HBSD-1121

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 Vol. 47 No. 10

TOP WOMEN IN HARDWARE &

THE 2021 CLASS OF

BUILDING SUPPLY


BUILDING ON OUR COMMITMENT TO

SERVICE

Now open in Rome, NY

Ready Rome,toNY serve you


Rome, NY

Rome, NY

Post Falls, ID

London, ON Canada

Inwood, WV Hurricane, UT

Sikeston, MO Tifton, GA Kilgore, TX

Orgill Distribution Centers 2021

Picked-to-order


HBSDEALER HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY

INDEPENDENT PROFILE 16 A Louisville succession story at

Bronwsboro Hardware & Paint

PRODUCTS 32 Fasteners ACE HARDWARE REPORT 34 Westlake Ace builds a

better backyard

MARKET INSIGHTS 38 Priorities for the NLBMDA 40 Top Guns sound off on

supply chain and staffing

42 The empty-shelf challenge 44 Lowe’s makes room for

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aging in place

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COVER STORY Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply 20 Lessons Learned and Shared 24 Meet the 2021 Class

of Top Women

FROM THE EDITOR 8 The Summit of Importance

NEWS & ANALYSIS

IN EVERY ISSUE

10 Live from Las Vegas:

12 Stat of the Month 12 Product Knowledge 14 News Map 45 People in the news 46 Quikrete Industry

Invention

10 Tale of the Tape:

HD vs. LOW

12 Masked up

Merchandising: A PPE Q&A

16

Dashboard

14 Look up for

construction prices

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 in the United States: $110 one year; $200 two year; $14 single issue copy; Canada and Mexico: $130 one year; $235 two year; $16 single issue copy; Foreign: $150 one year; $285 two year; $16 single issue copy; in all other countries (air mail only). Digital Subscription: $75 one year; $140 two year. Periodical postage paid at Chicago, IL., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to HBSD, Circulation Fulfillment Director, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631. Copyright © 2021 by EnsembleIQ. All rights reserved.

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BUILDING FAMILY LEGACIES

At Anchor Peabody, we believe in family first. We pride ourselves in delivering market knowledge and financial expertise to family-owned businesses across the building products and construction industries. Together, we work to create shareholder value for your family business, so you can feel confident about the future. We put our training and experience at work for you to deliver on the values and objectives that matter most. Let us grow together as family!

Investment Banking For The Building Industry

Mergers & Acquisitions | Capital Advisory CONTACT info@anchorpeabody.com

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HERE’S WHAT’S ONLINE

See more and share more when you follow us on Facebook.

ProDealer Industry Summit in Washington, D.C. There has never been a more critical time to raise the voice of the industry in the halls of power. Visit prodealer.com to learn more.

Watch and learn Product demonstrations from inside an actual New Jersey garage. Front and center at HBSDealer.com.

The votes continue to pile up HBSDealer publishes weekly poll questions on pressing industry matters, and other topics.

Q

Where do you stand on OSHA’s new employeevaccination rules?

Follow us @HBSDealer

12%

In favor

45%

Strongly Oppose

14%

Oppose

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

29%

Strongly in favor

Source: HBSDealer poll question. (n=707)

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

HBSDealer.com



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

The Summit of Importance

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT (HBSDealer, Drug Store News, Chain Store Age) John Kenlon, jkenlon@ensembleiq.com, 212-756-5238

Ken Clark Editor in Chief

“The times are wild. Contention, like a horse full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose and bears down all before him!” That’s the Earl of Northumberland awaiting news from the battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. But it could easily be any business executive reading the newspaper in 2021 about the contention in Washington, D.C.

The ProDealer Industry Summit returns to Washington, D.C. March 29-April 2.

