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FEBRUARY 2019

Vol. 45 No. 2

THE

DECK ISSUE

Products, profiles and profit potential in a $6 billion (and growing) category.


Corby Biddle Higginbotham Brothers Texas

“Orgill is simply the best hardware distributor for our company. Orgill offers the right retail solutions to help us build our brand and grow our business.�


The Best in the Business Orgill Helped Us Customize Our Offerings Without Sacrificing Our Independence

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HBSDEALER HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY

10 HDW shuts it down. PRODUCTS 28 A collection of Hand Tools

promote the virtues of ergonomics, ease-of-use, and durability.

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COVER STORY INTO THE UPPER DECKS • Profile: A New York dealer answers the call of outdoor living. • Products: Composites, treatments, lighting and the latest in decking and railing.

FROM THE EDITOR 8 The Industry Dashboard vs. The Government Shutdown.

NEWS & ANALYSIS 10 The sad, slow demise of

Hardware Distribution Warehouses.

10 Distribution America carries

on, minus one.

31 Stanley Black & Decker’s Q4

results included lows, and highs.

MARKET INSIGHTS 22 Cameron Ashley Building

Products hits the ground running.

34 A Q&A with Lowe’s Robin Bornkamp VP of supply chain development.

24 LBM ADVANTAGE REPORT After the integration of IBSA, the LBM co-op begins to look west for growth.

11 New Map: Openings, closings and acquisitions from around the country.

retailer has seen 32 AsoUtah many heart-warming

stories in the aisles, she decided to write a book.

14 Marketing Blitz: Lowe’s kicks off a deal with the National Football League. 15 Eye on Retail: Walmart drivers are getting a raise.

Hardware + Building Supply Dealer (ISSN 2376-5852) is published monthly, except for July/August and November/December, which are double issues, by EnsembleIQ, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631. Subscription rate: $119 per year in the United States; $139 in Canada and Mexico; $279 in all other countries (air mail only). Periodical postage paid at Chicago,IL, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to HBSD, Circulation Fulfillment Director, P.O. Box 3200, Northbrook, IL 60065-3200. Subscription changes also may be emailed to hbsdealer@omeda.com, or call 847-564-1468. Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. For change of address, six weeks notice to Hardware+Building Supply Dealer, P.O. Box 3200, Northbrook, IL 60065-3200 is requested. Give old and new address and zip code. If possible, enclose address portion from cover on previous issue. Vol. 45, No. 2, February 2019. Copyright © 2019 by EnsembleIQ. All rights reserved.

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FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

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HERE’S WHAT’S ONLINE

@HBSDealer

Tweet Central

Slideshow from the BMC Design Center When BMC CEO David Flitman helped lift the veil from the poster-sized replica cover of the January issue of HBSDealer, the room full BMC market managers applauded the work. HBSDealer cameras were flashing. The slideshow is at HBSDealer.com.

Calling All All-Stars Fifty retailers — one from each state — will again be recognized in the upcoming annual All Star Issue of HBSDealer. If you know a hardware or building supply dealer that performs like an All Star, let us know at news@hbsdealer.com. And check out the All Star issues of the past in our digital archives, including the May issue of 2017 (right). Rob Gardiner, Randolph Hardware

HBSDealer Daily Newsletter: Features Every Day The HBSDealer Daily Newsletter, the industry’s leading news source, features news, analysis, videos and commentary — plus these regular, weekly features. Sign up to receive your daily news at hbsdealer.com.

Want to be featured in Tweet Central? Send us a tweet using #HBSDealerTweets

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Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Quikrete Industry Dashboard

HBSDealer Poll Question

RISI Crow’s Market Recap

Throwback Thursday

Eye on Retail

Participate in a new poll question each week on HBSDealer.com

FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

HBSDealer.com


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FROM THE EDITOR

Shutdown Hits the Dashboard Every presentation in this industry should include a slide of the latest Quikrete Industry Dashboard. In fact, the dashboard was created with this specific goal in mind — to be used in a presentation to a crowded room of industry leaders. That goal was quickly achieved when the Editor inserted the Dashboard into a presentation during the 2011 ProDealer Industry Summit. Since then, audience development goals have been re-evaluated. Today, the Editor believes there’s no reason why every hardware or building supply presentation in the United States shouldn’t include the dashboard for a quick and comprehensive snap shot of important economic metrics. Just copy and paste, and give HBSDealer credit. (Use this column as proof of permission granted.) The Dashboard today is in the spotlight for a divisive reason: A red stamp of “No update: government shutdown” mars several of the metrics (see page 38). And despite the recent temporary agreement to reopen the federal government, there’s no telling when the flow of housing starts, retail sales and employment situation data will resume. A call to the Census Bureau Public Information office on Jan. 29 led to a conversation with a spokeswoman who said that she and all the data crunchers were back in the office for just their second day. Asked about missing data for December, all she could reveal was: “We will be releasing it as soon as we can.” It’s not the first time a government shutdown marred the dashboard. The October 2013 issue of Home Channel

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HBSDEALER HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY

Hardware + Building Supply Dealer An EnsembleIQ Publication 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631 hbsdealer.com HBSDealer On The Web • HBSDealer Info Services SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT (HBSDealer, Drug Store News, Chain Store Age) John Kenlon, jkenlon@ensembleiq.com, 212-756-5238 EDITOR IN CHIEF Ken Clark kclark@ensembleiq.com, 212-756-5139 LBM EDITOR Andy Carlo acarlo@ensembleiq.com, 845-891-5108 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Ken Ryan ryankgr@aol.com, 516-567-3034 Editorial Inquiries: Direct questions to Editor in Chief Ken Clark. ADVERTISING SALES

A 2013 government shutdown marred this ancestor of the Industry Dashboard.

News, forerunner of HBSDealer, felt the pinch in monthly sales, and employment data. (See image.) The data jam is a minor example of the consequences of a government shutdown. In the early days of the stalemate, HBSDealer readers were asked if their business was affected by the shutdown. The vast majority — 168 out of 198 voters, or 85% — said “no.” When the shutdown ended, a follow-up poll question showed that 65% (at last count) of respondents were “indifferent” to the temporary re-opening of the federal government. A 65% -plus indifference rate seems excessively high to me. Perhaps if the question was phrased: “Are you relieved that some 800,000 federal workers who have been furloughed can begin to think again about home improvement spending?” — then we might have had a more enthusiastic response. Indifferent? Not the Editor. He needs the data. Have you used the Dashboard in your industry-related presentation? Let us know at news@hbsdealer.com

Midwest & Southeastern States SENIOR REGIONAL MANAGER Amy Platter Grant agrant@ensembleiq.com, 773-294-8598 Northeast and Great Lakes States REGIONAL MANAGER Greg Cole gcole@ensembleiq.com, 317-775-2206 PRODUCTION/ART

VICE PRESIDENT, PRODUCTION Derek Estey destey@ensembleiq.com, 877-687-7321 CREATIVE DIRECTOR Colette Magliaro cmagliaro@ensembleiq.com ART DIRECTOR Regina Loncala rloncala@gmail.com MEDIA PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Betty Dong bdong@ensembleiq.com, 212-756-5134 PRODEALER INDUSTRY SUMMIT OCT. 17 TO 19, CHICAGO WWW.PRODEALER.COM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NLBMDA, WWW.DEALER.ORG CONTACT: AMY PLATTER GRANT, PDIS DIRECTOR OF SPONSORSHIPS PUBLISHER OF HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER, DRUG STORE NEWS, CHAIN STORE AGE. CIRCULATION LIST MANAGER: ELIZABETH JACKSON, MERITDIRECT (847) 492-1350 X318. PERMISSIONS: MATERIALS IN THIS PUBLICATION MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION. TO ORDER REPRINTS CALL PARS INTERNATIONAL AT (212) 221-9595, EXT. 435, OR EMAIL LF-REPRINTS@PARSINTL.COM. CONTACT COPYRIGHT CLEARANCE CENTER, 222 ROSEWOOD DRIVE, DANVERS, MA 01923, (978) 646-2600 OR (855) 239-3415, OR ON THE WEB AT COPYRIGHT.COM FOR IMMEDIATE AUTHORIZATION TO PHOTOCOPY FROM HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER (ISSN 2376-5852).

