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Vol. 46 No. 5

Meet the 2020 Class of STIHL Hardware Superstars They’re not only outstanding. They’re essential.

MAY 2020

Erica McCorkle Owner Havasu Hardware Lake Havasu, Ariz.


Larry Huot La Valley/Middleton Building Supply New Hampshire

“Our business is a relationship business. We try to do the right thing for all of our customers, suppliers and employees. Orgill radiates these same values in everything they do.�


It’s Our Business Orgill Understands Our Company and Our Customers

Why We Like Working With Orgill: • Strong product selection • Variety of retail programs • A solid understanding of our company

Responding to COVID-19

Watch the Video: See how Orgill’s services have helped La Valley/Middleton and other retailers grow, visit orgill.com/success-stories. For current coronavirus information and support, visit orgill.com/COVID.

1-800-347-2860 ext. 5373 • information@orgill.com • www.orgill.com


HBSDEALER HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY

13 Independent Profile: The Lester Group’s big moves. MARKET INSIGHTS 16 Mass timber makes its move 30 Stepping up for diversity with

Werner’s president

32 Rock-solid advice for

18

unstable times

COVER STORY Our 10th Annual STIHL Hardware All Stars Ten years of Hardware All-Star selections have led to this: Fifty high-performing, community-serving hardware and building supply “Superstars.”

PRODUCTS 24 Mechanical Advantage

Versatility on display.

FROM THE EDITOR

NEWS & ANALYSIS

IN EVERY ISSUE

8

10 Eye on NAICS 444 10 True Value’s C-suite transition 11 Staying at home, spending

10 Product Knowledge 11 News Map 33 People in the news 34 Quikrete Industry Dashboard

They’re not only outstanding. They’re essential.

on the home

12 Excerpts from “A Brave New

World of LBM.”

11 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. 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. 3, March 2019. Copyright © 2020 by EnsembleIQ. All rights reserved.

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MAY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

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HERE’S WHAT’S ONLINE

@HBSDealer

Tweet Central

A Brave New World of LBM, the Replay “We’re trying to come up with unprecedented solutions to unprecedented problems,” said Levi Smith, president of Franklin Building Supply, during the digital panel presentation on how lumberyards are reacting to safety, sales and social distancing. A replay of the webinar can be accessed at HBSDealer.com

The LBM panel addressed safety, sales, shutdowns and social distancing.

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. Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Quikrete Industry Dashboard

HBSDealer Poll Question

Stat of the Week

Throwback Thursday

Eye on Retail

The polls are open. Your voice is wanted. HBSDealer.com publishes weekly poll questions on pressing industry matters, and other topics. For instance:

6%

Increased

48%

Remained the same

Q

What has happened to the size of your workforce since the coronavirus outbreak?

Follow us @HBSDealer

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Poll questions and results appear every week at HBSDealer.com.

MAY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

46%

Decreased Source: HBSDealer Survey

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DO IT BEST HELPS WOOD SHED LUMBER & HARDWARE SUPPLY LOOK INWARD—AND GROW OUTWARD.

“We wanted to find new ways to serve

Do it Best member-owners Sharona and Cecil Eiserer always thought they

our customers actually are.”

were solely a contractor-driven business. But through powerful research and analysis programs from Do it Best, they discovered a steady stream of do-it-yourselfers were already coming into their store. The Eiserers jumped on the opportunity to serve this untapped market. With help from our Signature TM Store Design and Retail Performance teams, they redesigned a larger store, adding The Color BarTM and introducing popular housewares brands to deliver a fresh shopping experience for all their customers. Sharona and Cecil’s investment has paid off. Sales have more than doubled, and Wood Shed Lumber & Hardware Supply is now the community’s go-to DIY store while still meeting all their pros’ needs.

» How well do you know your customer base? Do it Best can help identify your strongest customers and show you how to serve them best. Call us today at 888-DO-IT-BEST (888-364-8237) or visit doitbestonline.com.

our customers—it helped to learn who Sharona Eiserer Wood Shed Lumber & Hardware Supply


FROM THE EDITOR

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

They’re not only outstanding, they’re essential. Now in its 10th year, the HBSDealer Hardware All-Star program looked back at past honorees — all 450 of them — and selected one “Superstar” from each state, to be honored in the class of 2020. It was the first time we did that. It was also the first time the project generated bags of letters from hardware store customers. “Metzger’s employees are helpful, knowledgeable and available—unlike those I’ve encountered elsewhere,” writes Linda Hull, showing a strong competitive streak in support of her local hardware store in Los Alamos, N.M. She adds: “For those who live in our Manhattan Project (WWII) and Cold War era homes, Metzger’s seems to have a magical way of offering suggestions for repairs and improvements.”

“Congratulations to all the hardware and building supply dealers who are in the middle of it all and doing their All-Star best.” Customer Alan Koppendrayer stressed that he has no horse in the All-Star race, but he’s a big fan of Marv’s True Value in Princeton, Minn. “Why? They are better than anyone else. They always patiently answer my questions and their sales staff is clearly knowledgeable about their products. They have what I need.” A letter from Sandra O’Donohue is most memorable, and touching. She writes how her husband John O’Donohue, a long-time employee of Bernardsville (N.J.) Hardware suddenly and unexpectedly died in early 2019.

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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

Ken Clark Editor in Chief

LBM EDITOR Andy Carlo acarlo@ensembleiq.com, 845-891-5108 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Ken Ryan ryankgr@aol.com, 516-567-3034

The store temporarily closed its doors to mourn the loss of a teammate. “People can open up a store, they can sell a product, but it’s not always about the money, and Bernardsville Hardware has proven that in this community,” she writes. Metzger’s, Marv’s and Bernardsville Hardware made the list. Coverage from all 50 states begins on page 18. This year’s constellation of All Stars charts another first: the first class to be revealed during the height of a pandemic. And as you might expect, the challenge is bringing out the best of the best. Gina Schaefer of A Few Cool Hardware Stores in Washington, D.C. says operations and customer expectations have changed dramatically. The 13-store business added staff to help with curbside pick-up and also implemented texting software, resulting in a surge in on-line orders. “We welcome the diversions and will continue to do our part to help our communities get through this,” Schaefer said. And consider the case of our cover retailer, Erica McCorkle, owner of Havasu Hardware in Lake Havasu, Ariz. Pandemic stress levels were amplified in late April by swarms of pent-up Californians seeking the less restrictive guidance of Arizona. “We have never seen so many people,” she said. “It’s overwhelming.” Through it all, the All-Star business plays an essential role of guide and servant. “A lot of people are coming to us to answer their questions about everything,” she said. Congratulations to all the hardware and building supply dealers who are in the middle of it all and doing their All-Star best. HBSD

MAY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

Editorial Inquiries: Direct questions to Editor in Chief Ken Clark. ADVERTISING SALES

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

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Corporate Officers CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Jennifer Litterick CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Jane Volland CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER Tanner Van Dusen CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICER Ann Jadown EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, EVENTS & CONFERENCES Ed Several SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CONTENT Joe Territo

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© 2020 ROYAL BUILDING PRODUCTS. A WESTLAKE COMPANY.


