The Hardware Connection Newsletter January 2017 | Vol. 1, No. 1 : Page 1

January 2017 • Vol. 1, No. 1

Upcoming Industry Events

Hardware Distribution Warehouses Inc. Spring Dealer Market, Jan. 20-22, Hot Springs Convention Center, Hot Springs, Ark.

House-Hasson Hardware Dealer Market, Jan. 26-28, Opryland Convention Center, Nashville, Tenn.

Monroe Hardware Spring Dealer Market, Feb. 10-12, Cabarrus Arena, Concord, N.C.

Florida Hardware Spring Dealer Market, Feb. 11-12, Double Tree Hotel, Orlando, Fla.

Orgill Spring Market, Feb. 16-18, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans

True Value Spring Reunion, Feb. 17-19, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif.

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo, March 1-4, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta

Ace Hardware Spring Convention, March 16-18, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta

Blish-Mize Spring Buying Market, March 17-18, Overland Park Convention Center, Overland Park, Kan.

International Home + Housewares Show, March 18-21, McCormick Place, Chicago

For a complete listing of calendar dates, click here: http://thehardwareconnection.com/program-features-benefits/calendar-of-events/
 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Upcoming+Industry+Events/2685046/375722/article.html.

Check Out These New Products



Professional Trimmer Line

• New line of professional trimmers features powerful low-emission engines, providing 30 percent longer run times than their predecessors, plus a simplified three-step start procedure enabled by the semi-automatic choke lever, saving users time. Each product’s vertical pleated paper air filter allows for better filtration, extended replacement intervals and long service life.
• The new additions to the line include seven professional string trimmers: the STIHL FS 91, STIHL FS 91 R, STIHL FS 111, STIHL FS 111 R, STIHL FS 111 RX, STIHL FS 131 and STIHL FS 131 R professional trimmers.
• Rubberized handles provide a comfortable grip of the product; multi-function control handle allows easy access to all of the controls on one comfortable handle.
• Straight, steel drive shaft designed for professional-grade durability and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
• Semi-automatic choke lever enables simplified three-step start procedure, saving users time. To start, users simply purge the primer bulb, set the choke and pull the starter handle.
• The one-touch stop switch allows the user to turn off the engine with the simple press of a button. When the engine is off, the one-touch stop switch automatically returns the trimmer to the start position, saving users time and reducing the chance of flooding the engine when restarting. Users simply pull the starter rope and engage the throttle to get back to work.
• Features unloaded overspeed protection, which is designed to detect load changes and adjust engine speed in order to avert possible engine damage.
• Quicker and easier throttle cable adjustment.

STIHL USA

www.stihlusa.com




Gold Edge™ Paintbrush Line

• Utilizing a filament blend of 100% CT™ (chemically tipped) polyester means that Gold Edge™ paintbrushes are able to offer super-smooth finishing capabilities.
• They are built with added firmness, which allows Gold Edge brushes to push paint farther, increasing production.
• Gold Edge enters the paint applicator market as one of Wooster's largest lines—22 SKUs, which includes angle sash, thin angle sash, semioval angle sash, flat sash, varnish and wall styles as well as a variety 3-pack.
• This is the first Wooster professional paintbrush line to include the new semioval angle sash style in its launch. Semioval angle sash brushes are quickly gaining popularity with painters across the United States and in Europe.

The Wooster Brush Company

woosterbrush.com




TrueGrip® Extreme Work Gloves

• TrueGrip® Extreme Work Gloves are high-performance, light-duty utility gloves that feature a synthetic, high-dexterity palm.
• Foam padding absorbs shock and Spandex stretch panels between the fingers offer more ventilation and comfort. Machine washable.
• Innovative touchscreen material in fingers allows users to save time and stay protected.
• Feature athletic fit. Glove conforms to hand for dexterous fit while maintaining a tactile feel.

Big Time Products

www.bigtimeproducts.net




HDS183 Brushless Hammer Drill

• The Bosch HDS183-01 18V EC Brushless Compact Tough™ 1/2 Inch Hammer Drill/Driver features KickBack Control, which reduces the risk of sudden tool reactions in binding conditions.
• This integrated acceleration sensor automatically shuts the tool down when a potentially dangerous rotational torque reaction occurs in a bind-up scenario.
• The drill was engineered with an upgraded, heavy-duty, all-metal chuck that furnishes increased robustness and high-torque transfer.
• With an efficient EC brushless motor, this drill/driver provides longer tool life as well as great run time.
• One of Bosch's Compact Tough™ designs, it has a short head-length and light weight but plenty of muscle. It delivers a powerful performance, with 531 in.-lbs. of torque, two drilling speeds (0-1,900 rpm for high speed and 0-600 rpm for high torque), an impact rate of 28,500 bpm for masonry applications and 20+1 precision clutch settings for reduced fastener damage.
• This tool provides an ergonomic grip zone and Bosch's Electronic Motor Protection and Electronic Cell Protection to protect the tool and batteries from overload and overheating.
• Available in a kit that includes two 18V 4.0 Ah FatPack batteries and a charger, to deliver all-day power, and a long belt clip for a secure hold.