Corporate Officers EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAIN Alan Glass CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER David Shanker CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Dan McCarthy CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER Joel Hughes CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER Tanner Van Dusen EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, EVENTS & CONFERENCE Ed Several

connect with us

Ken Clark Editor in Chief

FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

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NEWS + ANALYSIS

The Sad, Slow Demise of HDW Hardware Distribution Warehouses Inc., the Marshall, Texas-based distributor of hardware and building material products that services more than 2,000 retailers in the Mid-South, is closing down both of its distribution centers. The company’s Marshall distribution center is currently undergoing a liquidation sale. A liquidation of the company’s Greenwood, Miss., distribution center will follow. A statement on the company’s website reads: “As most of you are aware HDW has been in negotiations in an attempt to sell either of our warehouse locations and continue to service your needs. Unfortunately, no deal has been made and we are forced to close both facilities as of today (Jan. 4).” The moves come less than two months after HDW replaced its president. Billy Stapleton, a veteran merchandising executive for the company, took over from Kenneth R. Beauvais in early November. At the time, the company announced that it was hopeful HDW “will continue to move forward.” In 2016 under CEO Beauvais, HDW acquired the Houston-based distributor formerly known as Handy Hardware. It later combined the operations of its distribution centers in Shreveport, La., and Houston, Texas into a single facility in Marshall, Texas, where it set up its headquarters. According to HDW VP of Corporate Communications Jimmy Horne, it was during this stretch that the company fell victim to mismanagement and over-extension. Horne, who continues to work with a skeleton crew in the HDW Marshall facility, said fulfillment rates fell from about 95% to about 55% after the company moved to consolidate some of its operations in Marshall. “In February [2018], we thought we were in a lot of trouble,” he told HBSDealer. Consultants were called in, as was the trustee of the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan. And eventually, Beauvais was forced to resign, Horne said.

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Beauvais could not be reached for comment. After Beauvais’s departure, Horne said there was about a 50-50 shot of digging the company out from its financial troubles. “We were trying to save as many jobs as we could,” Horne said. The company tried to sell its operations. It was in talks with House-Hasson Hardware, but those didn’t get far. Florida Hardware also showed interest, but that deal fell through when HDW ran out of time and money to pay its sales reps. “Our sales force was the key to anyone wanting to buy us, because of their knowledge and their relationships,” Horne said. “When they were let go, everything kind of fell apart.” Since then, according to Horne, many of the HDW sales force have been picked up by competing distributors, including Orgill, House-Hasson Hardware and Southern Hardware. HDW distribution center workers received some good news in mid-January. According to an article in the Greenwood Commonwealth newspaper, Milwaukee Tool stepped in and announced it would hire 54 workers out of the HDW distribution center in Greenwood, where Milwaukee Tool has a growing presence. Many others in the company, including Horne, face uncertain employment. HDW was formed in 1994 with the mergers of South States, Henderson & Baird and Higginbotham-Pearlstone Hardware Co.

FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

DA Deals with a Loss With the demise of Hardware Distribution Warehouses, Inc., the co-operative of industry buying groups known collectively as “Distribution America” loses a key member, and drops from seven buying group members to six. The Charlotte, N.C.-based Distribution America describes the loss as a setback and a disappointment, but not a serious business challenge. In an email to HBSDealer, Jody Maude, Distribution America’s advertising and communications manager, stated: “While we are understandably disappointed, especially for all of the HDW employees, we don’t expect this to have a large impact on our organization. HouseHasson Hardware and BlishMize acquired HDW assets including inventory and sales staff and House-Hasson is looking to expand its Knoxville warehouse to better serve former HDW customers. The remaining distributor members of the group — which describes itself as a “multibillion dollar organization” — are the following: • Blish-Mize, Atchison, Kan.; • Florida Hardware, Jacksonville, Fla.; • House-Hasson Hardware, Knoxville, Tenn.; • Monroe Hardware, Monroe, N.C.; • PACOA, Port Washington, N.Y.; and • United Hardware, Plymouth, Minn. Continued to page 11

HBSDealer.com


Continued from page 10

For LMC, a Taste of The Ivy League

Prior to HDW’s demise, Val-Test ended its membership in the Distribution America in late February of 2018. ValTest created a partnership with Pro Group, based in Denver. Distribution America’s list of former members also includes, EmeryWaterhouse Company of Portland, Maine, which was acquired by Ace Hardware Corp. in 2014. Jensen Distributing was also a former DA member, and is now part of Ace’s Emery-Jensen wholesale division. Years ago, Memphis, Tenn.-based Orgill was a member of Distribution America, before growing from a regional player into the international company that it is today.

Lumbermens Merchandising Group (LMC) dealers recently gathered in Philadelphia to attend the buying group’s Executive Education Program. Held at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, 47 dealers from 20 states were in attendance. Wayne, Pa.-based LMC said the program is unique as it goes beyond a business school curriculum. The week of learning is framed around an industry relevant case study that helps the attending dealers apply what they are learning to their own companies. “I loved this whole week. Just being able to learn so many different things from professors who teach this every day and teach this to CEOs and COOs,” said Brooke Schneider of Tague Lumber. Wharton is highly regarded by recent executive-education rankings compiled by U.S. News & World Report and The Financial Times. Said LMC President John Somerville: “The partnership with Wharton and the ability to offer this kind of program, not seen elsewhere in the industry, is part of the reason LMC dealers stand out. Since its inception in 2015, there has been high demand to be in attendance for this unique executive Back to school: LMC Dealers at Univ. of Penn. education experience.”

News Map: Openings, Closings & Acquisitions Illustration of stores in various stages of coming and going. For more retail news, visit HBSDealer.com.

oregon

Warrenton

Warrenton Builders Supply Ken Culp, co-owner of Culp & Sons Builders Inc. with his son, Matthew, recently leased the long-vacant former Ace Hardware franchise.

ohio

Willowick Walker True Value Hardware The 71-year-old owner Steve Sliwinski, who previously owned Pieko Hardware, has run Walker for 22 years. Store closing signs are in the windows.

HBSDealer.com

virginia OPENING

CLOSING

ACQUISITION

Verona

Rockingham Cooperative The cooperative announced the acquisition of the Verona Ace Hardware store, marking its 14th location.. All Verona ace employees will continue to be employed.

florida

Brooksville

84 Lumber Reopened after a 10-year absence. 84 Lumber’s 35,000-square-foot Brooksville store, and its yard, will have plenty of stock on hand.