INDEPENDENT PROFILE

At Lester Group, great expectations

T

he atmosphere at The Lester Group might best be described as dynamic. In April, the Martinsville, Va.-based company announced that its board of directors elected Jay Dickens as The Lester Group’s new CEO. And in the coming weeks, the company will open its latest retail LBM location in Virginia’s New River Valley under a new banner. Dickens, 58, joined The Lester Group in 2018 as president. He has 37 years of experience in the building products industry. Prior to joining The Lester Group, Dickens served as vice president of American Direct, a provider of architectural doors, hardware and integrated security solutions. He also held executive positions with Rugby and Huttig Building Products. The appointment of Dickens follows the retirement of Jim O’Brien. O’Brien, 70, joined The Lester Group in 2010. The board has also elected O’Brien to cochair of the board of directors and he will continue to be involved in the company. “The Lester Group is in an excellent position,” said O’Brien.  “Company sales set a record last year. An outstanding senior management team has vast experience and is built on solid core values.” George W. Lester, II, who retired as CEO in 2018 after 44 years, praised O’Brien for “doing a fantastic job. “He’s a far-sighted leader with a steady hand,” said Lester.  “Our company has a great future.”  Lester is co-chair of the board with O’Brien. Founded in 1896, The Lester Group isn’t your average building materials supplier. The overall company also consists of Lester Properties, which manages real estate development projects in Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia. In 2016 the Lester Group started

HBSDealer.com

Building Supply of Manassas is one of several Lester Group banners.

Fortress Door Company, which manufactures and supplies doors from Maryland to Georgia. Additionally, Lester Group owns nearly 19,000 acres of land in Franklin, Halifax, Henry, and Pittsylvania counties in Virginia and Rockingham County, N.C. According to Dickens, despite the current coronavirus crisis, employment at The Lester group will continue to grow and exceed 200 employees by the end of May. “We will continue to invest in people, ideas and technology that help us serve our customers better, improve the quality of the work experience of employees, and strengthen the communities we serve,” the new CEO said. The new location, which is expected to open in May, will operate under a newly-created New River Valley Building Supply Banner. The Lester Group’s other LBM banners include Lester Building Supply, Jim Carpenter Company, Taylor Brothers, and Building Supply of Manassas. Located in Christiansburg, the store was formerly a Moore’s Lumber site and has undergone extensive renovations. New River Valley Building Supply is expected to create 15 new jobs with

employment anticipated to increase by approximately 10 jobs in the second year. The store will feature a 6,000 square foot showroom to display new construction and remodeling projects. The renovated location will have new walls, lighting, heating/ cooling, siding, paint, displays and a new racking and fixtures. Additionally, two new buildings will be constructed to ensure the entire inventory is covered and protected, the company said. Overall, the site will include more than 41,000 square feet of warehouse and store buildings spread over five acres. “As an ‘essential’ business in the current economic climate caused by the coronavirus, The Lester Group has a positive outlook for continued growth,” Dickens said. “Our goal is to expand the company’s capacity to continue to increase sales profitably,” he added. “We are in a strong growth position because we have a unique culture, are nimble, and can take advantage of opportunities quickly.”

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER MAY 2020

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NEWS + ANALYSIS

True Value’s C-level shakeup True Value Company CEO John Hartmann, the hard-charging executive who led the company through a dramatic transition from a hardware co-operative to a privately held distributor, left True Value to take a role as COO of Bed Bath & Beyond, effective May 18. Taking over the helm at True Value is Chris Kempa, a former Hartmann Grainger executive who joined True Value Company in the newly created position of chief commercial officer in late 2019. Kempa led initiatives involving sales, pricing and merchandising. CFO Deb O’Connor, a five year Kempa company veteran, will become president and CFO. Hartmann joined True Value Company seven years ago. During his tenure, he led the majority-stake sale of the company to private equity firm ACON Investments in early 2018. The move was often touted by True Value as a growth-focused transaction that

unlocked a quarter of a billion dollars in trapped equity for True Value members. Regarding the timing of the transition, which occurs as an unprecedented pandemic threatens the U.S. and its economy, Hartmann said: “Timing is never perfect when making these decisions, particularly now. But I know I’m leaving True Value in a wonderful position to thrive.” Hartmann’s comments were made In a video in which he appeared together with Kempa, both men observing six-feet of social distancing. In the video, Kempa said he was excited to lead the business into the next phase of growth. “I joined the business because I was convinced the vision for the company and for the industry was spot on,” Kempa said. “I also joined because I know the hardware industry is strong and growing. And I joined knowing the transformational journey we are on is

Eye on Retail: Sales Even amid early stages of social-distancing and coronavirus-outbreak mitigation efforts, the month of March saw gains in sales for NAICS 444 retailers, the broad category of dealers described as building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers. The Census Bureau’s advanced data for March revealed NAICS 444 sales were up 7.6% compared to March 2019, and up 1.3% compared to February 2020. Here are the category winners and losers from March:

Winners: Food and beverage stores, The subset of grocery stores, Non-store retailers, Building material and supplies dealers,

up 28.0% up 29.3% up 9.7% up 7.6%

Losers: Clothing and accessories stores, Furniture and home furnishing stores, Motor vehicle and parts dealers,

10

down 50.7% down 24.6% down 23.7%

not complete.”

Product Knowledge Product: Jorgensen Heavy Duty E-Z Hold Expandable Bar Clamp Manufacturer: Pony Jorgensen, part of the Arrow Fastener family of brands. Knowledge: This new, versatile line of trigger clamps expands the reach and clamping force – 600 pounds – compared to previous medium and light-duty iterations. An exclusive and patented feature allows for two E-Z HOLD expandable bar clamps to be joined together to make a single clamp with greater opening capacity. Available in 12”, 24” and 36” lengths. Interesting fact: Pony Jorgensen was founded in 1903 by Adele Holman, a former professional opera singer. Way ahead of her time as a female captain of industry, she hid her gender from the industry by signing correspondence as “A.V. Holman.”

The NAICS 444 data for April — to be released May 15 — will be the most interesting in years, as it will gauge how hardware and building supply dealers — essential in the eyes of the authorities and their communities — performed amid the turbulence of tightened safety measures.

MAY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

HBSDealer.com


Staying at home, spending on the home When people are forced to hunker down in their home, one result is increased home improvement spending. That’s one of the more optimistic conclusions extracted from the “COVID-19 and the DIYers Response” webinar broadcast led by Grant Farnsworth, director of business strategy for The Farnsworth Group, New projects are trending up. In March 23, 60% of respondents said they had begun a new DIY project in or around the home in the last week. That percentage climbed steadily to 63% in April 13. Online movement accelerates. While most DIYers say they purchased their home improvement products in-store (around 80%), that figure is trending down. But a dramatic surge was seen in the percentage

of people who bought online because of COVID-19 (for any reason). These purchases were at 55% on March 23, and have grown to higher than 80% April 13. Surf’s up. People stuck at home are surfing the web with renewed vigor. According to Venveo, building product categories have seen tremendous interest search activity on Google. Leading the way is paint, up 700% in search volume from March 16 to April 5. Siding was up

and Zack Williams, CEO and founder of Venveo. The webinar leaned heavily on the results of a weekly DIYer survey that has been tracking consumer behaviors through the coronavirus outbreak. The results draw from about 1,000 consumers each week. Here are some of the highlights of the presentation: 120%, and kitchen and bath was up 76%. (Note, these percentages are for search volume, not sales volume.) NAICS 444 sales gains bode well The Census Bureau reported an 8% increase in NAICS 444 sales for the month of March. According to Farnsworth, early reports from industry sources suggest a similarly strong start to April. Up next: the lawn. In the four weeks of the weekly survey, “Lawn

maintenance” overtook “painting a room” as the top project that DIYers are planning to start in the next few weeks. About 50% of consumers are planning a lawn project as of April 13. A chink in Amazon’s armor. Last year at this time, the percent of positive seller reviews on Amazon Marketplaces was in the mid 90s. It’s slipped to the low 90s according to a slide presented by Williams, and crediting marketplacepulse.com.