Robert Bosch Tool Corp.

www.boschtools.com




MoonLit® LED Micro Lantern

• A versatile lighting solution without the bulk of a traditional lantern, this clippable swivel-LED provides bright, ambient hands-free light.
• The versatile MoonLit LED Micro Lantern features a secure carabiner at the top, allowing it to clip and hang while providing hands-free lighting just about anywhere.
• The bright LED (white or red) can be set to glow or flash, and swivels in place 360°, providing a comprehensive lighting solution in a compact package.
• Water resistant and featuring replaceable batteries that last more than 60 hours, the MoonLit LED Micro Lantern is a great lighting companion for camping, fishing and reading, clipping to poorly lit areas like closets or shelving, and many more applications.

Nite Ize

www.niteize.com




FURNO™ Heat Guns

• Wagner SprayTech has introduced four new heat gun models: FURNO™ 300, FURNO™ 500, FURNO™ 700 and FURNO™ 750.
• With updated, easy-to-read interfaces and precise temperature settings, the new heat guns offer the broadest temperature range available today, including the hottest (1300F) with the FURNO 700 and 750. They also feature new safety features and ergonomic designs for better balance and comfort.
• “Our research indicates that 57 percent of consumers buy a heat gun to tackle a specific project, but within a year, they use it for two to three additional projects around the home,” said Jon Beaton, product director Wagner. “Wagner is the leading provider of heat tools in North America, and these new heat guns make it easier than ever to accurately control the heat, so you can complete tasks faster and more efficiently.”
• Heat guns are must-have tools for every household with an extensive range of uses for removing, repairing, and shaping, including home improvement projects, automotive applications, art and craft projects, sports equipment maintenance and electronic thermal repairs.
• The new FURNO heat guns redefine the user experience for comfort, usability and safety. The heat guns have side supports to prevent the hot nozzle from touching surfaces when set down. They also have integrated stands for safe, upright, hands-free operation.
• All FURNO models have adjustable temperatures and air flow settings, plus a hanging loop for storage.

Wagner SprayTech

www.wagnerspraytech.com
 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Check+Out+These+New+Products/2685066/375722/article.html.

Business is Booming in the Bahamas

By Chris Jensen


Builders Mall is a 130,000-square-foot building in Nassau that houses three home product businesses: FYP, The Paint Centre and Tile King.


Mark Roberts has survived two plane crashes and an adventure trip to the North Pole in April 2015, so he doesn’t sweat the details of running a $20 million enterprise.

Roberts operates the Builders Mall in Nassau, the Bahamas, a 130,000-square-foot building that comprises three home products businesses as anchors: FYP (Fix Your Place), Tile King and Paint Centre.

FYP recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, which is about how long Roberts has been buying from House-Hasson Hardware. To celebrate the 10th anniversary they had some vendor tents set up for demonstrations and held a staff party. Customers enjoyed special deals that centered on the number 10.


Mark Roberts (left) knows he can rely on help from his House-Hasson sales rep, George Breedon (right).


Roberts’ adventure in retailing all started with a trip to a trade show in Orlando in 2004. He and his wife Louise were exploring business options and kitchen and bath design was the hot topic, he recalls. By October they had opened Tile King, which proved very successful.

He ended up getting into the lumber business by accident in late 2004 when plywood they had purchased to build a house for a client turned into much-needed hurricane supplies. Then came The Paint Centre, when Roberts realized he needed a paint store to complement the lumber and flooring he was selling.

FYP has grown massively through the years, according to Roberts, who credits House-Hasson for helping him understand the retail business. Louise has helped improve the showroom look with greater attention to merchandising.

FYP Enterprises also manufactures and sells concrete block on site, with steel framing and other ancillary businesses complementing the three retail businesses. Total revenue for FYP Enterprises will exceed $20 million in 2016, according to Robert, with FYP’s retail location doing about $14 million in sales out of a 16,000-square-foot sales floor.

About 85-90 percent of FYP’s products come from the U.S. “If we place an order from House-Hasson on Monday, let’s say 10 pallets of merchandise—it will arrive at our freight forwarder in Florida in three to four days, “Roberts points out. “Then if we have at least half a container, it might make it here by the next Tuesday, so within eight days plus one to two days to go through customs. Sometimes it takes three weeks for a delivery to arrive if we’re waiting to fill a container.”

Roberts has 67 total employees including 52 for FYP, and he says one of his biggest challenges is managing the staff.

As Roberts points out, projections are a real challenge for every business in the Bahamas. “Your sales history might show you sell four of an item in a year, but then someone comes in and wants 40 right then. It’s a unique set of circumstances.”

FYP saw sales jump 60 percent for Hurricane Matthew. Nassau’s damage was maybe 5 on a 1-10 scale, according to Roberts, but islands such as Freeport were hit much harder. “We assisted relief organizations with aid supplies. I was actually talking on the phone with George during the hurricane—he was awesome. House-Hasson sent a truckload of generators and other supplies and it got here right away,” he said.

In addition to its beaches, the Bahamas is known for its laidback, fun atmosphere. That is reflected in the Junkanoo, a street parade with music, dance and costumes similar to Mardi Gras that takes place across the Bahamas on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Builders Mall is a title sponsor for a Junkanoo group called Genesis Warhawks, whose mission is to promote art, culture, community and business development, training and education throughout the local community.