The times are indeed wild in the nation’s capitol. Policy makers are emboldened. The men and women who have given us lines as memorable as “(9) in subsection (i)(2), by striking “other grants under this section” and inserting “grants under subsection (e); …” are flexing their legislative muscles. All kinds of ideas are brewing in the halls of power. [Note to reader: if you’re in a rush, skip to the bottom of this column for a rare “Call to Action.”] And it’s more than just the trilliondollar “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” (quoted above) that was recently signed into law. Consider the White House “framework” for the Build Back Better Act. It’s a

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broad collection of spending that includes everything, including the kitchen sink. Here’s language from the White House staff: the Framework “will enable the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of more than 1 million affordable homes, boosting housing supply and reducing price pressures for renters and homeowners.” Sounds great. But the contention lies —as it usually does—with the question: who’s going to pay the bill? And who’s going to benefit? Rest assured there is no shortage of cryptocurrency, CBD or electric-car lobbyists knocking on doors in the Dirksen and Rayburn buildings and saying: “Don’t tax us, tax them.” Meanwhile, regulators at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration generated a serious source of contention with a vaccination mandate that’s based partly on the idea that businesses — regardless of their expertise — are capable, at the drop of a hat, of establishing sophisticated medical counseling and healthcare tracking services. The OSHA rule remains clouded in legal challenges and uncertainty as this issue goes to press. CALL TO ACTION: Join us in Washington D.C. March 29-April 2. The National Lumber and Building Material Dealer Association, in partnership with HBSDealer are hosting a first-ever combined ProDealer Industry Summit and NLBMDA Legislative Conference. There’s never been a more important time to engage at the Summit. Find out more at Prodealer.com.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

EDITOR IN CHIEF Ken Clark kclark@ensembleiq.com, 212-756-5139 LBM EDITOR Andy Carlo acarlo@ensembleiq.com, 845-891-5108 HARDWARE EDITOR Tim Burke tburke@ensembleiq.com, 773-216-7880 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Ken Ryan ryankgr@aol.com, 516-567-3034 Editorial Inquiries: Direct questions to Editor in Chief Ken Clark. ADVERTISING SALES

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

LIST RENTAL MeritDirect Marie Briganti 914-309-3378 SUBSCRIBER SERVICES/CUSTOMER CARE TOLL-FREE: 1-877-687-7321 FAX: 1-888-520-3608 contact@hbsdealer.com PRODUCTION/ART

DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION Michael Kimpton mkimpton@ensembleiq.com, 647-557-5075 CREATIVE DIRECTOR Colette Magliaro cmagliaro@ensembleiq.com ART DIRECTOR Bill Antkowiak bantkowiak@ensembleiq.com PRODEALER INDUSTRY SUMMIT MARCH 29-APRIL 2, 2022, WASHINGTON, D.C. WWW.PRODEALER.COM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NLBMDA, WWW.DEALER.ORG CONTACT: AMY PLATTER GRANT agrant@ensembleiq.com, PDIS DIRECTOR OF SPONSORSHIPS PERMISSIONS: NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED OR TRANSMITTED IN ANY FORM OR BY ANY MEANS, ELECTRONIC OR MECHANICAL, INCLUDING PHOTOCOPY, RECORDING, OR INFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM, WITHOUT PERMISSION IN WRITING FROM THE PUBLISHER. FOR REPRINTS, PERMISSIONS AND LICENSING, PLEASE CONTACT WRIGHT’S MEDIA AT ENSEMBLEIQ@WRIGHTSMEDIA.COM OR (877) 652-5295.

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, CONTENT Joe Territo EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS Derek Estey

connect with us

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NEWS + ANALYSIS

Live from Las Vegas John Hoback brought his invention to the National Hardware Show: a hammer’s claw to make the task of pulling nails easier. “I’m here to show it off, make contacts and find someone to license us,” he says between pulling nails with his Rizer hammer helper. It was just one example of the here’s-what’s-new vibe at this year’s National Hardware Show. “I’m amazed at all the different types of vendors here at the show. It’s great,” said Bruce Jones, president of Allied Equipment Rental from Burton, Mich. “I’m here getting ideas and looking at what’s new. Specifically, I’m looking for consumable items we can sell; this is the place to find it.” This 75th running of the NHS was held in late October at the newly opened West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. By the numbers, organizers reported 690 exhibitors, including 259 new, 225 featured products and 97 inventors. Attending from Batavia, Ohio, Marc Liggett of Sportsman’s

TALE OF THE TAPE

John Hoback (left) demonstrated his Rizer hammer helper. Shark Tank veteran Carson Grill (above) promoted his Touch Up Cup. The National Hardware Show returns to Las Vegas April 5-7, 2022.