News Map: Building-great-communities edition As the coronavirus outbreak spreads its damage, hardware and building supply dealers are continuing their work as suppliers of essential services. But more than that, they’re stepping up in unprecedented ways to support their communities. Here are a few examples. washington

Seattle

Alki Lumber and STS Construction Alki Lumber and STS Construction directed their support to front-line workers in community grocery stores by delivering bagged lunches from a local deli. A thank you letter from West Seattle Thriftway included the line: “We announced the gesture over our intercom system a few times throughout the day to cheers from customers and staff!” indiana

New Albany

PC Home Stores PC Home Stores here across the river from Louisville is helping spread a wave of compassion in the wake of the coronavirus. The store has donated 1,500 green lights to a Kentucky non profit to help light up Louisville residences as a symbol of compassion for those stricken by COVID-19.

HBSDealer.com

rode island

Narragansett

Jerry’s Paint & Hardware Jerry’s Paint & Hardware has a special deal for frontline medical workers. The store is giving away two free masks to anyone with a current ID from a hospital or other medical field. “We want to support the people keeping us safe,” the store said on its Facebook page.

new jersey

Little Silver

Builders’ General Builders’ General donated lunches and dinners to medical workers at three different New Jersey hospitals. The building supply dealer has dropped off 150 meals – a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the medical community for its tireless efforts on the front lines.

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER MAY 2020

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NEWS + ANALYSIS

Brave New World of LBM, the excerpts Lumberyard industry leaders shared their insights on state mandates, social-distancing, curbside pick-up and general maintenance of business and safety during an unprecedented challenge. Here are some of the exceprts from the April 17, Brave New World of LBM webinar.

On safety: Levi Smith, president of Franklin Building Supply, Boise, Id.: “I think managing workforce anxiety has been one of our biggest concerns going into this. And as we’ve been at this for many weeks now, the anxiety is real. It’s absolutely understandable. Our employees are anxious about coming to work. Their spouses or significant others and family members are as well. So, one of the things we did was to communicate to our employees that we were committed to remaining open only if we believe

that we could safely mitigate the risk. We can’t eliminate any risk, but we can mitigate risks.” Rita Ferris, president of the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association: “New York and New Jersey are requiring all employees to wear face masks at work. And they’re requiring the public as well to wear face masks if they cannot maintain a safe distance of six feet. So it’s just pretty intense. The safety piece is pretty intense and I really do see the members going above and beyond to comply with that.” Jay Short, CEO of Short & Paulk Supply, Tifton, Ga.: “The Construction Supplier Association had a great video on COVID-19 that we showed our employees. And just after talking to other dealers and learning what they’re doing, we brought in a lot of ideas. We put plexiglass screens over our counters. We got that idea actually from the internet somewhere. The big thing we’re really trying to do is educate and communicate with our employees and our customers and make sure they understand how the disease or the virus is transmitted. A wife of one of our employees is a nurse at one of the hospitals and

Industry leaders embrace continuous ommunication through the crisis. The Northeastern Retail Lumber Association offers updates and tools for businesses. Franklin Building Supply, based in Boise, Idaho, holds frequent standup huddle meetings.

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MAY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

she brought some ideas and talked to our management team to explain how the transmission is done and why you need to stay six feet apart.”

The impact on business: Short: “The custom guys in our market, most of them are pretty busy right now where we’re seeing the slow down is on repair and remodel. We do a decent repair-remodel business and right now in certain markets around us, a lot of people just don’t want people in their house. “And I think all the relationships are adapting. But as long as we communicate and communicate between each other, our customers, our employees, then, I think we’re doing fine.” Smith: “In general in the Northwest, there’s been some disruption with cabinetry as some of the facilities closed down in response to state orders in Oregon and in Washington in particular. And then we’re also advising our customers just to plan for disruption in their normal timeline. This is not a time when you can expect to adhere to a normal construction timeline.”

On the other side of the crisis: Ferris: “We’re really excited about the prospect of getting back to business. Health and safety will continue to be the highest priority. Until the vaccine is found, it just has to be number one or we’re going to end up right back where we started. Another thing is online sales will be huge. If people aren’t doing it now, they really have to get on the stick with this. We can’t rely on foot traffic 100% anymore.” The webinar remains available for replay at HBSDealer.com

HBSDealer.com


MARKET INSIGHTS

Mass timber makes its move

Construction technique promises sustainability and cost-effectiveness. By Andy Carlo

G

roundbreaking for the tallest mass timber building in the world is expected to happen in Milwaukee within the next two months. The ‘Ascent’ building slated for 700 East Kilbourn Avenue, and being developed by New Land Enterprises, will house about 260 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Originally designed to be a 23-story building, two floors were added so the structure could break the world record for tall wood buildings held by Mjostarnet, a mixed-use building in Norway. Scheduled to be completed by 2022, New Land Enterprises said the finished mass timber structure offers a negative carbon footprint while providing a CO2 benefit that is equivalent to taking 2,350 cars off the road. As corporations, developers and builders become more in tune with sustainability and climate action, mass

The ‘Ascent’ building being developed in Milwaukee.

timber continues to gain ground as a viable construction technique. Structurlam, the Canadian mass timber company and cross-laminated timber producer, announced last December that it will build its first U.S. production facility in Arkansas, a $90 million project. And Structurlam’s facility has a wellknown first customer lined up: Walmart. The world’s largest retailer plans to use more than 1.1 million cubic feet of Arkansas-grown and Arkansas-produced

mass timber in its new home office campus in Bentonville. The project will provide Walmart the largest U.S. campus project using mass timber. At the time of the announcement, Structurlam CEO Hardy Wentzel served notice to the construction market. “The commercial and residential building industry is experiencing a revolution brought on by the rise of mass timber building solutions,” he said. “At Structurlam, we’re transforming wood, one of nature’s most renewable resources, into a greener, more costeffective, and aesthetically-pleasing alternative to concrete and steel.” According to the Woodworks Wood Products Council, there are 784 multifamily, commercial, or institutional mass timber projects constructed or in design as of January 2020. This includes modern mass timber and post-andbeam structures built since 2013. Some arguments for the advantages of mass timber construction include offsite fabrication saving on labor costs, simplified job site logistics resulting in fewer deliveries, fewer carbon emissions and buildings being reclaimable after its lifetime has served its purpose. “North America is in the early stages of a CLT (cross-laminated-timber) construction boom, driven by increasing demand and expanded building code acceptance of mass timber structures,” Hans-Erik Blomgren told HBSDealer.

The interior of the ‘Catalyst’ building in Spokane, Wash., being developed by Katerra along with the company’s new CLT factory.

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Mass timber projects from Structurlam.