“We won our Junkanoo division right out of the gates. We started with five or six guys last year and ended up with 200. We have 670 members this year,” says Roberts. “It’s one of our biggest community events and we’re very proud of our involvement.”

 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Business+is+Booming+in+the+Bahamas/2685076/375722/article.html.

Barrows Hardware: Expanding in the Face of Big Boxes


Brian and Bob Barrows of Barrows Hardware.


Barrows Hardware in Worcester, Mass., was founded 103 years ago, and the Orgill retailer isn't slowing down any time soon.

Brian Barrows, third-generation owner, is overseeing a 6,300-square-foot expansion that will allow the store to expand its departments and focus on some of its niche services.

The addition will allow the store to expand its departments, focus on some of its niche services, like propane dispensing, and bring their total parking spaces up to 38, a desperately needed increase.

But the quality customer service the locals know and love will stay the same. If someone comes in with questions about fixing a leaky sink or toilet, the staff there will help them find all the right parts and talk the customer through how to assemble everything, Brian Barrows said. Many of the employees have been in the business their whole life and have the expertise to help with anything.


Barrows Hardware.


"That's why we're so busy all the time," he said.

Irving Barrows opened the store in Webster Square in 1914. His son, Bob Barrows, moved the shop to its current location on Webster Street in the 1960s. Bob still works in the store today with his son, Brian.

To read more click here: http://www.masslive.com/news/worcester/index.ssf/2016/08/barrows_hardware_expands_after.html
 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Barrows+Hardware%3A+Expanding+in+the+Face+of+Big+Boxes/2685080/375722/article.html.

Bray Ace Hardware: Still Adapting to Change After 110 Years


Walter Toole is the owner of Bray Ace Hardware in Winter Garden, Fla.


Walter and Patty Toole celebrated the 110th anniversary of Bray Ace Hardware in Winter Garden, Fla., this past year. Now Bray Ace Hardware, the company had its humble beginnings as McMillan-Bray Hardware Company in 1906 in downtown Winter Garden.

Two brothers-in-law formed a partnership in 1906 and opened a small hardware store in downtown Winter Garden. Today, the establishment then known as McMillan-Bray Hardware Co. is still selling paint, tools and other hardware supplies as Bray Ace Hardware on South Dillard Street, writes Amy Quesinberry Rhode in the Orange Observer.

In the beginning, the company, located at 126 W. Plant Street, was founded by George “Buttles” Bray and his brother-in-law, M.Y. McMillan. After several years, Bray sold his interest to McMillan, who continued in the hardware business until he sold out to the Joseph Bumby Hardware Co.


The original Bray Ace Hardware store is one of nine stores operated by Walter and Patty Toole in the Orlando area.


In 1983, Walter and Patty Toole bought Bray Hardware from Evelyn Lease after her brother and longtime business partner died.

“I was selling the Brays merchandise, and after George died, Evelyn was running the store by herself, and she was over 65,” Toole said. “We met at her house, and I just talked to her (about buying the business). She said, 'It sounds good to me.' And it was done. It was a handshake deal, and that’s the way we did it. She was a great person, and she gave me a fantastic opportunity.”

A year later, the business joined Ace Hardware. Get the full story by clicking here: http://www.orangeobserver.com/photo-gallery/bray-ace-110-years-hardware

 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Bray+Ace+Hardware%3A+Still+Adapting+to+Change+After+110+Years/2685084/375722/article.html.

Headley Hardware Earns Double Dose of Notoriety


Headley Do it Best Hardware in Greencastle, Ind., was recently dubbed by a national magazine as one of “America’s Best Hardware Stores.” Photo credit: Eric Bernsee/Banner Graphic


After 63 years in business and in its fourth generation of family operation, it wouldn’t seem like there’s much more to prove for Headley Hardware in Greencastle, Ind., writes Eric Bernsee in the Greencastle Banner Graphic.

But the nuts and bolts of all that is this: The hits just keep on coming.

For example, Headley’s being characterized by Popular Mechanics magazine in its November issue as one of “America’s Best Hardware Stores.”

And after seven times finishing second in the nation among 4,400 Do it Best hardware stores in single-store purchase of Valspar paint, Headley Hardware moved to the head of the class in 2016, becoming No. 1 in the country with a purchase amount of $230,510.


Headley Do it Best Hardware has been standing out for its service since 1954.


What really makes the difference at Headley Hardware is easy, boss Randall Jones will tell you: “It’s all about selection and customer service.”

“Grandpa always said,” Jones confided, “‘Don’t ever worry about the number of cars in the parking lot; make sure the store is full.’”

And full it is. There’s some $700,000 worth of inventory on hand right now to have the right stuff when people need it, be it ice melt, furnace filters, coffee filters or ballcock.

Call it convenience.

“I can’t guarantee you can turn left out of our parking lot,” Jones smiles of his Indianapolis Road location, “and sometimes there’s no place to park unless you park in the grass, but other than that I think it’s a pretty good place to shop.”

And so apparently does free-lance writer Tom Chiarella, the retired DePauw University professor who penned the Headley portion of the “America’s Best Hardware Stores” spread.

“I come to Headley’s for two things: Answers and eye contact,” he wrote. “I gain an edge by coming in, by seeking out the knowledge, the problem-solving, the patience, of the people who work there. These guys don’t just mix paint and rebuild screen doors, they listen, visualize, sketch stuff out.