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER FEBRUARY 2019

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NEWS + ANALYSIS

Wood Floors Strike Back The wood flooring association promotes “Real Wood, Real Life.” Back in November, HBSDealer quoted Home Depot Senior VP of Merchandising Ted Decker on the momentum of the vinyl flooring category. “Vinyl flooring was almost on its deathbed, and then innovation came along, and you now have vinyl plank flooring that is flying out of the stores at a premium price.” In its third quarter earnings report, The Home Depot said vinyl plank flooring was one of the key drivers of a 9.1% increase in big-ticket sales. It appears as if the National Wood Flooring Association has been taking note. And now they’re striking back for the hearts of the home owner. The NWFA announced in late January a new effort to help homeowners learn more about the characteristics and benefits of real wood floors. The “Real Wood. Real Life.” campaign provides

information on choosing the right wood floor, selecting a professional for the job, and conducting maintenance properly. “Homeowners love the look of wood floors in their homes,” said Michael Martin, president and CEO of NWFA. “But, the flood of wood-lookalike products such as laminate, tile, plastic composite, and vinyl plank flooring has created a lot of confusion about what is and what is not a real wood floor. We want to increase the understanding of what comprises a wood floor and all the reasons for choosing real wood — it’s durable, beautiful, easy to clean, and increases home value.” NWFA also laid down a formal definition of wood flooring: “any flooring product that contains real wood as the

top-most, wearable surface of the floor.” That includes solid and engineered wood flooring, as well as composite engineered wood flooring. Rounding out its offensive, the group pointed to a survey (commissioned by the NWFA) showing two-thirds of U.S. homeowners say they would choose wood floors for their dream home. Nearly 80% believe wood floors add the most value to a home. “Nothing else looks, sounds, feels, and even smells, quite like hardwood,” said Emily Morrow Finkell, an interior designer, CEO of Emily Morrow Home, and NWFA member.

Lowe’s Kicks Off NFL Campaign The National Football League announced a new Official Home Improvement Retail Sponsor: Lowe’s. A multi-year deal with the NFL grants Lowe’s the ability to market and promote itself on and off the football field throughout the year, including at key events such as the Super Bowl, NFL Draft, NFL Combine, NFL Kickoff and in support of NFL Salute to Service. Lowe’s rival The Home Depot inked a similar deal with the NFL in 2007, which lasted for two years. While the size of the Lowe’s marketing investment is under wraps, the price tag of other

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NFL sponsorships have appeared in various media reports. For instance, one 30-second Super Bowl commercial is reported to sell for about $5 million. Microsoft reportedly made a $400 million dollar investment to become “The Official Sideline Technology Sponsor of the NFL.” And according to a 2014 report in The Street, Anheuser-Busch InBev paid about $1 billion to become the NFL’s official beer sponsor.

FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

HBSDealer.com


Sign of the Times: Drivers in Demand Highlighting the industry of professional drivers.” challenge of hiring and retaining Furnell also said Walmart is drivers, the world’s largest transforming its hiring process. retailer announced it is raising In the past, candidates were driver pay beginning in February. given one opportunity to perform According to Bentonville, an assessment, during which Ark.-based Walmart, a one cent they were evaluated for driving per mile increase and additional skills and what is known as a pay for every arrival means that “pre-trip inspection,” or safety Walmart drivers will now earn scans of a truck prior to each on average $87,500 a year. That departure. But targeted oneadds up to an all-in rate of about on-one mentoring from veteran 89 cents per mile. drivers has been introduced in More than 1,400 new Walmart the new process. truck drivers were added in Two centralized locations — 2018 and hundreds more Casa Grande, Ariz., and Lauren, are slated to join the fleet S.C. — serve as week-long in 2019, the company said. onboarding facilities for new Assessments, mentorship and hires to observe veteran drivers a faster hiring process are all a and then practice those skills part of new onboarding events “the Walmart way.” To qualify that are filling critical new jobs for the onboarding, candidates created by Walmart’s business must meet certain standards for growth during an industry-wide its private fleet drivers, including shortage, Walmart said. 30 months of experience in the “These hiring events are past 3 years and a clean safety both improving record. the skill level of our candidates and enriching their onboarding experience,” said Lori Furnell, Walmart’s director of driver talent acquisition. “We’re leaning heavily on the expertise of our Walmart road team and our certified driver trainers to grow our skilled fleet A driver applies for a job at Walmart.

HBSDealer.com

Seven D Grows as Fairway Changes Focus Seven D Wholesale has agreed to acquire Fairway Building Product’s Mid-Atlantic-based distribution business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction is expected to be completed at or near year end, the companies said. Based in Mount Joy, Pa., Fairway distributes exterior building products used in home improvement, remodeling and new residential and commercial construction projects. The proposed acquisition does not include Fairway Architectural Railing Solutions, which produces cellular PVC, steel, aluminum, vinyl, and composite railing systems and accessories for residential and design-build applications. Headquartered in Altoona, Pa., Seven D Wholesale distributes building materials in 48 states through its network of 14 distribution centers located in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. As part of this agreement, Seven D will distribute the full line of Fairway Architectural Railing Solutions products through its six Northeast locations. “We are enthusiastic about the acquisition of the Fairway distribution business unit and committed to providing the strong customer base with the service levels they have come to expect while giving them access to an expanded building product offering,” said Denny DeGol, chief operating officer of Seven D. “We are excited about becoming an important distribution partner in a core Fairway Architectural Railing market that aligns with our own,” Fairway said it is transitioning its focus and strategy toward its manufacturing units serving the pro channel through a national network of distribution partners. Fairway also said it will focus on its Trenton, N.J.-based design-build business serving the multi-family segment in core markets with turn-key solutions.

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER FEBRUARY 2019

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COVER STORY—DECK ISSUE

Into the Upper Decks Milton Hardware & Lumber turns to deck sales By Andy Carlo Roughly eight years ago, as the LBM industry shook off the dust from a collapsing housing market, an upstate New York hardware store began discussing a bold idea. With dozens of independent hardware stores and pro dealers closing their doors for good, Milton Hardware & Building Supply decided to go in another direction and expand its inventory. Rather than remain a community hardware store — carrying a full line of Benjamin Moore paints, Stihl power equipment, and a wide array of hand tools, power tools and accessories — the business decided to move into lumber and building materials. “We decided to expand our customer base and continue rounding out our

Milton’s key to sales: high-end products.

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business. We set our parameters and knew we had to build-on an overall selection of products,” owner Jeff Paladino told HBSDealer. In the third quarter of 2017, the dealer began the transition to LBM by easing out of the heavy-powerequipment-rental business. Paladino says the move was made to free up capital that would be used to further expand the building materials side of the company. Currently, the dealer carries a 60/40 split of traditional hardware store merchandise to building materials. But the plan is to soon shift to a 50/50 split and eventually flip to a 60/40 split with LBM products becoming the heavier category. According to LBM Manager Jim Morrison, Milton competes against area dealers and home centers with a focus on high-quality materials that customers want and appreciate. “Customers are willing to pay a little more for higher quality materials,” he says. Paladino added: “From the onset we planned on focusing on quality materials to differentiate ourselves from the boxes and the competition,” Milton Hardware & Building Supply has since become a destination point for building products in New York’s Hudson River Valley region, particularly when it comes to high-end, quality materials. And that effort to become a go-to locale for building products and lumber has paid off, according to the dealer. The business has quickly

FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

earned a strong reputation among regional builders and remodelers. Now settled into the LBM market, high grade decking has become an avenue to pursue while growing the LBM side of the company. In 2017, a new drive-thru lumberyard — complete with an Auto-Stak system — was opened at the dealer’s 10-acre site and headquarters in Milton, N.Y., just under 80 miles north of Manhattan. As the dealer’s evolution into a building materials business has continued, decking has become a key ingredient. “And that was all according to plan,” Paladino said. Milton’s LBM customer base is roughly 75% remodeler and 25% home builder. But the lines are drawing more toward the center of the split with residential builder sales growing in the past year. Roughly 60% of Milton’s total decking product sales are from treated lumber