“Developers and builders looking to use CLT will continue to benefit from expanded building code and standards development.” The director of testing and certification, structural products at Katerra, Blomgren says that the North American mass timber market is still relatively young but has tremendous potential. “Katerra is committed to bringing CLT to the mainstream of construction materials for its unique and often superior building, aesthetic, environmental, and cost attributes,” Blomgren explained. “With continued private and public investment, we see a path for the mass timber market in North America to grow as European mass timber markets already have.” Katerra CLT is a pre-manufactured, prefabricated, engineered solid wood building material composed of Katerraspecified lumber (laminations) stacked crosswise at 90-degree angles in multiple layers (plies) and bonded together under high pressure using structural adhesives. The large-format panel size, cross-layer makeup, and high strength-to-weight ratio make Katerra CLT a natural, highperformance substitute for conventional concrete, masonry, and steel, as well as wood truss and joist floors. Produced at its new 270,000-squarefoot Spokane Valley, Wash. factory, which opened last September, Katerra CLT is manufactured and tested for its intended use in compliance with the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) and all relevant reference standards including ANSI/APA PRG 320 (2018) for ready use in the United States. Mass timber offers a combination

HBSDealer.com

of computer-aided off-site fabrication, structural efficiency, safety, aesthetics, and environmental benefits compared to traditional building materials. CLT floor and roof assemblies enable increased floor-to-ceiling heights comprised of fewer independent materials and provide similar strength as concrete, but it’s five times lighter. This reduces the demands on foundations and lateral bracing, according to Blomgren. “Generally, the prefabricated, panelized nature of CLT results in construction times that are up to 30% faster than conventional concrete and steel buildings,” Blomgren explains. “This savings is driven by efficiencies in both materials production and onsite assembly. The efficiency and accuracy of materials production and having less craft in the field also reduces laborhours, provides greater risk control, and increases cost assurance.” And faster build times equate to a more attractive project return-oninvestment for developers, as assets can become revenue-generating on a shorter timeline. The appeal of wood buildings can support faster speed to occupancy, higher ROI per square foot, and greater lifetime value. “While a builder might spend more on the outset, they get their money back-plus in savings in construction time, insurance, financing and development costs,” says Iain Macdonald, director of the Tallwood Institute at Oregon State University. Macdonald says the “sweet spot” for mass timber construction is buildings between five to 12 stories. But 90% of mass timber projects use custom materials as opposed to commodities.

This essentially leaves traditional building material dealers out of the picture. Additionally, no true supply chain model currently exists for mass timber. Simpson Strong-Tie, the fasteners and building solutions provider, has positioned itself in a leading position for mass timber hardware. The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company has launched a comprehensive offering of code-approved connectors and fasteners to serve the growing North American mass timber market. According to Simpson Strong-Tie, the collection of versatile, high-performance products allow for design flexibility while enabling mass timber projects to be built stronger, faster, and more easily than ever. Macdonald says the industry is rapidly evolving and there could be a position for lumber dealers down the road. “It could well emerge. But the question is, do you reduce value saved in the fabrication through logistics?” Still, the benefits — particularly ecosavings — continue to create a strong platform for mass timber. “Working with CLT offers an opportunity to develop a virtuous cycle of benefits — supporting healthy forests with responsible harvesting techniques, shrinking the environmental footprint of the building industry, reducing forest fire risk by strategic thinning of our national forests, and creating new jobs in rural communities,” Blomgren says. “Katerra is committed to sourcing environmentally-responsible forest products, with 100% of our lumber for CLT sourced from well-managed forests,” the Katerra director noted. “We welcome all dealers and suppliers to join us in that effort.”

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER MAY 2020

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Alabama: Marvin’s

C O V E R F E AT U R E

Alaska: Andy’s Ace Hardware Arizona: Havasu Hardware Arkansas: Whit Davis Lumber Plus California: Friedman’s Home Improvement Colorado: McGuckin Hardware Connecticut: Killingworth True Value Delaware: Wagner Hardware Florida: Proctor Ace Hardware Georgia: Intown Ace Hardware Hawaii: City Mill Idaho: Pro X Home Center Illinois: J.C. Licht True Value Indiana: Sullivan Hardware & Garden Iowa: Bomgaars Kansas: Westlake Ace Hardware Kentucky: Brownsboro Hardware Louisiana: Stine Home + Yard Maine: Oak Hill Ace Hardware Maryland/DC: A Few Cool Hardware Stores Massachusetts: Norfolk Hardware Michigan: Zeeland Lumber & Supply Minnesota: Marv’s True Value

The 2020 Class of STIHL Hardware Superstars

I

t takes a little more to be an All Star. And It takes a lot more to be a Superstar. For the past 10 years, HBSDealer has chronicled All-Star performance, All-Star service and All-Star retail innovation by recognizing 50 hardware and building supply stores — one from each of the 50 United States. Now, to celebrate the 10 th year of the program, the STIHL Hardware All Star class of 2020 honors the best of the best. These Hardware Superstars were selected from each state’s lineup of honorees from the past decade. Obviously, the competition was out of this world. Clearly, difficult decisions were made by judges. Probably, there will be some disagreement. (And we encourage your letters.) But there is no doubt that there is something super special about the class of 2020 Superstars. The editors wish to thank all of the people who submitted recommendations and feedback that helped produce this list. And, of course, we wish to congratulate the 50 Superstars.

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Mississippi: Coastal Hardware Missouri: Overland Hardware Montana: Sliters Lumber Nebraska: Builders Nevada: Bath Lumber New Hampshire: Benson Lumber New Jersey: Bernardsville Hardware New Mexico: Metzger’s Hardware New York: Costello’s Ace Hardware North Carolina: Town & Country North Dakota: Lumber Mart Ohio: Nutter Hardware Oklahoma: Boehs Building Supply Oregon: Parkrose Hardware Pennsylvania: Triangle Building Supplies Rhode Island: Jerry’s Paint & Hardware South Carolina: Simpsons Ace Hardware South Dakota: Kopetsky’s Hardware Tennessee: Country Farm & Home Texas: Guadalupe Lumber Utah: Escalante Home Center Vermont: J&H Hardware Virginia: TW Perry Washington: Johnsons Home & Garden West Virginia: General Building Supply Wisconsin: Qualheim’s True Value Wyoming: Bloedorn Lumber

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C O V E R F E AT U R E

ALABAMA

Marvin’s

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. Star qualities: Something for everyone: from EZ-in, EZ-out drive thru lumberyard to the Marvin’s Garden Club. Superstar qualities: Local market knowledge fuels an impressive track record of growth since 1945 to today’s 28 home centers in five southern states. ALASKA

Andy’s Ace Hardware

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA Star qualities: Founder Andy Anderson’s granddaughter Stephanie Van Ness oversees an East Anchorage institution that does it all in 20,000 sq. ft. of retail area. Superstar qualities: Power equipment? Check. Post office? Check. Storemade fresh fudge and cinnamon glazed nuts? Also check. ARIZONA

Havasu Hardware

LAKE HAVASU, ARIZ. Star qualities: 55-year-old retailer offers the mom-and-pop experience for DIYers, industrial-commercial excellence for pros. Decentralized management and heavy training empowers employees on the floor. Superstar qualities: A 26% sales gain in February was followed by a record March.

Friedman’s flagship in Petaluma, Calif.

ARKANSAS

Whit Davis Lumber Plus

JACKSONVILLE, ARK. Star qualities: From garage door installation to zero-mess insulation, anything for the home is the specialty of a staff with hundreds of years of experience. Superstar qualities: “The Plus is Service” — that’s the slogan they live by.

friendly service in every one of the 18 departments inside this 60,000 sq. ft. Rocky Mountain hardware institution. Superstar qualities: Rolled out a new McGuckin.com e-commerce site and McGuckin Rewards in April. CONNECTICUT

Killingworth True Value

CALIFORNIA

Friedman’s Home Improvement

PETALUMA, CALIF. Star qualities: An 83,000 sq. ft. home center that’s Cal-Green Certified. Superstar qualities: Co-founder Benny Friedman was one of “50 Who Shaped Our Century” in Sonoma County. In 2015, Bill Friedman was “citizen of the Year,” by Social Advocates for Youth.

