In the News

New Stores, People on the Move & Other News

New Stores:

Aubuchon Hardware is opening a new store in Monroe, Conn.

The Graf family opened Canfield Ace Hardware in Canfield, Ohio.

Steve and Monica Sorenson bought Simpson’s True Value in Madelia, Minn., and renamed it Sorenson True Value.

Gary and Michelle Meny opened their third Meny’s True Value to replace the shuttered Muller True Value in Ferdinand, Ind.

Jamie and Toma Leveto opened Handyman Supply’s fourth store in Struthers, Ohio.

John and Kate Vinelli have opened Ace Hardware & Lumber of Bradford (Pa.).

Busy Beaver relocated to a new location in Canton, Ohio, that formerly housed Sears Hardware and is rebranding that store as True Value Hardware.

Timberline Enterprises has acquired Braintree Lumber Co. in Braintree, Mass.

Kodiak Building Partners acquired Jenkins Lumber & Hardware in Alpine, Wyo.

The Heuser family is opened their second Heuser Ace Hardware in Hardeeville, S.C.

Westlake Ace Hardware has opened Ace Hardware of Chico (Calif.) to replace a former Orchard Supply Hardware store.

Russell Building Supply has opened a new location in Auburn, Ala.

US LBM Holdings has acquired Forge Lumber with locations in Cincinnati and Erlanger, Ky.

Kudos To:

Century Club retailer Anders Hardware, with stores in Northport and Tuscaloosa, Ala., was honored with the Alabama Centennial Retailer Award from the Alabama Retail Association. Anders Hardware began as J.H. Anders Mercantile Co. in Northport in 1909 and is now operated by fourth-generation owner Rich Anders.

Kenneth and Donna Malone are celebrating the 80th anniversary of Beaty Hardware in Cleveland, Tenn.

Will Cook Ace Hardware, operated by three generations of the Muersch family in Homer Glen, Ill., is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Kortendick Ace Hardware was named Best Neighborhood Hardware Store for the 11th straight year in Best of Racine voting.

Alper’s True Value Hardware, a Century Club retailer in Port Washington, N.Y., was recognized for its contributions to the community and the state as the recipient of the 2019 state Senate Empire Award.

McCoy True Value in Indianola, Iowa, and Taylorsville Hardware in Taylorsville, Ky., were named quarterfinalists in the Independent We Stand “Independent Small Business of the Year Award.” The Indie Awards are presented by STIHL Inc., with supporting sponsors Do it Best Corp.PPG Paints and Nationwide Marketing Group. To vote, go to www.IndieBizAward.com.

Diana Newton and David Sturdivant were elected to the Do it Best Corp. board of directors. Newton is vice president of Bay Hardware in Seal Beach, Calif., and Lunada Bay Hardware in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., while Sturdivant serves as COO/CFO of Russell Lands, which operates Russell Do it Center, with nine home centers in central Alabama.

Diana Newton
Diana Newton»
David Sturdivant
David Sturdivant 

People on the Move:

Doug Audette has been named the new president and CEO of United Hardware Distributing Company, replacing the retiring Steve Draeger.

Do it Best Corp. has promoted Shane Burnsworth to power tools merchandise manager and Lyndsey Steffen to store design planner.

Kirk Armstrong has been hired as VP of distribution and supply chain innovation at Ace Hardware Corp.

Wholesalers in the News:

True Value Company landed the top spot in Newsweek’s 2020 list of America’s Best Customer Service Brands in the ‘Home Improvement Stores’ category.

At the House-Hasson Hardware Fall Dealer Market in Sevierville, Tenn., President and CEO Don Hasson reported record sales for the company, up 20% through the first 3 quarters of 2019. Hasson also noted the company’s 100,000-square-foot expansion of its Knoxville warehouse is progressing nicely.

Don Hasson
Don Hasson »

Other News:

Tecum Capital Partners has provided equity to back JPB Partners’ acquisition of The Helpful Hardware Company, a chain of 8 Ace Hardware stores headquartered in Midway, Ga. CEO Darin Workman retains a minority stake and will remain with the company.

ECi Software Solutions announced that CEO Ron Books was named the Fort Worth Business Press’ 2019 Top Private Company CEO, while President and COO Trevor Gruenewald was honored with the 2019 Forth Worth Business Press C-Suite Award and a Gold Stevie® for Lifetime Achievement in the 2019 International Business Awards. ECI was also named one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ in North America for the fourth year in a row.

Hultafors Group of Sweden has acquired Custom LeatherCraft Mfg.

Signify has entered into an agreement to acquire Cooper Lighting Solutions from Eaton for $1.4 billion.

Old Masters has launched a new website at www.myoldmasters.com.

STIHL’s new headquarters.
STIHL’s new headquarters. »
STIHL Brand Experience.
STIHL Brand Experience.»