HBSDealer.com


Deck sales continue to play a major role in the New York dealer’s transformation to an LBM destination.

with the remaining 40% being derived from composites. As the company has grown its line of decking products, it has also expanded its offerings of ancillary deck SKUs and brands. Meanwhile, statistics and forecasts from around the industry support the idea that there is potential for a tall coin in the decking category. NADRA — the North American Deck and Railing Association — estimates that the total decking industry is worth more than $6 billion. But by 2022 the market could reach a size of $15 billion. Analyzing building permit data, there are more than 50 million existing decks in the United States — about 40 million residential and 10 million commercial, according to NADRA. But many of these decks have either reached or exceeded a 25-year life expectancy. That puts a lot of homeowners in line for a new deck. Meanwhile, the most recent decking report from the National Association of

HBSDealer.com

Home Builders described decking as a category on very solid ground when it comes to new residential construction. Of the 850,000 single-family homes started in 2016, nearly 24% included decks, according to the study. The NAHB based its findings on data from the Survey of Construction (SOC), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2016 figure marks a slight increase over the prior-year report, which indicated that 23.7% of singlefamily home starts included a deck. Both figures are up from the 22.2% level recorded in 2012. (From 2005 to 2008, about 25% of new single-family homes had decks.) The deck business is more regional than most home categories. In New England, 62% of new single-family homes included decks, followed by 51% in the East South-Central states, and 45% in the West North Central states. In contrast, just 4% of new

homes had decks in the West South Central, including Texas. While composites and treated woods are the most common material in new decks, plastic materials — including PVC — are rising in the Northeast. Morrison says deck sales at Milton are split roughly 50/50 between new decks and replacements. “We’re getting a lot of people replacing the surface, but we’re getting as many replacement sales as new deck sales,” he says. Again — quality products are the key to Milton’s gaining and edge in deck sales. In a recent HBSDealer reader poll, we asked readers what would be the key to selling decks in 2019. The top two responses — both receiving an 18% share of the vote — said carrying major deck brands along with carrying a wide product assortment would net larger deck sales this year. As decking sales continue to grow at Milton, the company has its next LBM pursuit waiting in the wings. Looking down the road — but not too far down that road — a wide selection of windows and doors is the next step for Milton Hardware & Building Supply, according to Paladino. “We are always listening to our customers to see where they want us to go,” he says. “We are always looking to differentiate ourselves from the competition.”

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER FEBRUARY 2019

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COVER COVER STORY—DECK STORY—DECK ISSUE ISSUE

Decking Arrivals: 2019 As the 2019 full-on decking season quickly approaches, HBSDealer has gathered a sampling of some of the latest decking products, including composites and wood-alternatives, lighting, railing, and wood treatment applications.

TAMKO

Adding warmth and character are the goals of many home renovation projects these days. But homeowners also want to reduce the time it takes to build and maintain. So, what’s the solution? TAMKO Building Products, Inc. recently introduced Envision Inspiration composite decking to fill the bill. The softly blended colors mimic that of reclaimed wood in three popular colors: Tangled Twine (featured below), Weathered Wicker, and Barnwood Plank. Just as the names suggest, all the colors introduce the relaxed, worn-to-perfection style of outdoor living. Envision offers a 25-year limited warranty with 5-year full start period. Envisiondecking.com.

Deckorators

Deckorators expanded its line of wood-alternative decking with the launch of Voyage. This new line of composite decking featuring patented Eovations technology. Voyage delivers the industry’s best strength-to-weight ratio, absorbs virtually no moisture, and allows virtually no thermal expansion or contraction. Vertical grain variegation gives Voyage — an ultra-low maintenance composite — the trend-forward appearance of the highest-quality wood. Voyage comes in a dark gray Sierra, a gray Tundra, a golden brown Costa; and a red brown Mesa. Meanwhile, the brand has also collaborated with Hinkley Lighting for a new line of low-voltage lighting to outdoor living: Deckorators by Hinkley Lighting. The line delivers a wide selection of 12-volt LED post cap, step light and deck sconce low-voltage options to coordinate with Deckorators composite decking and railing. All options offer ease of installation, exceptional illumination, and a five-year LED and manufacturing defects limited warranty. Deckorators.com.

DeckWise

DeckWise introduced its Low-Voc Wisecoat Premium Hardwood Deck, Siding & Fence Sealer. The product is described as eco-friendly and low VOC. It is a non-toxic water-proofer sealant designed for use on exotic hardwoods, thermally modified wood and most any American hardwood. It protects, preserves and enhances and is guaranteed to prevent excessive water accumulation below the wood surface for up to 6 years on horizontal surfaces and up to 10 years on vertical surfaces when used according to the product instructions. Deckwise.com.

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MoistureShield has introduced two new colors of composite decking featuring CoolDeck technology. CoolDeck minimizes heat absorption by up to 36% compared to traditional capped composite boards. The newest colors, Mochaccino and Cathedral Stone, offer the option of the comfortable, barefoot-friendly CoolDeck. Also, MoistureShield Vision features an advanced manufacturing method that creates a modern, variegated appearance with a diverse pallet of trend-forward color options. The distinctive contemporary designs strongly resemble the beauty of interior hardwoods to provide a seamless transition to the outdoor deck. Moistureshield.com.

New from Regal Ideas is Crystal Rail. Crystal Rail is composed of 10mm “low-iron” tempered glass that provides a crystalclear appearance without the obstruction of posts and rails. The system includes 3W LED lights in its glass mounts that illuminate the panels at night. This system is a perfect blend of science, physics and art — there isn’t any hard-wiring or splicing needed — simply, plug and play. RegalIdeas.com.

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From deck fascia to railings, pergolas, and T&G ceilings, Versatex cellular PVC trim helps craftsmen build and transform decks that will stand the test of time and weather. The VersaWrap line of products includes one-piece column wraps, moulding kits, and postcaps that make dressing up columns and newel posts a breeze. When paired with fabricated railing systems or pergola beams from Versatexural, outdoor living truly comes to life without added maintenance. Additionally, deck builders will appreciate the versatility introduced by the Canvas Series. This innovation in PVC technology pairs rich woodgrains with the durability of PVC. Versatex.com.

Armadillo Deck has introduced new luxurious colors and a streaking pattern into its 2019 Lifestyle Deck line. Smoke, Sunset, Walnut, Bronco and Foothills will have the same durability, color richness, and low cost as Armadillo’s current Lifestyle line, but now with an enhanced streaking pattern to create a more modern and trendsetting look. ArmadilloDeck.com.

FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

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A New Name, a Familiar Player Cameron Ashley Building Products hits the ground running By Andy Carlo After announcing a name change, Cameron Ashley Building Products didn’t wait long to make headlines. The building products distributor, formerly known as Guardian Building Products, announced the opening of two new distribution centers in late January; and it plans to maintain an active expansion plan throughout 2019. The newest location is in Rocky Mount, N.C., which will operate within an approximate 150-mile service radius. The facility will serve customers north to Richmond, Va., south to Wilmington, N.C., and west to Winston-Salem, N.C. “We are pleased to continue serving our existing customers in North Carolina and look forward to expanding our service area to customers further north and east with the addition of this location,” said Regional Vice President Tom Gaffey. Cameron Ashley also opened a new distribution center in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. The facility, also with an

Visit Us At The Show!

approximate 150-mile service radius, replaces an existing facility in nearby Macedonia, Ohio. These latest investments followed the announcement that Cameron Ashley acquired the assets of Warrior Building Products in St. Louis, Mo.