KILLINGWORTH, CONN. Star qualities: The Cost family doubled the size of their business with a “project-complete” 20,000 sq. ft., stateof-the-art store environment more than a decade ago. Superstar qualities: A Woody doll lost in the store was used to anchor a successful social media marketing campaign. Doll and owner were eventually reunited.

COLORADO

DELAWARE

BOULDER, COLO. Star qualities: A “Green Vest” provides

WILMINGTON, DEL. Star qualities: Flourishing in a new location

McGuckin Hardware

Wagner Hardware

Inside Connecticut’s Killingworth True Value.

Alabama’s All Star: Marvin’s.

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Colorado’s McGuckin Hardware.

HBSDealer.com


ILLINOIS

J.C. Licht True Value

Georgia’s Intown Ace is a cool store with a big heart.

since 2015, Wagner goes the extra mile: sharpening blades and carrying customers’ purchases to their car. Superstar qualities: Stocks 100 signature bird feeders and houses, and sells its own private line of bird food.

fundraiser of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, but Intown Ace is the preferred store of CMN All-Star kid Parker Grelecki.

FLORIDA

OAHU, HAWAII Star qualities: “Oahu’s favorite hardware store” was founded in 1899, and has grown to eight locations. Superstar qualities: The founders’ grandchildren Steven Ai (president) and Carol Ai May (VP) collect “Best of Hawaii” awards like nobody’s business.

Proctor Ace Hardware

NEPTUNE BEACH, FLA. Star qualities: Florida’s very first Ace store makes service a priority at all three of its Jacksonville-area locations. Superstar qualities: Ace’s “Coolest Hardware Store” winner of 2018 offers a huge variety of categories topped with a world-class garden center. GEORGIA

Intown Ace Hardware

DECATUR, GA. Star qualities: An eclectic product mix uniquely displayed with the aid of vintage appliances and antiques. Superstar qualities: Not only a big

HAWAII

City Mill

IDAHO

Pro X Home Center

BONNERS FERRY, IDAHO Star qualities: The decade of the 2010s saw expansion, investment and growth for Idaho’s “Your everything store.” Superstar qualities: Specialized Home Décor Center is ready, willing and able to give homeowners a makeover.

Proctor Ace Hardware makes Florida more colorful.

HBSDealer.com

CHICAGO, ILL. Star qualities: The J.C. Licht At Home in-house magazine is slick, colorful, informative and inspiring. Superstar qualities: The Midwest’s leading Benjamin Moore dealer operates a West Loop hardware store that defines urban DIY sophistication (plus parking). INDIANA

Sullivan Hardware & Garden

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. Star qualities: This family business draws huge crowds of customers to its (Big Green) Eggfest, the holiday Sullivan Santa Express and even the store’s “Indy Slawfest,” celebrating cole slaw. Superstar qualities: Sullivan’s North Keystone Ave. store is so attractive that it rents out its Garden House for wedding rehearsal dinners. IOWA

Bomgaars

SIOUX CITY, IOWA Star qualities: A one-stop destination retailer promises to have “what you need, when you need it.” Superstar qualities: The family-owned and operated farm and ranch retailer had 59 stores when selected in the inaugural class of Hardware All Stars. Now it has 94 stores in seven states.

Jeff Brubaker, president of Pro X Home Center.

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C O V E R F E AT U R E

KANSAS

Westlake Ace Hardware

LENEXA, KAN. Star qualities: Ace Hardware’s largest dealer had 88 stores 10 years ago when it was selected as an original Hardware All Star. Now, as a wholly owned Ace subsidiary, it has more than 130. Superstar qualities: Raised more than $2.6 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in the past seven years. KENTUCKY

Brownsboro Hardware & Paint

LOUISVILLE, KY. Star qualities: Kentuckiana’s independent grill leader has a vigorous curriculum of cross-brand cooking demonstrations and master classes throughout the year. Superstar qualities: A greenhouse in the Prospect store. A U.S. Post Office in

Louisville. And 400 years of combined experience in both. LOUISIANA

Stine Home + Yard

SULPHUR, LA. Star qualities: The lumberyard and home center business takes on the biggest names in retailing. And wins. Superstar qualities: The family business has proved its worth to the community during times of crisis. It was the last to close and first to open during devastating Hurricane Rita. MAINE

Oak Hill Ace Hardware

SCARBOROUGH, ME. Star qualities: Owners Dan and Anne Johnson are lifelong community residents. Superstar qualities: Traditions include

Kentucky’s Brownsboro Hardware team.

the annual Garden Party, the Dirt Cheap sale, and Rivet, the legendary greeter dog. MARYLAND/WASHINGTON, D.C.

A Few Cool Hardware Stores

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Star qualities: Husband and wife team of Gina Schaefer and Marc Friedman carry the flag for “Think local first” in and around the nation’s capital. Superstar qualities: Founders went from

by

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HBSDealer.com


MINNESOTA

homeowners to store owner to owner of 12-store hardware institution with more than 200 “co-workers.”

Marv’s True Value

PRINCETON, MINN. Star quality: A bright paint center — Inspiration Realized — and a healthy crafts and gift department present a soft side to loyal shoppers. Superstar quality: There’s also massive big-equipment credibility, given the company’s origins as the Marvin George Builders lumber yard.

MASSACHUSETTS

Norfolk Hardware

BOSTON, MASS. Star qualities: A willingness and ability to adapt to a rapidly changing Mattapan neighborhood accelerated success and organic growth. Superstar qualities: Inside the 40,000 sq. ft. home center (massively renovated in 2017), customers belly up to the “Paint Pub” on actual bar stools. MICHIGAN

Zeeland Lumber & Supply

ZEELAND, MICH. Star qualities: A huge range of customers from homeowners to multi-family builders benefit from relationships estab-

HBSDealer.com Untitled-1 1

MISSISSIPPI

Coastal Hardware in Washington, D.C., Logan Hardware is one of A Few Cool Hardware Stores.

lished with this growth-oriented dealer and its ability to get the job done. Superstar qualities: All seven locations live by the slogan: “Build. Trust.”

KILN, MISS. Star quality: Huge variety, from hardware and paint to a dress for that special occasion. Earns the tagline: “More than a hardware store … it’s an experience.” Superstar quality: Coastal Hardware Trunk Shows promote after-hours eating, drinking and shopping.

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER MAY 2020

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4/20/2017 9:56:39 AM


C O V E R F E AT U R E

MISSOURI

Overland Hardware OVERLAND, MO.

Star quality: This class of 2012 All

Star is certified fun and friendly — as anyone who watches the store’s social media videos can attest. Superstar quality: Small enough to know the customers’ names, big enough to take on the large industrial and commercial accounts — and earn their repeat business. MONTANA

Sliters Lumber & Building Supply

BIGFORK, MT. Star quality: Three attractive familyowned Montana locations with deep connections to the communities they serve. Superstar quality: The “T” in the PACT with customers is “Trustworthy — we mean what we say and we do what we say.” NEBRASKA

Builders

KEARNEY, NEB. Star quality: A 65,000 sq. ft. independent home center has the firepower to take on the national chains. Superstar quality: A state-of-the-art drive-thru lumberyard in Kearney is just the tip of the company’s formidable lumber enterprise, which includes pro-focused units in Colorado and component plants in Nebraska.

Metzger’s Hardware runs deep in Los Alamos, N.M.