To read more, click here: http://www.bannergraphic.com/story/2363716.html
 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Headley+Hardware+Earns+Double+Dose+of+Notoriety/2685085/375722/article.html.

The Nut House is a Hardware Haven


Customers who visit The Nut House discover wall-to-wall bins of nuts, bolts, screws, nails and every kind of fastener you can think of.






Talk about screwed up. The back room at Evergreen Way Ace Hardware in Everett, Wash., is a hotbed of screws, bolts, washers, fasteners, plugs, grommets and whatchamacallits. It even has a name: The Nut House.

What’s up with that?

Ace owner Judith Pyle said the back room was a natural place to keep the nuts and bolts when she opened the store six years ago in Claremont Village plaza next to the QFC, writes Andrea Brown in The Herald.

“The architecture of the building lends itself to this room being separate,” Pyle said.

The name nailed it. “We were throwing out names, and this one just stuck,” she said. “Other stores have an aisle. We have our own little nut house.”

Pyle’s aunt made the crafty painted wooden Nut House sign that hangs by the entrance to the haven of hardware bits.




A large selection of nuts, bolts and other fasteners are available in The Nut House at Evergreen Way Ace Hardware in Everett, Wash. Photo Credit: Kevin Clark/The Herald





But first you have to find it. Pass by the popcorn machine near the store’s entrance (grab a free bag) and head down the center aisle of paint, plungers, holiday decor and other trimmings of humanity.

At the end, turn left at the directional arrow pointing the way to The Nut House.
Some customers make a beeline there on a mission for a specific piece. Others come to browse through the bins and drawers of loose odds, ends and wonders. It’s like stepping into a giant jewelry box filled with gleaming silver and gold gems.

“It’s a marvelous place,” said customer Terry Chism of Everett. “You can find anything and everything. If I need a bolt that is just a smidgen longer, I come in here and get it. If you’re used to fixing things and doing things with your hands, this is the place to come.”

Another perk: No need to buy a bag of a dozen screws when you only need one.

The room’s guts are stocked by The Hillman Group, a national brand supplier. “The really cool thing about it is we don’t have to inventory it,” Pyle said. “The Hillman sales rep brings a little RF gun thing, and opens every drawer, and counts it and automatically orders.”

To read more, click here: http://www.heraldnet.com/life/the-nut-house-is-a-hardware-haven-in-everett/

 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/The+Nut+House+is+a+Hardware+Haven/2685086/375722/article.html.

HPM Celebrates 95 years of Business with $3M Renovation


HPM Building Supply managers (from left) Tony Cann, Joe Foglia, Renee Vincent, Diana Ancog, Shane Mukalii and Mike Meledandri join president Mike Fujimoto in front of the newly remodeled store in Kona. Photo credit: Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today




For 95 years, HPM Building Supply has remained a family-run business. And keeping a commercial operation humming with your kin takes foresight to evolve and a willingness to adapt as times and markets change, writes Karen Rose in West Hawaii Today.

Keeping family members interested in the same business generation after generation is no easy task, but the Fujimoto family seems to have the building genes to keep the torch going for nearly a century.

“My great-grandfather started the business in 1921,” said Mike Fujimoto, Chairman and CEO of HPM, reflecting on the near century of business recently. “He was a builder in the East Hawaii area. He built plantation housing and commercial buildings in downtown Hilo. One day, a couple of friends decided to sell their old planing mill and that’s where the business got its name. HPM stands for Hawaii Planing Mill.




Corporate, lumberyard and manufacturing owner-employees at HPM Building Supply’s Kea`au location on the Big Island.




Fujimoto took over the company in 1992 as the president and fourth generation CEO. And by family business, they really mean family business.

“In 1977 we created our ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), and in 2006 we evolved from a family owned company to a 100 percent employee-owned company,” said Fujimoto. “Today we’re still a family company, except we have about 300 members in our family. We’re truly a locally owned and operated company. Nothing can describe that better than HPM. We are owned by employees, and all the employees live here on the islands.”

HPM recently celebrated their longevity by giving their Kona location a $3 million renovation inside and out. To read more about this Do it Best retailer, click here: http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/hpm-celebrates-95-years-biz-3m-renovation

 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/HPM+Celebrates+95+years+of+Business+with+%243M+Renovation/2685089/375722/article.html.

Expert Offers Help with Your Year-End Tax and Financial Decisions

By Gary Pittsford, CFP®




As we get started on a new year, I wanted to provide information that may help you with your year-end tax and financial decisions, and also give us all some ideas to talk about for 2017. We had been waiting for the election process to finish and for some of the dust to settle. Now we are beginning to see what some of the politics will look like in Washington over the next six to 12 months. When a new administration takes office, many changes take place in the first three to six months. A lot of ideas are being discussed, and I have outlined a few below.

Asset Allocation Decisions

Inflation has been around 1 percent for at least two to three years. Interest rates on bonds have also been low for several years. Also, the stock market has been bouncing near record levels for the last six to eight weeks. Protecting our client’s net worth is always one of our major objectives, and that is why under the current economic conditions we have to be very careful what we buy for our client’s benefit.