Warrior distributes roofing, fasteners, siding, insulation and decking from its base in St. Louis. “We are excited to add a St. Louis location to our network of distribution centers,” said Donny DeMarie, president and CEO of Cameron Ashley.

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“The acquisition further strengthens the company’s position in the Midwestern United States while providing Cameron Ashley with a strong foothold in eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois.” DeMarie noted that the St. Louis location complements existing locations in Kansas City and Joplin, Mo. “We look forward to leveraging this expanded footprint and to serving our customers and deepening our supplier relationships,” he said. “We are committed to continuing to expand and scale the business through acquisitions, greenfield, and organic growth.” Earlier in January, Guardian Building Products launched a new name and corporate identity as it transformed into Cameron Ashley Building Products, Inc. The move comes with a new website address: cameronashleybp.com. Based in Greenville, S.C., Cameron Ashley operates more than 30 distribution centers. This includes a total storage footprint of over 4.2 million square feet in 20 states in the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast. Cameron Ashley is a portfolio company of Los Angeles-based private investment firm Pacific Avenue Capital Partners, LLC. The acquisition is the latest in a series of strategic changes under Pacific Avenue’s ownership, and follows the company’s recent name change from Guardian Building Products. Under Pacific Avenue’s ownership, Cameron Ashley has grown its network to more than 5,000 customers served by a fleet of over 125 tractors and 200 trailers that make in excess of 240,000 deliveries every year, Cameron Ashley said. Referring to the Warrior deal, Pacific Avenue founder and managing

“We are committed to pursuing additional acquisitions.” — Chris Sznewajs, Pacific Avenue founder and managing partner

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partner Chris Sznewajs said: “The acquisition demonstrates of our strong commitment to expanding Cameron Ashley’s footprint to better support our customers while expanding the reach for our supplier partners. “We are excited about this acquisition along with the greenfield expansions that are planned in Nevada, Arizona,

and Pennsylvania in 2019.” And the future looks strong for Cameron Ashley. “We are committed to pursuing additional acquisitions that will expand our geographic footprint while continuing to offer our core product suite of roofing, insulation, gypsum, decking and siding,” Sznewajs said.

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In Smithfield, N.C., the former headquarters of IBSA received a makeover.

LBM Advantage Looks West, and Finds Opportunity By Ken Clark As LBM Advantage heads to its Annual Meeting and Trade Show in Orlando, Fla., in mid-February, its sales team will have a strong story of growth to tell its members. The New Windsor, N.Y.-based co-op crossed the $2 billion mark in wholesale purchases in 2018, and has grown its top line by 22%. The Advantage growth spurt began with a bang in 2015, when it was created through the merger of New Windsor, N.Y. based ENAP and Michigan-based PAL. Two years later, the co-op brought on Smithfield, N.C.-based Independent Building Supply Association (IBSA), bringing the Southeast region into the family. These days, new merger targets are few and far between. So, to keep the pace of growth in high gear, the co-op is looking to the western United States for new dealers and new markets. “Our members want us to grow,” says LBM Advantage President and CEO Steve Sallah. “We have two mergers completed, and the question we get is: ‘How are we going to continue to add 20% to 25% top line growth without some big, strategic transaction?’ At the moment, there is no clear merger

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opportunity, so our answer is to go westward.” Carrying that flag of western expansion is industry veteran Dan Ohmer, a former Knauf and Guardian executive who, in concert with veteran co-op executive Tom Molloy, “has been helping us open the doors and get conversations started,” Sallah said. (It helps that Ohmer “knows pretty much every dealer in the U.S.,” said Sallah.) “We have found some lumberyards that fit well with our model,” including a couple of “good-sized” players in Oklahoma,” he added. “These are independent lumberyards that buy from the same manufacturers that the guys in the East buy from.” Ninety new members joined the co-op in 2018, pushing the total member count to 547, with more than 1,100 locations among them. Recent additions hail from Oklahoma, Detroit, and New York; and an Iowa application arrived on the day of the interview. And the four offices — New Windsor, N.Y.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Smithfield, N.C. and Monroe, La. — provide a regional presence that the co-op feels is an advantage for recruiting.

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Steve Sallah President and CEO

“The top line has been showing very healthy growth, but more importantly, the value we are providing to the members is growing ever faster.”

Paul Dean Director of Marketing

“Our show this is year on a record pace. We’ll have more than 1,000 with us for our all-industry breakfast. When the suppliers get to look around the room and see the scope and size of the organization, it’s visually very compelling.”

Tim Johnson VP Southeast Operations

“It has been a great merger for us, and a great alliance. There are a lot more opportunities now for our members than there were as members of IBSA.”

HBSDealer.com

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Value of membership is another story that LBM Advantage is prepared to share in Orlando for its Feb. 18-20 event at the Rosen Centre and Orange County Convention Center. According to Sallah, there is strength in numbers. And the co-op’s 150 existing programs were all improved through the combination of ENAP, PAL and IBSA. “We were able to get better rebates, better terms or better pricing,” said Sallah. “And not just because of our size, but because of our ability to bring vendors into new territories.” In the Carolinas and Georgia, Tim Johnson, former IBSA president and now Advantage’s VP of Southeast operations, says increased leverage has been one of the advantages to dealers in the region. Plus, “LBM Advantage brought to the table things that IBSA didn’t have in the form of kitchen and bath cabinets and futures trading. “Also, before the merger, IBSA didn’t have outside sales representation that was dedicated to calling on the members,” he said. “We do now.” The company also points to the value of its NextGen program, a response to interest in succession planning and the development of future leaders. The program was launched In May of 2018. The NextGen mission statement

reads: “to provide value to the next generation owners and key leaders of our membership through education, networking and peer development.” Advantage members and suppliers have contributed considerable time and expertise as speakers and consultants to the program., the company said. And there’s also a co-op wide initiative called “We’re Listening,” described by Director of Marketing, Paul Dean as a “deep dive” to better understand the needs of the members above and beyond pricing and purchasing. “The merger has brought about a lot of analysis of best practices,” said Dean, former CEO of PAL. “And we were able to pick and choose between what worked best and we brought those things together. It’s part of our ‘We’re Listening’ initiative. It will be a big part of the conference, and it’s a big part of what we’re doing internally.” To be sure, there are challenges facing the independent lumberyard. Sallah described housing affordability as a headwind for the residential construction industry. Another recent challenge is the encroachment of one-step distribution, especially in roofing and gypsum. These are problems to solve, said Sallah, but the industry stands to gain from pent-up demand for housing. The math is on the side of the dealer, as housing starts have been well under historical averages for years –and young families have to live somewhere. “I think for me there are more tailwinds right now than headwinds for the independent lumber dealer,” Sallah said.

The map of ENAP (blue), PAL (green) and IBSA (red) create shows a western frontier of opportunity.

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A SPECIAL THANKS TO VENDORS

New Windsor, N.Y.-based LBM Advantage revealed the co-op’s four 2018 “Vendors of the Year.” Selected from four main building products categories, vendors are evaluated on a list of criteria that includes sales growth, gross margin, customer support and product quality. And the winners were: Commodities: Guardian Building Products

Specialties: Orgill

Millwork: Wolf Home Products

Kitchen & Bath: MasterBrand Cabinets

These vendors will be recognized at the LBM Advantage event in Orlando, Feb. 18-20 at the Rosen Centre & Orange County Convention Center, where a “Blueprint for Success” theme will be in play. HBSDealer.com

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Hands-On A variety of hand tools gathered by the editors of HBSDealer present an extreme variety of functions — and yet, common denominators jump off the page. Among the themes are ergonomics, ease of use and durability. Not every tool here has 19 functions (see page 30), but manufactures are clearly trying new things to make their handtool products indispensable to specialists and generalists alike.

