakota’s crisis counseling coordinator: “Be patient, but get back to normal as fast as possible. You don’t want to give the impression that you’ve been through a trauma, and you don’t have to be responsible. It doesn’t mean something won’t be expected of you for the rest of your life.”


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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