The proper amount of diversification and allocation of net worth results in lower risks and solid long-term returns. Many Wall Street experts are talking about a correction in the market and that is a possibility, and something that we should all be prepared to take advantage of.

Personal Income Tax

The new Trump administration is working with the Senate and the House and they plan to make several changes to our current income tax laws. Their current plan is to change the income tax brackets to three levels, which would be 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent. We are still waiting for details pertaining to these tax brackets and the changes that will take place with the tax deductions and credits that are currently on the books.

If you think that your tax bracket may go down in 2017, then you might consider deferring some income from 2016 to 2017 if possible. For closely-held family businesses, when you are making year-end financial decisions you might consider accelerating your write-offs and tax deductions in 2016. This could be very beneficial if you think that the tax brackets for 2017 are going to be lower.

If you are thinking about converting a traditional IRA to a ROTH IRA, you might want to consider this more strongly in 2017 when tax rates could possibly be lower. When making year-end donations to a charity, consider gifting appreciated stock or mutual fund shares, rather than cash. If you owned the assets more than 12 months you can deduct the full value of the asset being gifted. The appreciation in that stock, or mutual fund, is not taxed by you or the charity.

Corporate Tax

Spokespersons for the Trump administration have implied that they plan to reduce corporate income tax brackets from a current level of 35 percent to possibly 15 percent. We do not know yet if this lower tax bracket would apply only to C corporations or will it also include S corporations.

Lowering tax brackets is only half the story. We still need to see the fine print and see what tax deductions or other tax benefits are eliminated. Economists tell us that corporate effective taxes in 1960 were 45 percent and those rates have reduced over the years to a current level of 35 percent.

Corporations may be in the 35 percent tax bracket, but after they take all of the depreciation and interest deductions, and other deductible benefits, their actual tax rate is closer to 25 percent. However, we agree that reducing the ultimate tax bracket to possibly 15 percent will probably be good for corporations and it may also be good for the stock market.

Dodd-Frank Act

New Congressional bills are in the process of being prepared in the House of Representatives that would amend the Dodd-Frank Act, which has created a lot of heartburn for banks throughout the country. If this law is modified in 2017, then possibly small and medium-sized banks will have greater latitude for making loans and providing financial services to the 28 million closely-held family businesses in the United States.

Estate and Gift Tax Proposals

Comments have been made by the new incoming administration that they plan to repeal gift and estate taxes and the generation-skipping transfer tax. Part of the new tax proposals being discussed would be establishing a carryover basis for appreciated property, which would subject beneficiaries to an income tax on gains if and when they sell the property at a future date.

Once again, it will be important to read the fine print on all of these proposals to understand how it will affect our clients’ personal assets and their family-held businesses. We currently have an estate tax exemption of $5.49 million, which will be effective in 2017 under current law. That exemption may be replaced by an exemption for future capital gains that could be $5 million per person. We will be watching for these new proposals.

If the estate and gift tax laws have sweeping changes in 2017, it will have a dramatic impact on all of the business transition plans that our clients currently have in place or are developing for next year. Also, if new laws are implemented it may be necessary to change some of the language in your wills or revocable living trusts.

Business Succession Planning and Valuations

On December 1, 2016, the Treasury Department and the IRS had a hearing to discuss the possibility of eliminating minority discounts on closely-held family business stock for the lack of voting control and the lack of marketability. The Treasury Department has been wanting to eliminate the possibility of discounting stock for families for the last 20 years. We have been waiting to see what would happen at this hearing.

Based on the new Trump administration’s proposals pertaining to tax reform at all levels, we have been told by experts in Washington that the idea of eliminating minority discounts for selling or gifting family-held stock will probably stay in place. The new phrase that’s being used in Washington is that “they have been Trumped.”

If we are able to keep this important valuation technique, it will be very advantageous to many of the closely-held business owners that are baby boomers between the ages of 60 and 70 who are thinking hard about retiring in the near future and transitioning their companies.

Health-Care Reform

Most of you have already heard that the Trump administration wants to make major changes to the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” If the changes, which would come through Congress, are favorable to closely-held family businesses, then the impact would be significant.

Business owners across the country are generally concerned about government regulations, employee health-care costs and income taxes. If some of this burden is removed from these business owners, then they will immediately feel better about growing their companies, buying more equipment and hiring more employees.

We will be watching all of the areas that we have briefly reviewed above and we will be reporting to you over the next six months as decisions are made in Washington.

Gary Pittsford, CFP®, is president and CEO of Castle Wealth Advisors, LLC. Castle specializes in helping families and closely-held business owners with valuations, succession planning, estate and income tax analysis and retirement income projections. Castle’s senior partners work with clients throughout the country in making logical decisions that help them fulfill their personal and business financial goals. For more information visit www.Castle3.com, call 1-888-849-9559 or e-mail Gary directly at Gary@Castle3.com.


 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Expert+Offers+Help+with+Your+Year-End+Tax+and+Financial+Decisions/2685091/375722/article.html.

Ettore is Committed to the Advancement of Women in Hardware





The Women in Hardware™ group launched recently by The Hardware Connection is not just for women. Whether you are a woman or a man, we encourage you to consider joining this professional network of retail owners and managers; key sales, marketing and operations managers for manufacturers and wholesalers; and their business partners from across North America.