Market, here to see existing vendors and find new ones, said this was, “a productive show.” He added that even though you know your suppliers well, you “have to attend the show to really see their new products. It’s amazing.” Another inventor attracting plenty of attendees was 16-year-old Carson Grill, with his new product the Touch Up Cup, to keep leftover paint usable. He’s had his product on Shark Tank already. He was holding his audience

mesmerized with his poise and personality explaining his product. “We’re looking to gain more retailers from this show,” he related. What do his friends think, he’s asked? “They think it’s great,” he beams and hands out pens with his company name along with his name and his title: CEO. A popular Inventor Spotlight Pavilion stage featured a parade of speakers and product ideas. Most exhibitors spoke to standing room only crowds. Wolf Gugler, an attendee from Shawnee, Okla., related a simple description that captured being back at the NHS show. “This is the place to be every year. So glad we’re back in-person.”

Home Depot vs. Lowe’s

Comparable store sales bounce up (a little) in Q3 Big picture optimism for home improvement sales stood out In third-quarter earnings reports from the two retail giants, as comparable-store-sales increased over the prior quarter. Home Depot CEO Craig Menear said customers continue to take on larger home improvement projects. Lowe’s raised its full-year sales expectation from $92 billion to $95 billion. (See HBSDealer.com for more.)

40.0

30.0

HD LOW

20.0

10.0

0.0

-10.0 19Q4 20Q1 20Q2 20Q3 20Q4 21Q1 21Q2 21Q3 Source: Company Reports

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5.4% 2.6%

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER


Alexandria Lavaroni Treat’s General Store

We congratulate the True Value women being honored as one of HBS Dealer’s

TOP WOMEN IN HARDWARE & BUILDING SUPPLY FOR BUSINESS EXCELLENCE.

Carmen Arguelles VP, Marjam Supply Company

Carolyn Epstein Dr. Ike’s Home Centers

Donna Souligne Remington True Value

Jean Niemi SVP of Marketing & Communications True Value Company

Lisa Barrett Director, Merchandising, McCoy’s Building Supply

Penney Luhrs Luhrs True Value

Stacy Andersen-Bivona VP, Nebraska Builders Warehouse, Inc.

Thank you for all that you do to drive retail excellence and keep your communities locally strong.

Sue Fusek Ron’s Home and Hardware


NEWS + ANALYSIS Product Knowledge Product: The Brizzle Manufacturer: Brisbane, Australia-based Dreamfarm Knowledge: This silicone basting brush gets its name from the “b” in baste and “rizzle” in drizzle. It also bends to scoop up a tablespoon of baste – roughly 15 bristle dips. Award-winning design includes drizzle holes, and a no-mess handle shape that keeps the 100 bristle-head elevated when resting on the countertop. Sells for about $12. Fun facts: Company founders are “just a bunch of everyday dudes from Brisbane,” according to the web site. They also make the Chopula, a spatula that chops.

Masked up Merchandising: A PPE Q&A In Los Angeles, located on South Vermont Avenue, is Vermont Outlet True Value Hardware. The store opened in early 1949. Today, John and Ron Samore are second-generation co-owners. They shared their thoughts on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the following e-mail exchange with HBSDealer: HBSD: What is the store’s general experience with PPE? Samore: “Prior to COVID-19, PPE equipment was a very small portion of our business with masks being purchased primarily for dust or used as a respirator for painting. [But with Covid] our customers were asking for the N95-rated masks. When they were not available, the KN95 masks were requested and finally, due to a lack of supplies, the demand was for any masks.” HBSD: Is the demand for PPE on the rise from your customers?

STAT OF THE MONTH

Samore: “We saw a big increase in demand in 2020 and have since tapered back, but still well above 2019 numbers.” HBSD: Are any of the supply chain challenges today affecting you getting PPE items? Samore: “None.” HBSD: What’s the best way to merchandise PPE items? Where are they placed in the store?

That’s the year-over-year increase in the Drewry Composite World Container index in early November, when it stood at $9,192.50. Actual costs vary. The owner of Learning Resources, a toy business in Chicago, told 60 Minutes that he paid $30,000 for a container shipped from China, ten times what he paid a year ago.