DeWalt XP Series Hammers With the slogan “More swing, less sting,” DeWalt’s XP Extended Performance series hammers offer durability along with vibrationdampening technology and easy-to-grip handles. The product promises to reduce sting by 35%, and improve grip durability by 25%.The series features six options — shown here is the 16 oz. general purpose hammer. The hammers also includes a TriPull feature for removing nails and staples. dewalt.com

PacTool Z-Clamp Installing panel siding can be tough work. That’s where the Z-Clamp comes in. Working as a pair, the Z-Clamp acts as a platform for unwieldy panel siding, allowing for fast and easy nailing — and setting the stage for true, one-person installation. The Z-Clamp adjusts for all siding and flashing thicknesses. Pac Tools is a brand of General Tools and Instruments. generaltools.com

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FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

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Empire True Blue Combination Squares The next generation 6", 12", and 16" True Blue Combination Squares are redesigned with an improved Blade-Lock for faster adjustments and a more secure hold. There’s also a Dual-Pitch vial for checking 1 and 2-degree slope, and rational head dimensions for quick checks of common dimensions. It adds up to a versatile and easy to use hand tool. An etched stainless-steel blade and onboard storage for a hardened scriber. empirelevel.com

Milwaukee Open Reel Long Tapes Milwaukee Tool expanded its lineup of long tapes with new Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tapes, measuring in at 100, 200 and 300 feet. Equipped with the GrimeGuard Blade Wiper, which cleans and keeps debris out of the housing for easy retraction, the product feature a 3:1 planetary metal gear system. The system distributes force evenly and puts less stress on internal components, to prevent the gears from stripping. milwaukeetool.com

Klein Precision Flush Cutters Designed for increased control when working in confined spaces, the Precision Flush Cutter’s heat-treated knife design maximizes durability, and its ultra-slim, lightweight profile offers a unique solution for jobs that demand precision and control. A steel return spring makes repetitive, all-day cutting easier. Product is made in the USA. kleintools.com

Knipex 10-inch Pliers Wrench A lighter design and increased jaw capacity are two of the new features of Knipex Tools’ updated version of its popular 10-inch Pliers Wrench. The new tool is 15% lighter than the previous model and features an increased jaw capacity of two inches, as well as a narrow jaw profile for accessibility into confined areas. Forged and oil-hardened in chrome, vanadium electric steel the tool is also available in 5" to 16" lengths knipex-tools.com

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HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER FEBRUARY 2019

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PRODUCTS

Johnson JLX Programmable Digital Level Leatherman Charge-Plus Camo Here’s the short list of functions: needle-nose pliers, regular pliers, premium replaceable wire cutters, saw, cutting hook, can opener — and the list goes on all the way to 19 tools for survival and other uses. Every tool can be opened and locked with just one hand. The Charge Plus is now available in a pixodized forest camo pattern. Sells for about $150. leatherman.com

Johnson’s most robust and accurate digital level, this tool features preprogrammed ADA compliance, drainage and roof pitch modes that simplify measurements for the most common digital level applications. It can also be easily customized. A simple, three-button operation and a dual backlit LCD displays on the top and front make it easy to use and read. Crystal clear vials were designed to never fog, leak or crack. johnsonlevel.com

Gearwrench 6-piece Diamond Tip screwdriver set These diamond-tip screwdrivers have up to fourtimes the gripping power at the business end of the tool. At the other end, the “Speed Zone” handle design allows for faster rotation — especially in low-torque applications such as running down screws. The Tri-lobe ergonomic feature gives the user the optimal balance of strength and efficiency, according to Grearwrench, an Apex Tool Group brand. Laser-etched size and part numbers are on each screwdriver for quick identification. gearwrench.com

Channellock Channellock’s 430X SpeedGrip tongue and groove pliers make fast and easy non-slip adjustments to can get the job done even quicker. Laser heat-treated crosshatch teeth grip stronger and last longer thanks to innovative engineering. There is also a reaming feature for easy deburring of pipe. Also, like all Channellock pliers, 430X SpeedGrip tongue and groove pliers are Made in the U.S.A. from U.S. high carbon steel for ultimate strength and have ergonomic handles with no-slip grips. channellock.com

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There’s More to the Stanley Q4 Story How’s this for an achievable goal: $22 billion in revenue by 2022 The financial press hammered Stanley Black & Decker for its fourth quarter performance and downwardly revised earnings guidance. For instance, Bloomberg’s headline was: “Black and Decker Plunges as Reality Check Leads to Gloomier Outlook.” And CNBC reported that the company’s fourth quarter earnings report “cast a grim shadow over the company’s 2019 outlook.” There is a case to be made for a more nuanced view of the company’s growth potential of one of home improvement’s major icons. The bad news — and the news that sent the stock down a dramatic 15% (it has since recovered some of the decline) — was a Q4 loss, a relatively weak outlook, and some sober macroeconomic analysis from the CEO. During a conference call with analysts, CEO James Loree said: “There are signs that the global economic growth is slowing and that the U.S. economy may soon be coming to the end of one of the most enduring recoveries in U.S. history.” The New Britain, Conn.-based company reported a net loss of $65.9 million for the fourth quarter, compared to net earnings of $28.1 million for the same period a year ago. For the full year, Stanley’s net earnings fell to $646 million

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from profits of $1.2 billion in 2017. Loree also talked about a reality setting in: that of slowing growth for industrial companies. But the call went on for an hour, and there were plenty of other points made of a more uplifting nature. “It’s nothing to do with our market share,” Loree said. “Our market share continues to outperform the market.” Stanley Black & Decker posted fourth quarter 2018 net sales of $3.63 billion, up 5% compared to fourth quarter 2017 revenues of $3.64 billion. Tools & Storage delivered 7% organic with strength in all major geographies and business units. And then there was this: “The fact that we ended up delivering 9% adjusted EPS growth in 2018 on 8% revenue growth, which included 5% organic, is quite remarkable,” said Loree. The tools growth was driven by the continued rollout of the Craftsman brand — the largest product program in the history of Stanley Black & Decker. In the big box channel, Stanley has a deal with Lowe’s to sell the Craftsman line, while its Stanley and FatMax brands have found a home in Home Depot. Jeffery Ansell, Stanley executive VP & president of Tools & Storage, said the Craftsman brand is exceeding the company’s expectations, as well as the

customers’ expectations. The brand acquired from Sears in a blockbuster deal in early 2017 is on track to hit $1 billion in revenue growth by 2021. That’s seven years ahead of the company’s internal schedule, he said. “This progress is being driven by strong user acceptance,” Ansell told investors. “ As such, we have achieved a 4.6-star rating across well over 1,000 products and outstanding in-store execution by both Lowes and Ace. “ Stanley previously announced that The Home Depot will be the exclusive home improvement retailer (meaning “big box”) for Stanley and Stanley FatMax Hand Tools & Storage product portfolios, both in-store and online. The product will begin to ship in the front half of 2019. And that’s not to mention Lenox/ Irwin acquisitions. “We’re attacking the revenue synergy opportunities which will represent $100 million to $150 million of organic growth over a multiyear period as we broaden the distribution of these products around the world,” said Ansell. Despite a sober analysis of the economic landscape, CEO Loree has growth on his mind. ”With all these incredibly robust growth catalysts, we are in an excellent position for a successful march to $22 billion of revenue by 2022,” he said.