NEVADA

Bath Lumber

ELY, NEV. Star qualities: Owners Jim and Tom Bath rebounded from a disastrous economy of the 1980s to build a thriving, essential service-focused retailer. Superstar qualities: This store recently ranked among the top 100 in Ace Hardware stores in paint volume, despite operating in a market of merely 10,000 people. NEW HAMPSHIRE

Benson Lumber

DERRY, N.H. Star quality: More than 100 years after George Washington Benson had a dream, the business offers the trifecta: Benson Lumber & Hardware, Benson Garden Center and Benson Ski & Sport. Superstar quality: A generous supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among many others. NEW JERSEY

Bernardsville Hardware

BERNARDSVILLE, N.J. Star quality: Drew and Renee Hubiak’s vision blends an old-fashioned hardware store and modern retailing in upscale

The Massachusetts all-star has developed along with its Boston neighborhood.

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Bernardsville, N.J. Superstar quality: Passion to serve the community and grow the business fueled the retailer’s 2017 ribbon cutting and expansion. NEW MEXICO

Metzger’s Hardware

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. Star qualities: Deeply embedded in Los Alamos, and the go-to place for hard-tofind products unique to the area’s Cold War-era housing. Superstar qualities: Numerous loyal customers sing the praises of the store’s service, its selection and its historical significance (since 1947) to the community. NEW YORK

Costello’s Ace Hardware

DEER PARK, N.Y. Star qualities: In-store highlights of this 36-location, independent retailing success story include all the core categories, and an exceptional “Backyard Experience.” Superstar qualities: The six children of founder Vincent Costello carry on his tradition of community service and retail growth.

Oregan’s All Star operates three stores in Washington, including Vancouver Heights.

HBSDealer.com


NORTH CAROLINA

OKLAHOMA

RHODE ISLAND

RALEIGH, N.C. Star qualities: Eight Town & Country stores serve the Raleigh, N.C. market with expert service, a great shopping experience and a full slate of communitysupported events. Superstar qualities: This CNRG brand thrives amid intense chain competition.

FAIRVIEW, OKLA. Star qualities: The Boehs family has been accumulating construction experience since 1956 — a big advantage for the retail business that formed in 2002. Superstar qualities: Born in the business office of the construction company, “The Little Store That Could” now operates two impressive North Oklahoma locations.

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. Star qualities: Seventy-five years of experience serving the community and one major upgrade in 2019 propel this beloved South County institution into the future. Superstar qualities: A lot of stores offer free delivery. Jerry’s offers free delivery via ferry to Block Island.

Town & Country Hardware

Boehs Building Supply

NORTH DAKOTA

Lumber Mart

Jerry’s Paint & Hardware

SOUTH CAROLINA

GRAND FORKS, N.D. Star qualities: The family owned and operated dealer to contractors and DIYers sets high standards, especially in cabinetry design and displays. Superstar qualities: The customer appreciation luncheon annually welcomes builders from all over the region, and the truss shop regularly welcomes future builders from area trade schools.

Parkrose Hardware

Simpsons Ace Hardware & Sports

OHIO

PENNSYLVANIA

SOUTH DAKOTA

UPPER ARLINGTON, OHIO Star qualities: Attractive brick arches and stylish awnings on the exterior, exceptional service on the interior. Superstar qualities: After 23 years as a chemical engineer John Nutter opened the store in 2011. He cultivates synergies with Nutter Handyman Services.

BELLEFONTE, PA. Star qualities: This diversified, versatile operation satisfies customers with building supplies, kitchen-and-bath showroom, rental business and hardware store. Superstar qualities: A bona fide onestop-shop and a 2019 True Value “Best Hardware Store in Town” honoree.

YANKTON, S.D. Star qualities: Complementing a classic, core hardware store is Ace Bike & Fitness, also known as “Yankton’s outdoor fun headquarters.” Superstar qualities: Kenny Kopetsky lets it be known that if you are caught in an after-hours storm emergency, he’ll open for you. Just ask.

Nutter Hardware & Rental

Andrea Sliter Goudge and Andrew Sliter in Somers, Mt.

HBSDealer.com

OREGON

PORTLAND, ORE. Star qualities: Cotton candy machine rentals? Yes. Chainsaw sharpening? Of course. This is the Pacific Northwest. Superstar qualities: This All Star from the class of 2013 joined the Central Network Retail Group in 2014, and quickly doubled its store count to four (three in Washington).

Triangle Building Supplies & Services

Costello’s Ace store manager John Fiffick.

SUMTER, S.C. Star qualities: This class of 2011 All Star is more than just a hardware store, it’s also the area’s largest sporting goods dealer. Superstar qualities: For 17 years, it’s been hosting Ladies’ Night events. And in 2015, “Crappie Night” raised the bar with fishing legend Wally “Mr. Crappie” Marshall.

Kopetsky’s Hardware

North Carolina’s Town & Country Hardware brings synergy to CNRG.

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER MAY 2020

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C O V E R F E AT U R E

TENNESSEE

VERMONT

WEST VIRGINIA

BYRDSTOWN, TENN. Star qualities: From animal feed to appliances and from concrete to shrubs, this retailer offers a unique combination of farm-and-ranch experience and building material know-how. Superstar qualities: From the air, the impressive five-structure 12-acre “campus” in Byrdstown looks like the Pentagon.

BELLOWS FALLS, VT. Star qualities: In a state known for its charming village-square life, here’s a business right out of central casting. Superstar qualities: Since acquiring the store in 2007, the owners have expanded the store to four times its original size.

HUNTINGTON, W. VA. Star qualities: Every essential for the home, plus trained professionals to advise the project. Superstar qualities: Since its first All-Star recognition, Steve and Sherry Waggoner acquired Wellman Hardware in neighboring Kentucky, allowing a classic store founded in 1897 to continue to thrive.

Country Farm & Home

TEXAS

SAN ANTONIA, TEXAS Star qualities: Home center boasts a loyal following across South Texas, and a drive-thru lumberyard that wows pro customers. Superstar qualities: Since 1933, this family business now in its fourth generation, has literally helped shape San Antonio.

Johnsons Home & Garden

LOA AND ESCALANTE, UTAH Star qualities: The pro-oriented building center and community hub of a hardware store simply make southern Utah a better place to live, and visit. Superstar qualities: Co-owner Karen Munson can write a book about the magic that happens in the aisles of a hardware store. Actually, she did. The title: “In the Aisles.”

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TW Perry

WASHINGTON

UTAH

Utah’s setting for “In the Aisles.”

VIRGINIA

SPRINGFIELD, VA. Star qualities: A combination hardware store, showroom and design center is one of the crown jewels of this leading midAtlantic building materials supplier. Superstar qualities: Privately held and veteran-owned, TW Perry’s charitable outreach web page lists no less than 64 charities to which it has made contributions.

Guadalupe Lumber Co.

Loa Builders Supply/ Escalante Home Center

J&H Hardware

MAPLE VALLEY, WASH. Star qualities: Free popcorn and pint-sized shopping carts for the kids, a Woodworkers Shop and a showpiece fastener aisle for grown-ups. Superstar qualities: This community gathering spot’s major expansion in 2013 created a 35,000 store with a 6,500 sq. ft. greenhouse. Bonus: Owners J. and Karen Johnson were married at the Do it Best Corp. May Market in 1997.

Vermont’s classic New England shop.

MAY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

General Building Supply

WISCONSIN

Qualheim’s True Value

SHAWANO, WIS. Star quality: Highly respected proprietor Willis Qualheim oversees a strong outdoor power equipment business and a large and growing lawn and garden department — including 8,000 sq. ft. of greenhouses. Superstar quality: This store is the 2017 overall winner of True Value Company’s “Best Hardware Store in Town” awards program. WYOMING

Bloedorn Lumber

TORRINGTON, WYO. Star quality: Founded in 1919, a proud history infuses 23 home centers in Wyoming, Colorado, Montana and Nebraska. Superstar quality: Separately designated centers for deck, garage, barn and kitchen designs ensure that the best customer service possible is assigned to each project.