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Samore: “We display many of the PPE products down our main aisle as the customer enters the store. They also see the product once more as they stand in line waiting to be checked out.”

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

The team at Vermont Outlet True Value Hardware in L.A. in their PPE masks. Owners John and Ron Samore stand in the middle.

HBSD: What tips can you pass along to readers who are deciding to stock PPE items? Samore: “Location in the store is critical, such as a power aisle. Relatively speaking it does not require a significant investment. Pay attention to your local government requirements.” HBSD: What PPE items do you carry and are there specific PPE items that are more popular with customers? Samore: “Currently, our biggest demand is for masks in packs of 50. Masks are our biggest seller. Equally important are hand sanitizers, Lysol and Clorox wipes, as well as disposable shoe covers. Maintenance personnel are required to wear shoe covers before they enter a tenant’s space.” HBSD: Anything else? Samore: “Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its mutations, we see a viable market for the foreseeable future. It is a lifestyle change that will continue until we reach herd immunity.”

HBSDealer.com


Trust. IT’S EARNED. THE VACMASTER BLUE SERIES

THE PROFESSIONAL SERIES

THE SPECIALTY SERIES


NEWS + ANALYSIS

Whither construction prices? Up. Construction input prices increased 1.5% in October, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Producer Price Index data. The prices of goods used in residential construction (excluding energy) climbed 0.8% in October, following two months of declines, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported. Building material prices have increased 12.2% year to date, after climbing 4.5% over the same period in 2020. Softwood lumber prices climbed 9.1% in October, marking the first increase since May. In the meantime, softwood lumber prices are now down 19.5% from the same time last year. Gypsum products increased 2.1% in October — its eighth consecutive monthly increase. Prices have increased 19% year to date.

Promotion at HBSDealer Construction input prices are also 21.1% higher than in October 2020, while nonresidential construction input prices increased 22.3% over that span. “Any notion that the bout of pandemic-induced inflation was simply transitory has gone by the wayside,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Inflation continues to endure, particularly in multiple commodity categories that directly impact the cost of delivering construction services in America. These materials price increases are simply mind-boggling, with iron and steel prices up more than 100% over the past year.”

HBSDealer’s Amy Grant, a veteran sales manager who has taken on increasing responsibilities for the brand in recent years, was promoted to associate publisher, effective immediately. Amy Grant joined Home Channel News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, in 2000. She has risen to increasing levels of responsibility, including serving as HBSDealer’s lead for the ProDealer Industry Summit, an event co-hosted by the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. She also spearheaded HBSDealer’s recent Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply event, which concluded Nov. 11. Contact Amy at agrant@ensembleiq.com.

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

Port Hadlock

OPENING

CLOSING

AQUISITION

Kodiak Building Partners has acquired Carl’s Building Supply in western Washington. Carl’s will join the Retail Lumber and Gypsum group of Kodiak, and will report to Pat Flood, executive vice president of the group. The deal extends Kodiak’s holdings to 89 locations in more than 20 states. california

Glendale

Virgil’s Hardware, which opened in 1906, closed its doors for good in mid-November. In addition to its customer service, and home improvement staples, the store was known for its eggs, according to the Glendale News Press. An assisted-living facility is expected to take over the site, the paper reports.

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

illinois

Decatur

Decatur Ace Hardware is closing its doors. Under a secondgeneration of ownership, the hardware store dates back to 1974 when it opened as a True Valu store. Owner Mark Daniels told the Herald & Review newspaper: “It will be missed.” Signs in the store windows recently proclaimed “Everything must go!” and “Retirement.” texas

Spicewood

Texas dealer McCoy’s Building Supply recently poured the foundation for a new store in Spicewood, roughly 38 miles northwest of Austin, where the dealer opened its first store in 1969. “We believe in Austin and are excited for the continued growth and success of the Central Texas area,” said Phil Hutchinson, McCoy’s real estate manager.

HBSDealer.com



INDEPENDENT PROFILE

A Louisville succession story Employee rises to ownership of Brownsboro Hardware & Paint By Tim Burke You’ve done it all—swept floors, dusted shelves, and worked your way up to managing the operation. Years flowed past. You learned from a great mentor. And now, you’re owner.