STIHL Inc. celebrated the opening of a new 80,000-square-foot administration building and campus improvements in Virginia Beach, Va. It features a state-of-the-art training center for authorized STIHL dealers, outdoor demonstration area, STIHL concept store and a chain saw “Helix” art installation, crafted out of more than 30 STIHL chain saws dating back to 1936, representing how chain saw innovation is part of the STIHL legacy.

Mayhew Tools has acquired BestWay Tools.

In Memory:

Michael Simpson, who worked for the family hardware business in South Portland, Maine, died September 6 at the age of 41 after a long battle with brain cancer. He began working at Shoppers True Value Hardware in 2005, working alongside his father Thomas and sister Jessica. He is also survived by his wife Laurie Shannon, daughter Rosie and brother Alejandro.

Terry Toney, president of Whit Davis Lumber Plus, with four stores in central Arkansas, passed away October 25 at the age of 50. He was on the board for First Arkansas Bank and Trust, Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club and Jacksonville Youth Baseball. He is survived by his wife Dena, children Tyler and Trent, parents Howard and Carolyn, and brothers Howard and Edward.

Do it Best President and CEO Dan Starr delivered his President’s Address to Shareholders.
Do it Best President and CEO Dan Starr delivered his President’s Address to Shareholders.»

Do it Best’s Starr Touts Positive Results for 2019

With a theme of “It all happens here,” the Do it Best Fall Market, held October 18-21 in Indianapolis, shined the spotlight on new products, new programs and best practices.

The Core Solutions exhibit showcased best-in-class plumbing and electrical products, while an updated market floor was highlighted by a New Item Gallery and Launch Zone displaying the latest product innovations. Friday’s program was centered on a Celebration of Excellence, shining the spotlight on noteworthy members and top vendors.

Dent Johnson, vice president-merchandising, said new initiatives are helping Do it Best members become a destination for paint. A strategic partnership with Paint Sundries Solutions provides access to dozens of new vendors, while The Color Bar design and layout raises the bar on the paint store experience to go with a very competitive brush program, he said.

“We’ve recently added Benjamin Moore as a drop-ship vendor, so our members can carry those top paint lines in addition to the Best Look private-label line and premium paints through Pratt & Lambert and Valspar,” Johnson said.

During his President’s Address to Shareholders, President and CEO Dan Starr noted the co-op closed the fiscal year with sales of nearly $3.5 billion, warehouse sales up 2.6 percent and a member rebate of $114 million. He touted Do it Best’s investment in a state-of-the-art transportation management system and new cloud-based forecasting and replenishment system.

LBM pricing volatility created the first big challenge, with prices sliding more than 50 percent from the previous June’s high mark, Starr said. “Our team renegotiated contracts with mills and became more agile with inventory control, managing reloads with lower levels of inventory in order to reduce our risk,” he said.

Tariffs were the next major hurdle to overcome. “I’m extremely proud of our team’s proactive approach to managing the strategy and communication as these tariffs were implemented. Our merchandising team successfully managed five times as many price changes as normal over a four-month period. That meant we needed to develop a new method for quickly detecting retail price movement of competitors, so we could be more agile with suggested retails,” Starr said.

Starr compared how Do it Best stacks up against its wholesale competition, while noting the co-op had a record number of new member conversions in 2019. He pointed out that True Value is now a for-profit company, where all profits go back to the investment company that owns them.

“We have good data on what our competitors charge for product. And I’m very confident that we have a total delivered cost of goods advantage,” Starr said. “For every dollar of gross profit, how much of that comes back to you as a shareholder versus how much is absorbed by expenses? The answer to that question tells you everything about performance.”

He told members in attendance, “For True Value, when they last paid a rebate, only 10 cents of every dollar of gross profit went back to their members. Ace comes out at 21 cents of every dollar back into their members’ pockets. But look at Do it Best. Fully 55 cents of every dollar of gross profit is distributed back to you.”

Starr closed by paying tribute to Don Wolf, the co-op’s distinguished former president who recently passed away. Starr said everyone at Do it Best continues to be inspired by Don’s mission to find ways to improve the value of the co-op for all members.

Early in his career, Starr remarked that Don gave him a card—4 keys to a happy and productive life. They are:
• Treat others as you would like to be treated.
• Be happy and have an optimistic attitude.
• Think for yourself. Don’t be a follower.
• Hoe to the end of the row. Finish the job.

“His widow, Ginny, told me that Don was still handing out those cards at the assisted living center. For Don Wolf, the mission was never accomplished. And on behalf of his second family, I’d like to close by saying thank you, Don. Thank you for all that you gave to so many—you truly hoed to the end of the row,” Starr concluded.

For the Full Story:

Century Club retailer R.W. Shattuck Hardware buys another Century Club retailer, Bradford’s Ace HardwareClick here.

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