J. and Brad Johnson of Johnsons Home & Garden.

HBSDealer.com


Solving Big Problems, Inspiring Bold Ideas EnsembleIQ is a premier business intelligence resource that believes in Solving Big Problems and Inspiring Bold Ideas. Our brands work in harmony to inform, connect, and provide predictive analysis for retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, technology vendors, marketing agencies and service providers. EnsembleIQ’s integrated suite of solutionsbased, total-market resources give you all the tools you need to achieve a strategic market advantage, giving you the insights, positioning, focus, and access, along with a team of dedicated strategic consultants to help you bring it all to life.

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PRODUCTS

Mechanical Advantages These hand tools bring versatility to products around the house, and around the job site. Ranging from the classic simple lines of a carpenter’s hammer to the leverage-generating innovation of a deck-board alignment tool, these products take on many shapes and target different end users. But there are common threads. The tools collected here represent the growing need for speed and efficiency for DIYers and for pros when tackling their projects. And all of these products are designed with human hands in mind.

Purdy pail

CAMO Lever

National Nail’s new CAMO Lever will bend, straighten and align deck boards to speed up installation. It’s part of the innovative CAMO experience, a family of products that when used together can build decks up to five times faster. The timing of the Lever launch aligns with the need for one- or twoperson installation that allows for social distancing on the jobsite to promote worker safety. The unique Lever tool sets in one turn to lock boards in place for fastening with no strain. The compact Lever is also strong enough to straighten any warped board. Camofasteners.com

Multiple grip options and handsfree hanging are among the features of the new Purdy Pail. “With Purdy Pail, we aimed to give painters yet another way to stay organized and efficient,” said Connie McKinney, senior product manager, Purdy. The Purdy Pail has a coffee-cup-style adjustable side grip for comfort. Users can also take advantage of a flexible bail handle like those found on standard paint cans. Other features include roller rest and ramp; a brush magnet, and addon matching liners. Sherwin-Williams.com

OLFA XSR-series Scrapers

Designed for heavy-duty scraping, the XSR-200, XSR-300 and XSR-600 line from OLFA can withstand the rigors of industrial use. Each model — 8”, 12” and 24” handles, respectively —is built with a substantial blade clamp and a super-strong handle and striking cap. A thick steel shank runs all the way through the handle, allowing the user to scrape or chisel, as the job dictates. The tool accepts four types of blades, which can be changed quickly by loosening the jaw with a coin. A spring-loaded blade protector helps prevent accidental injury. Olfa.com

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HBSDealer.com


Kapro Tools 705 Eagle Contractor Box Level

The new 705 Eagle contractor box level is the latest addition to Kapro’s line of Optivision Red leveling products. The 705 Eagle Contractor Box Level with Optivision Red technology is specially engineered for concrete and masonry applications because of its continuous surfaces on the top and bottom of the level. The high contrast ratio between the red bubble and vial liquid makes these vials’ visibility up to eight times easier to read than regular vials. The 705 Eagle’s center vial features gradient lines for slope measurements of 1%, 1.5% and 2%. These gradient lines on the level are engraved inside the vial, so they will not rub or fade. Kapro.com

Hultafors Tools Claw Hammer

Hultafors is big name in Europe. And now the brand intends to make a go in North America. First step (at last years’s STAFDA convention) was the roll out of more than 120 tools with built-in Swedish craftsmanship. This ergonomically designed Claw Hammer is forged in one piece for increased durability with a vibration damping urethane plug. A thin, strong claw affords easy access without leaving marks. And the claw opening and angle give the best possible grip on the nail. Hultafors.com

Ridgid Quick Acting Welding Vise

The Quick-Acting Pipe Welding Clamp delivers a secure hold and a fast connection all-in-one. The integrated handle and quick release mechanism make it easy to move and easy set-up, while the spring-loaded set screws assure a precision alignment from pipe to pipe. The heavyduty steel construction is made to withstand rugged welding conditions. The Quick-Acting Pipe Welding Clamp comes in two sizes — 2” to 6” and 41/2” to 12”, depending on the job at hand. Ridgid.com

HBSDealer.com

Knipex Pliers Wrench

Knipex Tools has a new-and-improved 7 1/4” version of its Pliers Wrench. The new wrench is about 10% lighter in weight than the previous model and features an increased jaw capacity, from 1 3/8” to 1 1/2”, as well as a narrower jaw profile for accessibility into confined areas. The Pliers Wrench is now available in a new black atramentized finish (above) or in the original chrome plated finish. Other new features include recessed areas for a better grip and laser-etched markings in both metric and imperial. This feature is key in determining the jaw opening before setting the wrench on the fastener. All of Knipex’s Pliers Wrenches feature a pinch guard to protect the user’s fingers. Knipex-tools.com

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER MAY 2020

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Join us in Chicago Nov. 4-5, for the Top Women in Hardware and Building Supply Awards Gala! Learn more at HBSDTopWomen.com

Stepping up for diversity Equal opportunity advice from the WernerCo president By Ken Clark Angie Sheehan, president of WernerCo’s North American division has given some thought to what it takes to climb the rungs of industry success. And like many other female leaders in the hardware and building supply industry, her career advice applies equally to men and women. In short: Never stop learning. Focus on the task or person in front of you. From there, the career ahead of you will take care of itself. “I don’t know if it’s necessarily a novel idea,” Sheehan told HBSDealer. “But I will tell you that’s the way I’ve looked at every job. You dive in. You figure out how the business works. You ask a kajillion questions. You learn by doing, and then you make an impact. The goal isn’t to make a name for yourself, but to improve the organization. “Generally speaking, people that I’ve seen achieve success have never really thought about it. Because every day they come to work and they’re focused on making the biggest impact in the role they have and bringing people together.” Sheehan joined WernerCo in November of 2018, after rising up the ranks at Newell Rubbermaid, where she was director, customer supply chain; and ITW’s Renovation/Remodeling division, where she was VP and general manager. One of her goals at WernerCo — whose brands include Werner ladders, Knaack jobsite storage and Green Bull climbing equipment — is to foster a highperformance, results-driven culture. And that’s where diversity comes into play. “We are taking steps,” she said. “And believe me, we still have a lot of work to do, but we want people to see

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that there are some things happening here from a leadership perspective and from a diversity perspective.” And just to be clear, there’s a profit-driven business-case behind the diversity concept. Numerous reputable studies connect diverse leadership teams to enhanced top and bottom line performance. “And that success comes from looking at the business from multiple perspectives,” she said. If you don’t have diverse backgrounds and diverse ways of looking at situations and how to address problems or challenges, then you come up with the same idea every time.” Recruitment can be a game changer, she said. “One of the things that we’re really looking at is casting a wider net,” she said.