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MARKET INSIGHTS

Story Time: Encounters in the Aisles A Utah retailer is writing a book on the human-side of the hardware business. If you take all the helpful, heart-warming human-interest stories that occur in or around a hardware store and compile them into a book, then you might be onto something — at least a cult classic, maybe even a best-seller. That’s the thinking of Karen Munson, co-owner of Escalante (Utah) Home Center, located in the wide open spaces of southern Utah surrounded by the raw beauty of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Her idea to gather and chronicle hardware-store human interactions came to her shortly after she offered a hug of encouragement to a customer. “It had nothing to do with abrasives in aisle two,” Munson said. “It was personal. And I remember dancing down the aisle singing, ‘I love what happens in the aisles.’” That’s the kind of enthusiasm Munson is bringing to her literary project, the working title of which is “In the Aisles.” So far, Munson — who is already the author of a children’s book titled “Tryston’s Spoons” — has about 30 stories saved in her notebooks. And she’s shooting for about 100 short stories (about 700 words each), unless her publisher advises her otherwise. She says the material is plentiful, given the almost daily frequency of memorable encounters. “I’m a writer and a hardware store operator,” said Munson, a member of the Do it Best co-op. “I just love the magic that happens in the aisles — stories about warm and engaging celebrations of humanity with all its quirks. That’s what I’m going for. I want to collect and write and capture

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Amazing things happen in the hardware store aisles, says Karen Munson, with her husband, Reed.

all of this magic. I am biased. I love rural, I love small. I love all the intimate connections with all of our customers.” For instance, there’s the story about the lessons that professional actor Ted Levine (who played a supporting character from the long-running television show “Monk,”) gave to Munson when she was preparing for her role as a man in a local community theater production. “It was right there in aisle 12,” she said. “He taught me to swagger, to gesture, and he gave me the confidence I needed to play that role.” Then there’s the story about the elderly customer who needed an exotic hearing-aid battery at closing time on a weekend. The store didn’t have it, but a customer who overheard the conversation volunteered to drive home and return with the desired product, allowing the man to communicate with his son during their adventure into the wilderness. The good Samaritan just happened to have the exact same hearing aid as the elderly customer. “It was more than just a helpful gesture,” Munson said. “She gave him the gift of time with his son.” And then there was the time that a customer suggested to Munson

FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

that someone like Matt Graham, the Discovery Channel star from “Dual Survival,” come to Escalante and teach tourists survival skills in the beautiful but dangerous landscape. The following conversation ensued: Munson: “Are you a big fan of Matt Graham?” Customer: “Absolutely, I’ve seen every one of his shows.” Munson: “Would you like to meet him? He’s in aisle four.” And so he was, marking one of many amazing and happy coincidences in the 5,000 sq. ft. hardware store. Why do hardware stores generate these kinds of stories? Munson reasons that its partly because hardware stores and the people who work in them are “exquisite problem solvers.” And also, they are places where people come together with a mindset of helping each other, and finding help. “I am just passionate about sharing the face to face interactions we have in locally owned retail stores and the relationships we build with our customers,” she said. “Fun stuff happens in the aisles that has nothing to do with the stuff the customer comes in to purchase.”

HBSDealer.com


From OSHA, a Little Less Red Tape The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on January 24 that it has issued a final rule that eliminated the requirement for businesses with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information for OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to the Agency each year. OSHA states that the final rule will allow the Agency to improve enforcement targeting and compliance assistance, protect worker privacy and safety, and decrease burden on employers. The rule takes effect on February 25, 2019. Businesses with 250 or more employees, as well as businesses with 20 to 249 employees in designated high-risk industries, must still submit information from OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). Please note that lumber and building material dealers are classified as a high-risk industry and subject to the stricter reporting requirements for OSHA Form 300A. By no longer requiring submission of Forms 300 and 301, it greatly reduces employer concerns about employee privacy and identity. However, employers are still required to maintain these forms on-site as well as submit them on an as-needed basis during inspections and enforcement actions.

HBSDealer.com

OSHA is also amending the recordkeeping regulation requiring covered employers to electronically submit their Employer Identification Number (EIN) with their information from Form 300A. The final rule’s requirement for employers to submit their EIN to OSHA electronically along with their information from Form 300A will make the data more useful for OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and may reduce duplicative reporting burdens on employers. The new rule makes clear that there is no ban on post incident drug testing or incident-based safety incentive programs. Any language from the 2016 rule that suggested there is a limit on incentive programs or drug testing is overridden by this new rule. Drug testing remains a good tool for employers in identifying potential impairments that may have led to a workplace accident.

Government Reopens, Builders Applaud The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) raised its voice in support of the reopening of the federal government. President Trump signed a bill on Jan. 25 that reopens multiple federal agencies until Feb. 15. The move puts a temporary end to the 35day shutdown that impacted about 800,000 federal employees. Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from LaPlace, La., today issued the following statement regarding the agreement between President Trump and congressional leaders to reopen the federal government: “NAHB commends President Trump and congressional leaders for working together to reopen the government for three weeks while they tackle the issue of border security. At a time when the nation is facing a growing housing affordability crisis, the shutdown has exacerbated the situation by disrupting funding for important HUD housing programs. It is vitally important that Congress and the White House come to an agreement on securing our southern border to ensure the federal government remains open indefinitely.”

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Supply Chain and Demand Behind the scenes with a massive transformation at Lowe’s By Jamie Grill-Goodman Robin Bornkamp is leading a multiyear, multi-phased supply chain transformation at Lowe’s. She joined the home improvement retailer in 2005, holding several positions and working her way up to vice president of supply chain development in 2017. Last year she was given the additional responsibility of overseeing physical infrastructure design and network capacity management. Bornkamp has led significant change at Lowe’s and is guiding the company on the next phase of its ongoing transformation. Most recently, she developed a streamlined buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) process where products are stored at the front of the store, making it easier for customers to quickly come in and out. Prior to Lowe’s, Bornkamp held various positions with multiple national and regional banking institutions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Bornkamp’s contributions were recently recognized by Retail Info Systems (sister publication of HBSDealer) which named her to the “Top Women in Retail Tech 2019” list. RIS: What new and emerging technology have you and your team recently deployed that helps set your organization apart? Robin Bornkamp: As part of our order fulfillment strategy, we’ve invested

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in new technologies over the past several years that have helped utilize our store assets to enhance our offering to customers. This has strengthened our infrastructure and our ability to serve customers as an omnichannel retailer, most notably through BOPIS. For some customers, a key sticking point of BOPIS is that it takes too long to pick up products in-store that they’ve ordered online. In response, we’ve developed a streamlined BOPIS process where products are stored at the front of all retail stores, making it easier for customers to quickly come in and out, and setting us apart from our competitors. RIS: What were the strategic objectives of this technology and are there any success metrics you can share? Bornkamp: The strategic objective of our omnichannel supply chain is to give our customers the best buying experience possible, and that means offering more flexible options to shop with us. Since implementing the new BOPIS process, we’ve reduced time spent by customers who use BOPIS by more than two-thirds, which has increased customer satisfaction and repeat usage of this service. RIS: What project have you led that you are most proud of? Bornkamp: Spearheading my first technology implementation roughly 10

FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

Robin Bornkamp

years ago. The ultimate goal of the project was to streamline delivering parcel shipments to the customer from one of Lowe’s regional distribution centers. This was my first IT project, and I went into it with a pure business mentality. I came out with a whole new perspective and skillset thanks to the guidance of many talented team members involved in the effort. This helped me realize the importance of looking at the larger picture. I believe this is what set the foundation for my success in leading Lowe’s multiyear, multi-phased supply chain transformation. RIS: Can you discuss any new technology that you currently developing? Bornkamp: As part of the strategy efforts, Lowe’s recently launched a new direct fulfillment center (DFC) in Coopertown, Tennessee, that is one of the most technologically driven and sophisticated operations we’ve ever built. The center ships parcel packages directly to our customers and will service