D

oug Carroll, employee of 20 years, is the new owner of Brownsboro Hardware & Paint. Do it Best member-owners Jim and Marilyn Lehrer sold the two-store Louisville, Ky.-based business to their trusted store manager recently. Carroll said watching Jim Lehrer and seeing how his success on the wholesale side of the industry helped him be successful on the retail side of it, was a key learning experience. “Jim is very unique in how he operates,” Carroll explained. “I’ve talked with a lot of different owners in different states over the years, and nobody operates quit like he does. He’s

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Doug Carrol, owner of Brownsboro Hardware & Paint, took over the reins from Jim and Marilyn Lehrer, his former employers of two decades. Localownership is highly valued by customers.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

a very ‘hands on’ kind of guy. It’s really molded me to know what to expect when running my own business.” The new owner pointed out that having two sons of his own has reinforced the feeling that the business caters to families to help them make their homes better. And he’s picked up on small details of importance to customers and carried them over. “Both Jim and I give out our cell phone numbers to our customers,” Carroll said. “We both strongly believe they deserve it. It’s a little thing, but its effect is phenomenal.” Brownsboro customers have certainly noticed the fine details in continuity, expressing their positive feelings to both the new and prior owners about the local transition. “I have been blown away by the positive response,” Carroll said. “We’ve had hundreds of messages of congratulations on our social media and personal emails. My phone has practically melted down.” The hardware business could easily have sold to out-of-state interests, but instead remains locally owned. The new owner talked with people who didn’t know about the transition. “To put it gently, they were concerned. But once I told them we are staying local, and that they won’t see any difference, they were super relieved and excited.” Carroll said his goal moving forward is to ensure customers don’t see a change. In fact, he noted, “I want them to feel even better about our local presence.” Dial your clock back to the year 2000. Doug Carroll explained that he was in the restaurant business before he came to Brownsboro Hardware & Paint, saying “a friend of a friend of a friend put in a good word to Jim, and when I turned in an application, next thing I know he hired me. “It started out as a job to pay for my car and cell phone, and it just grew over time.” As he watched the business become more successful, Carroll found himself becoming more involved in the business — and he did it without Lehrer even asking him. It continued to grow from there. “Jim offered me a management posi-

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tion when I was still in college, and I originally said ‘no.’ And then I switched to, ‘I’ll think about it.’ And then, when the store was really starting to take off, I decided to give it a chance not knowing if it would be my career,” he recollected. “I was comfortable with the business, and as the business continued to grow, I found myself wanting to be involved. The next thing I know it’s 20 years later and I have two kids,” he said. Jim Lehrer, a respected award-winning retailer who was a member of the Do it Best board of directors for nine years, including two as board chair, reflected on the young man who came to work for him at the turn of the century. “Like many young people, when Doug came in, he was a bit ‘wet behind the ears.’ But he seemed anxious and willing to learn so we hired him on,” Lehrer said. Lehrer remembered that when that young man got to be about 18 years old, he liked to have a lot of fun, at night, on the weekends, perhaps even during the week. (“We worked through all that,” Lehrer said.) The former owner said, “there was a time when I

“In a few words: Listen. Learn. Be committed to a smooth transition. Be open with your customers about what’s happening. Communicate.” — Doug Carroll, Owner, Brownsboro Hardware & Paint, on succession planning.

knew he ‘had it.’ He got into his early 20s and was hungry to learn about the industry and was hungry for knowledge, of how things work.” The seminal moment, Lehrer pointed out, was when they added their second location in Prospect. “He was a natural to manage that location in 2011. So that was the time he really got to cut his teeth on running a location,” said Lehrer. His greatest asset is his work ethic, Lehrer pointed out. “He certainly puts in the hours and wants to learn and will do what it takes to take care of the customer and provide the service that we have set here,” Lehrer said. Carroll said the entire staff is excited to keep the local business local, and he offered a tip for other hardware store owners thinking of passing the baton. “In a few words: Listen. Learn. Be committed to a smooth transition. Be open with your customers about what’s happening. Communicate.” For more on the succession story at Brownsboro Hardware, visit HBSDealer.com.