The independent hardware channel has seen many changes over the years. The standard set-up used to be husband and wife teams, with the men typically running the front of the stores and the women running the back office. Today, more women are serving visible roles as owners, co-owners and managers of hardware stores and lumberyards, catching a little of the entrepreneurial bug.

Since there are more women active in the industry today, it makes sense that the industry come together to embrace them. Let’s support one another and help to share what we know through opportunities, experiences and our knowledge.

As a member of Women in Hardware™, you will have opportunities to share business practices and ideas with others in the industry. You will be able to network face-to-face at events. Each greet-and-learn session will focus on industry business issues, enabling you to get a takeaway business benefit. Email networking, information sharing and the ability to post questions and comments on social media for industry feedback are among the features that will be available. Most importantly, you will be able to pay it forward and give back to the industry.

If you are interested in forming more relationships within the industry and sharing your ideas on how to make our industry better, then I urge you to consider membership in Women in Hardware™. Memberships are affordably priced at $149 a year and will include the opportunity to attend events structured around major industry events (such as wholesaler shows) several times a year with a business take-away from each, a quarterly newsletter and more to come.

Who’s Eligible to Join?
• Independent Hardware Store Owners and Managers
• Vendors Involved in the Two Step Hardware Industry
• Service Providers Involved in the Two Step Hardware Industry
• Wholesalers/Distributors
• Industry Professionals

Activities
• Membership benefits include 2 networking events per year held in conjunction with other industry events.
• Each event will have a business focus offering direct and immediate benefits.
• Vendor and Service Providers will have the ability to interact with business owners and others in management positions sharing experience, concerns and solutions.
• Access to Women in Hardware’s closed group on Facebook.
• While focus is on women and their opportunities, men are welcome and encouraged to participate to better understand and lend their perspective of the industry.

To sign up as a member, either email Cathy Karabag at Cathy@thehardwareconnection.com or visit http://thehardwareconnection.com/women-hardware/.

 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Ettore+is+Committed+to+the+Advancement+of+Women+in+Hardware/2687130/375722/article.html.

ECi Software Solutions Supports Women Who Choose Careers in Hardware




The Women in Hardware™ group launched recently by The Hardware Connection is not just for women. Whether you are a woman or a man, we encourage you to consider joining this professional network of retail owners and managers; key sales, marketing and operations managers for manufacturers and wholesalers; and their business partners from across North America.

The independent hardware channel has seen many changes over the years. The standard set-up used to be husband and wife teams, with the men typically running the front of the stores and the women running the back office. Today, more women are serving visible roles as owners, co-owners and managers of hardware stores and lumberyards, catching a little of the entrepreneurial bug.

Since there are more women active in the industry today, it makes sense that the industry come together to embrace them. Let’s support one another and help to share what we know through opportunities, experiences and our knowledge.

As a member of Women in Hardware™, you will have opportunities to share business practices and ideas with others in the industry. You will be able to network face-to-face at events. Each greet-and-learn session will focus on industry business issues, enabling you to get a takeaway business benefit. Email networking, information sharing and the ability to post questions and comments on social media for industry feedback are among the features that will be available. Most importantly, you will be able to pay it forward and give back to the industry.

If you are interested in forming more relationships within the industry and sharing your ideas on how to make our industry better, then I urge you to consider membership in Women in Hardware™. Memberships are affordably priced at $149 a year and will include the opportunity to attend events structured around major industry events (such as wholesaler shows) several times a year with a business take-away from each, a quarterly newsletter and more to come.

Who’s Eligible to Join?
• Independent Hardware Store Owners and Managers
• Vendors Involved in the Two Step Hardware Industry
• Service Providers Involved in the Two Step Hardware Industry
• Wholesalers/Distributors
• Industry Professionals

Activities
• Membership benefits include 2 networking events per year held in conjunction with other industry events.
• Each event will have a business focus offering direct and immediate benefits.
• Vendor and Service Providers will have the ability to interact with business owners and others in management positions sharing experience, concerns and solutions.
• Access to Women in Hardware’s closed group on Facebook.
• While focus is on women and their opportunities, men are welcome and encouraged to participate to better understand and lend their perspective of the industry.

To sign up as a member, either email Cathy Karabag at Cathy@thehardwareconnection.com or visit http://thehardwareconnection.com/women-hardware/.


 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/ECi+Software+Solutions+Supports+Women+Who+Choose+Careers+in+Hardware/2687131/375722/article.html.

Catch Up On the Latest Industry News


Ace Hardware retailers will soon be joined by other non-Sears retailers selling Craftsman products.


Sears to Sell Craftsman Brand to Stanley Black & Decker

Stanley Black & Decker and Sears Holdings Corp. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Stanley Black & Decker will purchase the Craftsman brand from Sears Holdings.

The transaction provides Stanley Black & Decker with the rights to develop, manufacture and sell Craftsman-branded products in non-Sears Holdings retail, industrial and online sales channels across the United States and in other countries.

As part of the agreement, Sears Holdings will continue to offer Craftsman-branded products, sourced from existing suppliers, through its current retail channels via a perpetual license from Stanley Black & Decker, which will be royalty-free for the first 15 years after closing and royalty-bearing thereafter.