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Inside the Lowe’s new direct fulfillment center in Coopertown, Tenn.

more than 1,700 stores nationwide. This will only continue to fuel our transformation to a more dynamic, customer-centric supply chain. RIS: How has women’s role in the retail industry evolved over your career? Bornkamp: Over the course of my career, I’ve occasionally found myself as the only woman in the room, but it’s never hampered my determination or confidence — in fact, it’s strengthened it. I’ve always felt equal to my male counterparts, both in the progression I’ve seen and support I’ve received. RIS: What are your long-term goals for your career? What would you like to accomplish before you retire? Bornkamp: I want to be a key

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contributor. I want to continue to advance my responsibilities, learn new things and take on challenges that help the business grow. In addition to making a positive impact on the company, I try to make a positive impact on people. Over the years, I’ve had mentors and role models who provided me with the counsel I needed to succeed both professionally and personally. I try to return the favor and give guidance to those who seek it, empowering them with the tools needed to advance their career and reach their long-term goals. That is the ultimate achievement. RIS: What technology trends do you believe will have the biggest impact on the retail industry over the next 12-24 months? Bornkamp: Technology trends are

going to depend on consumer demand, which is difficult to predict due to its constant state of evolution. That being said, today’s retailers must be prepared to anticipate and respond quickly to customers’ fast-changing desires for shopping convenience and service, and that requires investing in a technology that is easy to use, flexible and automated. Technology should also continue to help retailers provide seamless customer experiences across all channels. Advances in data sharing will improve transparency between retailers and customers, supplying customers with more information and visibility into their products and orders. Jamie Grill-Goodman is managing editor of RIS, which is part of the EnsembleIQ family of brands.

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER FEBRUARY 2019

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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS Grandville, Mich.-based decorative hardware company Belwith Products named Dan Kennard as president. He’ll be responsible for evolving Belwith Product’s showroom environments, deepening relationships with specialty dealers and expanding the company’s OEM and retail offerings, the company said. Belwith Products oversees the following brands: Keeler, Belwith, BelwithKeeler, Hickory Hardware and First Watch Security. Kennard was previously VP of sales and marketing at Yale, and later president of Fusion Hardware Group. For the last several years, he has worked for the building material divisions of SaintGobain. Laura Williams and Nicole Kepler took on new merchandising positions at Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best Corp. Williams will serve as merchandise manager in hand tools, and Kepler will move to associate merchandise manager of Tools. Both merchants will develop, implement and communicate programs for their respective product categories, as well as work closely with vendors to deliver profitable promotions and pricing for Do it Best member-owners. Williams has been a member of the Do it Best merchandise team since joining the co-op in 2013. She most recently served as an associate merchandise manager for hand and power tools since November 2016, where she led the development of several project initiatives. Kepler is a seven-year veteran of the Do it Best merchandising team, most recently serving as an associate merchandise manager for the co-op’s global sourcing and impulse and rental Laura Williams Nicole Kepler teams.

BMC Stock Holdings appointed Joyce Vonada as Chief Information Officer. Vonada most recently, served as CIO for American Tire Distributors, one of the largest independent suppliers of tires to the replacement tire market. From 2012 to 2016, she served as Chief Information Officer and Managing Director of Edens, a real estate investment trust specializing in community-oriented retail shopping centers. Prior to joining Edens, she served as Senior Vice President of IT and Business Solutions at Lowe’s, where she led a team of more than 2,500 professionals and contractors. World and Main, a national distribution company, hired Eric Gundersen has as senior director home environment. He will be responsible for the Fan and Air Cleaner business and will provide the direction for the company’s Home Environment line. For more than 20 years, Gundersen worked in the field of product management and earned his experience in companies such as American Standard, Masco Bath, and most recently, Blanco America. At World and Main, he will help guide the company’s “commitment to providing its customers with the tools they need to create a healthy and safe home environment,” the company said in its announcement.

Steve Barbarick, president and chief operating officer of Tractor Supply Company, has been named to the National Retail Federation’s Foundation’s List of People Shaping Retail’s Future 2019. Barbarick has served as president of Tractor Supply since May 2016 and COO since August 2018. Barbarick has been named to “The Power Players” list — one of the 5 categories included on the 2019 NRF List. Prior to becoming Tractor Supply President and COO, Barbarick served as president and chief merchandising officer from May 2016 to August 2018. He joined Tractor Supply in 1998 as a buyer after working for 4 years at the former home center chain, Builders Square. Barbarick also serves on the Board of Directors for At Home.

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FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

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L E A R N M O R E A N D R E G I S T E R N OW AT W W W. S P E C S S H O W. C O M


Monthly Retail Sales, not adjusted

Residential Construction/Sales 13 months of housing starts and existing-home sales

home centers and pro dealers (NAICS 444) and hardware stores (NAICS 44413)

Total starts

NAICS 444

ate: No Upd nt e m Govern n w o d Shut

(in thousands, SAAR) Nov.: 1,256,000 1350

1300

40

30

34.2

32.8

NAICS 44413

(sales in $ billions) :

ate No Upd nt me Govern n w Shutdo 31.4

(sales in $ billions) ate: No Upd nt me Govern n w Shutdo

3 34.5

2.46

32.2

31.1

2.28

2 1250

20

1200

10

2.2

2.32

2.24

2.45

1

1150

0

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

AUGUST

N

SOURCE: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

2017

0

OCTOBER

AUGUST 2017

2018

ate: No Upd nt me Govern n w o d t Shu

(in thousands, SAAR) Nov.: 824,000 975 950

OCTOBER

HBSDealer Stock Roundup the percent-change performance of stocks based on Jan. 30 prices

925

20

900

15

875

TSCO

10

850

5

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

ANNUAL CHANGE

825

N

SOURCE: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

Existing-home sales (in millions, SAAR) Dec.: 4.99 million 5.8

0 SHW

-5 -10

DJI

LOW

-15

DE

HD

-20 -25

BMC

SWK

-30

5.6

WY

-35 5.4

-40 -45

5.2

BECN 0

5

10

5

4.8

SEPTEMBER

2018

SOURCE: MONTHLY RETAIL TRADE REPORT FROM THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU

Single-family starts

800

SEPTEMBER

BLDR

15

20

25

MONTHLY CHANGE BECN (BEACON); BLDR (BUILDERS FIRSTSOURCE); BMCH (BMC STOCK HOLDINGS); DE (DEERE & CO.);

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

HD (HOME DEPOT); LOW (LOWE’S); SHW (SHERWIN-WILLIAMS); SWK (STANLEY); TSCO (TRACTOR SUPPLY);

SOURCE: NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

WY (WEYERHAEUSER); DJIA (DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE)

Consumer Watch Unemployment rate

Consumer confidence

Gas prices

for the entire United States

indexed to a value of 100 in 1985

average price per gallon (regular)

5.0 4.5

100

5.5

$2.50

Current

$2.00 80

6.0

Prior month

120

Prior year

4.0

3.9% 3.5

38

December

6.5 60

128.1

$2.26

December

Jan. 30

140

FEBRUARY 2019 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

$1.50

$3.00

SOURCES: LABOR DEPARTMENT, THE CONFERENCE BOARD, AAA

HBSDealer.com


EPIC SHOW Thanks to everyone who made ProDealer 2018 a great success. Join us next year for the LBM event as big as the Rockies!

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Hardware & Building Supply Dealer - February 2019  

Hardware & Building Supply Dealer - February 2019