Can your business fund your retirement? ­

Sam Brownell

HBSDealer.com

One phone call. Make it today!

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

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COVER FEATURE

LEADING BY EXAMPLE HBSDealer’s Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply event set the stage for diversity

By HBSDealer Staff

C

hicago—Leaders from across the industry and across the country came to celebrate with HBSDealer during its first, live Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply event. The two-day event could be described as equal parts networking, education, celebration and inspiration. The spirit of mutual advancement was palpable during the awards ceremony, and that momentum continued on day two with a series of panels that explored recruiting, mentoring and achieving positions of power. Alison Dowell, the president and general manager of Oak Brook, Ill.based distributor Emery Jensen Distribution, shared her story during a panel discussion. “When I think about what our responsibility is to one another and to women getting into the industry — and really anybody that is different or anybody that doesn’t feel like they belong — it’s helping them find their place or their seat at the table.” Dowell was one of dozens of industry leaders who shared their stories or stories

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of inspiration, or merely their support. Men were far outnumbered by women in the Top Women event ballroom, but the importance of male involvement was noted by several panelists as a factor to advance equity for women in the workplace and the c-suite. Sarah Dodd, senior vice president of global merchandising at Lowe’s, described a male mentor as crucial to her advancement. “So to the men in the room, don’t underestimate your influence when it comes to the women that you work with and the women that support you or the women that you’re around every day,” she said. The Top Women agenda included a session on the “She-Cession” examining the negative impact of the pandemic on women in the workforce. Another panel examined the pursuit of power with the tagline: “You don’t get if you don’t ask.” And mentorship—a topic that worked its way into the discussions during all of the panels—was explored in depth during a session titled “Mentorship: Who helped you, and how to return the favor.” The inspirational tone was set early, with a tribute to Pony Jorgensen founder Adele Holman, who broke barriers in the

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

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More than 230 industry pros attended the first-ever Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply event in Chicago. Clockwise from above: Dinner at the Fairmont. Pony Jorgenson’s Bill Sokol at the podium. YellaWood’s Lindsay Carter and Builder FirstSource’s Jeanine Froke/ Opening night reception. The US LBM contingent brought along their daughters, as well as their CEO.

HBSDealer.com

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

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COVER FEATURE

early 1900s as she pioneered the clamp business. (A cocktail described as “the Adele” was served at the reception.) Prior to the awards ceremony, sponsored by YellaWood, Lindsay Carter, associate general counsel for Great Southern Wood Preserving, said her company is pursuing efforts to elevate women in the hardware and building supply industry. “Events like this, which are designed to recognize women leading the charge, are an important step forward,” Carter said. “The building segment is growing, and we’re seeing a more intentional stance to recognize and reward talent, particularly women in this category.” Moments before personally distributing commemorative awards to a

“The building segment is growing, and we’re seeing a more intentional stance to recognize and reward talent, particularly women in this category.” —Lindsay Carter, Associate General Counsel, Great Southern Wood Preserving

parade of “Rising Stars” and “Business Excellence” award winners, Carter sounded a theme that rang throughout the two-day event: “When more women ascend into organizations of all sizes, more businesses will succeed,” she said. That concept of building business through diversity was highlighted during the opening remarks from Amy Grant, associate publisher of HBSDealer, host of the event. “We can’t stress enough that our mission here has two parts,” Grant explained. “Encourage women to enter the industry and, of course, stay in the industry. And to help them find the people or the resources to advance their careers. And we do that not just because it’s the right thing, but also because diversity is great for business, and it’s good for the industry.”