Today only about 10 percent of Craftsman-branded products are sold outside of Sears Holdings and the agreement will enable Stanley Black & Decker to significantly increase Craftsman sales in these untapped channels.

“Craftsman is a legendary, American brand with tremendous consumer awareness built on a legacy of producing quality products at a great value,” said Stanley Black & Decker President and CEO James Loree. “This agreement represents a significant opportunity to grow the market by increasing the availability of Craftsman products to consumers in previously underpenetrated channels. We intend to invest in the brand and rapidly increase sales through these new channels, including retail, industrial, mobile and online.”

Loree added, “To accommodate the future growth of Craftsman, we intend to expand our manufacturing footprint in the U.S. This will add jobs in the U.S., where we have increased our manufacturing headcount by 40 percent in the past three years.”

Sears Holdings’ Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert stated, “We are pleased to reach this agreement, after determining that externalizing the Craftsman brand would accomplish our goals of driving value for Sears Holdings and positioning Craftsman for future growth. This transaction represents a significant step in our ongoing transformation to a membership-focused business model.”

Lampert added, “Craftsman has a storied history as an iconic American brand and in Stanley Black & Decker we have found a great owner that is committed to expanding Craftsman and helping it to reach its potential outside of its current channels. It’s important for our members to know that we will continue to sell Craftsman in-store and online at Kmart and Sears, and Sears Hometown, and the structure of the transaction will provide Sears Holdings with a significant upfront payment, another payment in three years and an opportunity to participate in the growth of the Craftsman brand in both our stores and at other retailers selected and managed by Stanley Black & Decker. Looking ahead, we will continue to take actions to adjust our capital structure, meet our financial obligations and manage our business to better position Sears Holdings to create long-term value by focusing on our best members, our best stores and our best categories.”

Stanley Black & Decker will pay Sears Holdings $525 million at closing, $250 million at end of year three, and annual payments on new Stanley Black & Decker Craftsman sales through year 15 (2.5 percent through 2020, 3 percent through January 2023 and 3.5 percent thereafter). The net present value of all these cash payments is approximately $900 million. The license granted to Sears Holdings will be royalty-free for 15 years, then 3 percent thereafter.

Existing sales of Craftsman products outside the Sears Holdings and Sears Hometown distribution channels, which will be assumed immediately upon closing by Stanley Black & Decker, were approximately $200 million over the last 12 months. The company expects the sale of Craftsman branded products to contribute approximately $100 million of average annual revenue growth for approximately the next 10 years.

Craftsman branded products have been sold in select Ace Hardware stores since 2010, and now other non-Sears hardware channels will have access to the iconic tool brand.

The transaction, which was approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is expected to close during 2017, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The deal provides a much-needed cash infusion to Sears, which recently announced on the same day that it would close 109 Kmart stores and 41 Sears stores as part of a restructuring. Sears closed 78 stores in 2016 and about 200 the previous year.

Stanley Black & Decker, an S&P 500 company, is a diversified global provider of hand tools, power tools and related accessories, mechanical access solutions and electronic security solutions, healthcare solutions, engineered fastening systems and more.

For more information, click here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-05/stanley-to-buy-craftsman-brand-from-sears-for-about-900-million



Walter Hachborn


Home Hardware Stores Announces the Passing of Co-Founder Walter Hachborn

Home Hardware Stores Ltd. announced the death of Co-Founder Walter Hachborn, president emeritus, who passed away on December 17 at the age of 95.

Hachborn began his hardware career in 1938 at Hollinger Hardware in St. Jacobs, Ontario, and dedicated his entire life to serving his employees and the hardware industry as a whole. He, along with Henry Sittler and silent partner Arthur Zilliax, co-founded Home Hardware Stores Ltd. in 1964.

Hachborn was the driving force behind developing a Canadian cooperative hardware business during a time when big-box retailers with manufacturer-direct buying power were coming to Canada. He encouraged independent dealers to band together to form a dealer-owned hardware cooperative with an equal share and voice for every member, growing Home Hardware to become Canada’s largest independent home improvement retailer.

He has been recognized and honored for his professional and personal efforts. His accomplishments include:

• Woolwich Township’s Citizen of the Year, 1974

• Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Wilfrid Laurier University, 1985

• Distinguished Retailer of the Year Award at the Retail Council of Canada’s Annual Convention, 1988

• Canadian Hardware/Housewares Hall of Fame inductee, 1989

• Estwing Co.’s Gold Hammer Award recipient, 1989

• Stanley Gold Saw for 50 years in the hardware industry, 1989

• Named Master Entrepreneur by the Entrepreneur of the Year program, 1996

• Hardware Merchandising magazine’s Canadian Hardware Retailer of the Century award recipient, 1999

• Appointment to The Order of Canada for his outstanding business achievements and community service, 2000

• Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal award recipient, 2003

• Retail Council of Canada’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, 2007

• Canadian Business Hall of Fame inductee, 2015

• Waterloo Region Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductee, 2015

Philanthropy was very important to Hachborn. He assisted with a Habitat for Humanity build project with U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and spent many years on the Lutheran Church and Wilfrid Laurier University boards.