MAY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

“You can’t keep fishing out of the same pond, especially in this industry if you want to recruit diverse leaders,” “I’m a believer in really being intentional about making sure you have seen a diverse slate of final candidates before making a final offer,” she said. “And if some people say, ‘Well, diverse candidate don’t apply for this job.” So, then, you’ve got to find them.” “There’s definitely an opportunity in our industry to improve or to increase the level of diversity,” she said. “There’s no question. We have a lot of work to do, particularly in top levels and leadership roles.” At the same time, WernerCo’s profocused customer base is changing. And the company, she says, will benefit by keeping pace. “We’re seeing a lot more females get into the trades, and we are definitely seeing that the end user is getting more diverse,” she said. “They’re safety directors. They’re project construction managers. And our products and the way that we represent our company should match our customers,” she said. “And we’ve got to be really intentional about how we get there.” Angie Sheehan


MARKET INSIGHTS

Rock-solid advice for unstable times By Joe Scarlett

T

his is one of the most unusual times of our lives. And now is when leaders should step up like never before. Our people, peers and even superiors need to see us as calm, mature and engaged — even in the face of tragedy. True leaders will not panic, but rather move forward as balanced business managers and executives. We all know that the quality and cohesiveness of our team is critical to long-term success. Whether your team is still with you or on furlough, it is essential to stay plugged in to provide as much grounding and consistency as possible. In all likelihood your people are feeling extraordinarily insecure right now and need to see you as rock solid. Hopefully you will all be back working together in a normal environment in the not-too-distant future. But during this most trying period, your team needs your guidance and demonstrable ways to reflect on your actions with pride and respect. You can never over communicate in a crisis. Now is the time to communicate like never before. Listen to everyone’s concerns and react only when you are confident in your words and actions. In tough times sincere listening may be the very best thing you can do. Remain calm, open and honest. Don’t keep secrets. Communicate news efficiently in an evenhanded manner — don’t act excited or scared. And to reduce the rumor mill, try your best to ensure that news gets to everyone about the same time. Misinformation can create chaos. Don’t share anything but the

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undisputed data. If some information floating around sounds fishy, use your time to uncover the facts and then share with your team. If you think it is advantageous to offer your trusted opinion, make doubly sure that everyone understands that it is indeed your view. Build greater credibility by communicating honestly, fairly and, whenever possible, quickly. If you were required to furlough some or most of your staff, find ways to stay in touch. They still need to hear from you. E-mail is easiest: Send regular messages of fact and hope. Let your people know you are concerned about them and their families. Try mailing a weekly status sheet to their homes. Sign each one and, if you can, add a few words of your own. If you have time an occasional phone call can be very powerful for building loyalty and cementing the long-term bond. Stay current and connected. Stay plugged in to current events surrounding coronavirus. The goal is not to be an authority on the pandemic, but rather to have a sharp, high-level understanding of its impact on people and business. At this point facts matter most; gossip will only fuel anxiety. Listen carefully to be sure people are not getting wound up over misguided notions or disparate details. Stay on top of daily developments in your organization — and your industry. Clear, consistent and factual communication of this information will

build confidence in the future and may allay common fears. Your demeanor during uncertain times means everything in the eyes of your people and those in your organization. If you appear stressed or panicked, people around you will lose confidence and look elsewhere for leadership. On the other hand, if you are seen as stable, mature and calm in spite of all that is happening you will earn confidence and respect. Now is the time when quality leadership shines through and can be a bright spot for all. Plan for the future. Share everything you can about both current and future events, particularly those that can build confidence in a return to normal. But be sure to paint a realistic, not overly optimistic, picture of what’s to come. It is never too early to begin planning a return to normality. Start on it now. Engage your people: Decide what items of business need to get done first and who will do them. Then draft assignments and schedules for the first few weeks back to work. Let your people see that there is a future and you are all planning for it. Your team is looking to you for purpose. These are the times when true leadership rises to the surface. Be calm. Be clear. Be compassionate. Be the ultimate communicator. I have been through several wars, 9/11 and a few massive market crashes. And I can say with confidence that this pandemic has been the most rapid destabilizer of all. Yet, in my opinion, we will emerge from this setback, probably earlier than the pessimists say, and stronger than ever.

Joe Scarlett is the retired CEO of Tractor Supply Company. For more on leadership see joescarlett.com, Or write Joe at Joe@joescarlett.com.

MAY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

HBSDealer.com


PEOPLE IN THE NEWS Beacon has appointed Frank Lonegro as executive vice president and CFO. Lonegro joined the company on April 20 and is expected to assume the role of CFO around May 15 as Lonegro current CFO Joseph Nowicki transitions his duties, Beacon said. Prior to joining the building and roofing products distributor, Lonegro was at CSX Corporation for 19 years, serving as EVP and CFO from 2015-2019. L&W Supply promoted Chad Cutlip to the position of regional vice president for the West. Cutlip is a veteran of the building materials industry with over 17 years of experience. Cutlip He has held various positions across L&W Supply, including outside sales representative, branch manager and category manager for ceilings. In his most recent role as district manager for Southern California, Cutlip led one of the largest and most successful districts in the company. Trex Company has named Dennis Schemm as vice president and chief financial officer. Schemm succeeds Bryan Fairbanks, executive vice president Schemm and CFO, who was named as the company’s new president and CEO in February. Fairbanks became CEO on April 29 as former CEO James Cline moved to the position of chairman of the board of directors. Schemm most recently served as SVP and CFO of Continental Building Products. Lumber Liquidators appointment Matthew Argano as the company’s

HBSDealer.com

chief human resources officer, effective April 20. Argano will report to Charles Tyson, interim president and chief customer experience officer. He most recently served as senior vice president, chief people officer of Altar’d State, Inc. Stanley Black & Decker has named Graham Robinson president of Industrial, which currently includes Stanley Engineered Fastening, Stanley Infrastructure Robinson and Stanley Oil & Gas. Robinson will report to the company’s president and CEO Jim Loree. John Wyatt, who currently serves in the role, will assist Robinson through a transition period while also taking

responsibility for the company’s strategic roadmap for its outdoor power equipment business. Lorraine Amesbury Holder, VP of operations for STIHL, is among the women tapped for a 2020 STEP Ahead Award. The award program Amesbury Holder is managed by the Manufacturing Institute, the workforce and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers. The eighth annual STEP Ahead Awards recognizes women in science, technology, engineering and production who exemplify leadership within the manufacturing industry.

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HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER MAY 2020

33


Residential Construction/Sales

Monthly Retail Sales, not adjusted

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

(in thousands, SAAR) Mar.: 1,216,000

NAICS 44413

(sales in $ billions)

40

1700

(sales in $ billions)

3

1600

30 29.1

28.2

1500

27.3

2.18

26.9

24.6

20

1400

2

27.6

2.19

2.00

1.93

1.83

1.83

1

1300

10 1200

0

1100

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

J

F

M

DECEMBER 2018

SOURCE: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

2019

JANUARY

0

FEBRUARY

DECEMBER 2018

2020

2019

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

2020

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

Single-family starts (in thousands, SAAR) Mar.: 856,000 2000

HBSDealer Stock Roundup

1050

the percent-change performance of stocks based on April 30 prices

1000

40

950

20

900 850

750

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

J

F

ANNUAL CHANGE

800

M

SOURCE: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

Existing-home sales (in millions, SAAR) Mar.: 5,270,000 5.8

BLDR

20

SHW

10

HD TSCO

0 DJI

-10

LOW

DE

-20

WY SWK

-30

5.6

BMC

-40 5.4

BECN

-60 0

10

20

30

40

50

5.2

MONTHLY CHANGE 5

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

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

J

F

M

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

4.4% 3.5

34

March

6.5 60

86.9

$1.77

April

Apr. 30

140

MAY 2020 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

$1.50

$3.00

SOURCES: LABOR DEPARTMENT, THE CONFERENCE BOARD, AAA

HBSDealer.com


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HBSD - May 2020  

HBSD - May 2020