Over the course of his almost 80-year career, Hachborn’s leadership and entrepreneurial vision have had tremendous impact on the national hardware industry and the survival of the independent home improvement retailer in Canada. His combination of business acumen, work ethic, ingenuity and kindness, have inspired thousands over the course of his distinguished career and has helped establish Home Hardware as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures.



Meagan McCoy Jones


McCoy’s Building Supply Promotes Meagan McCoy Jones to COO

McCoy’s Building Supply, based in San Marcos, Texas, announced that Meagan McCoy Jones has been promoted to the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Jones is the fourth generation to work in the family business, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2017.

“Meagan’s promotion recognizes the role she has had for some time now as we co-lead McCoy’s,” says Brian McCoy, president and CEO. “Our family is fortunate to have a very capable and involved ‘next generation’ leader.”

Meagan is a member of the board of directors of McCoy Corp., a partner in McCoy Remme Ranches, a member of the executive committee and board of directors of the Texas Association of Builders, and Co-Chair of the legislative committee of the Lumbermen’s Association of Texas.



Westlake Ace Hardware


Westlake Ace Acquires Two-Store Williams Ace

Westlake Ace Hardware announced it has finalized its acquisition of two hardware stores in Wichita and Andover, Kan. The new stores, formerly known as Williams Ace Hardware, are in the process of being re-branded as Westlake Ace locations.

General managers have been named at both locations: Michael Thornton in Wichita and James Jaeger in Andover. The Andover location will continue to carry farm and feed supplies.

With these acquisitions, Westlake now has 98 stores across eight states. The hardware chain has three other locations in the Wichita area.

“Westlake Hardware’s vision is to be the best, most helpful hardware stores on the planet,” said Tom Knox, CEO of Westlake. “We are excited to deepen our roots in Wichita and expand our relationship with the community. As we continue to grow, we will always be there to help our customers keep their households running smoothly by providing the highest level of service, know-how and products.”



Bomberger’s flagship store is in Lititz, Pa.


Bomberger’s To Open New Store

Bomberger’s, which is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year and operates a flagship 64,000-square-foot store in Lititz, Pa., has announced plans to open a smaller store just east of Annville, Pa., in April.

The 7,500-square-foot store will be a “high-end, small hardware store” focused on Ace Hardware products and specialty paints, according to Bob Resch, Bomberger’s CEO.

Bomberger’s, which was founded in the nearby village of Elm in 1887, moved to expanded space in Lititz in 1994. In addition to a 20,000-square-foot Ace Hardware store, it features a full kitchen and bath design center, flooring showroom, John Deere dealership, gift department, rental shop and Elm Tree Cafe.

Bomberger’s is like a modern country store, offering all the items modern shoppers want. It also retains its roots as a grocery store, operating a wholesale division that imports 2,200 pound bags of sugar and 100 pound bags of salt and then sells them wholesale to bakeries around Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

The company remains a family owned and operated enterprise, with 12 members of the family currently involved in some aspect of the business, including members of the fourth, fifth and sixth generations of the Bomberger family. Bomberger’s was honored with the Beacon Award from The Hardware Connection in 2016.

Bomberger’s, which has 150 employees, plans to hire 10 to 15 more for the new store.



RONA will be converting 40 big-box stores in Canada to the Lowe’s name.


Lowe’s Converting 40 Rona Stores

Lowe’s plans to convert 40 big-box Rona stores across Canada to the Lowe’s name starting early this year, according to the Canadian Press.

The first stores to get the new name will be located outside Quebec. Another 17 stores in Quebec will be converted in 2019 once the company adopts a new French-language information technology system that will then be rolled out to existing Lowe’s stores.

Acquired by Lowe’s Companies Inc. on May 20, 2016, RONA Inc. is a major Canadian retailer and distributor of hardware, building materials and home renovation products. RONA operates a network of close to 500 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores in a number of complementary formats.

RONA serves its network of stores and several independent dealers operating under other banners, including Ace, for which RONA owns the licensing rights and is the exclusive distributor in Canada. With more than 17,000 employees in corporate stores and more than 5,000 employees in the stores of its independent affiliate dealers, the Corporation generated annual consolidated sales of $4.2 billion for fiscal year 2015.

Lowe’s Canada President Sylvain Proud’Homme said the company is making the changes six months after it acquired Rona in order to eliminate confusion about what is sold at its various store formats.

The chain plans to have four store types going forward: Lowe’s big-box locations, large Reno-Depot stores mainly in Quebec, medium-sized Rona stores and small Ace Hardware stores.

Lowe’s is set to introduce a new prototype for Rona stores this year with four new stores and nine remodeled locations.

 


 
Subscribe for FREE!

The Hardware Connection is a digital magazine targeted to independent hardware/home improvement retailers. It is the only industry magazine designed and distributed solely in electronic format and currently reaches over 64,000 people in the two-step channel.

The Hardware Connection publishes four Newsletters each year in addition to eight magazine issues.

To sign up yourself or additional staff to a free subscription to receive The Hardware Connection magazine and newsletter in electronic format, please click here.

 


 

Learn More About the Following
 



Click here to learn about ECi Software Solutions



Click here to learn about WD-40



Click here to learn about Hyde Tools



Click here to learn about Epicor



Click here to learn about Do it Best Corp.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Catch+Up+On+the+Latest+Industry+News/2687302/375722/article.html.

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