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LESSONS LEANRED, AND SHARED The stories, the advice and the observations were delivered in a rapidfire style during the back-to-back-to back to back panel discussions built into the Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply education day. (Of course, breakfast and a coffee break were included.) What follows contains a flavor of the event, in the words of the leaders who continue to build successful companies and successful careers. Michele Burger, Misura Group On making her first call as a recruiter to fill a big position for an LBM company “I introduce myself, and he says to me, “Well honey, how can I help you today?” So I thought to myself, “Okay, I’m not going to hang up. I’m not going to give up. I know exactly what I have to ask. I know exactly what I’m looking for. And I’m going to make it through.” Wendy Whiteash, US LBM executive VP of culture On successful networking “It’s not just on posting a blog to LinkedIn. You have to meet people, you have to find common connection, you have to seek out people who are really great at the skill or the competency that you’re trying to develop. There are so many great opportunities out there [specifically for women]. But the other side is really we have men in our workplaces that we need to network as well. So not waiting for it to come to you, but going out and seeking that counsel and relationship.” Sue Kasko, 84 Lumber director or talent development On pandemic-induced recruitment philosophy “I know, for us, it’s pushed us to maybe try some things we’ve never tried before, and thinking about being more flexible. And they might not be revolutionary in the workforce. But even doing things like offering different kinds of bonuses, testing out different work week structures. And trying it in small places and seeing what works with a test-and-learn approach, will give us opportunity to, say, to find those things that will work even in the confines of our industry.”

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

Mai-Tal Kennedy, Building Industry Partners, Center of Excellence, principal consultant On building better companies. “I would say that I think a great workplace is someplace where everyone has a voice and knows that they are going to be able to contribute meaningfully to the goals of the company. So they understand the goals, they understand their role in supporting them, and they have opportunities to inform how to do things even better.” Sarah Alter, Network of Executive Women, CEO On the changing mindset of corporate leaders. “We all know it, women are not broken, they do not need to be fixed. It’s the corporate culture. It’s the inadequate infrastructure that’s in place. We’ve always heard about DEI and IED (Diversity, equity and inclusion.) But the new acronym now is DEIBA. So it’s diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and accessibility. And trust that that’ll keep growing. But I love the shift. that’s when you’re going to get the top talent, and that’s when you’re going to keep it.” Jean Niemi, True Value, senior vice president of marketing communications On pursuing power in the business world. “Oftentimes, the fact of the matter is that in today’s world, women still only make about 80% of what men make. How is that possible with all the successes that we have been talking about over these last 24 hours? A lot of the challenge still lays with us, the women and, what we think about ourselves and how we present ourselves.”

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CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF TONIGHT’S

WINNERS. We recognize that reputation is the toughest thing to build.

Standing out as the best is never easy under any circumstance. Which makes tonight’s accomplishment even more significant. All of us at the YellaWood® brand celebrate the determination and skill that go into building this level of respect. Your achievements and influence are an inspiration to our entire organization.

YellaWood® brand pressure treated products are treated with preservatives (the “Preservatives”) and preservative methods, and technologies of unrelated third parties. For details regarding the Preservatives, methods, and technologies used by Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated, see www.yellawood.com/preservative or write us at P.O. Box 610, Abbeville, AL 36310. Ask dealer for warranty details. For warranty or for important handling and other information concerning our products including the appropriate Safety Data Sheet (SDS), please visit us at www.yellawood.com/warranties or write us at P.O. Box 610, Abbeville, AL 36310. YellaWood®, YellaWood Protector® and the yellow tag are federally registered trademarks of Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated. All other marks are trademarks of their respective owners and are used with their permission.


COVER FEATURE

LESSONS LEARNED, AND SHARED Crystal Arnold, Fortune Brands, finance manager On working-at-home “One of the biggest challenges I feel I had during this COVID experience was that I couldn’t give myself fully to anything all the once. I would be in a meeting, but then I would be tackling my child sitting right beside me throwing a tantrum. It was the feeling I could give only 50 percent. I see some heads nodding. I think support systems are so critical in anything. Whether you are stay at home mom, or you are a working full-time parent, having that support network of people who understand what you’re going through, and you can kick things back and forth with them saying, “Hey, I’m trying to solve X problem, or I’m trying to figure out this.” Alison Dowell, President and GM, Emery Jensen Distribution On being encouraged to promote herself for advancement early in her career. “I had just gotten to Target Corp. and I was working for a fellow who was a very highly respected director in the sourcing team. And kind of unexpectedly, we get pulled together on a Friday, and he announces to us that he is leaving the company. And it was a shock. Nobody expected this to happen. So we’re all kind of walking back to our desk a little bit dazed, and my phone rings. I pick it up and he was calling me from his car, and he said, ‘Alison, this is what I need you to do. I need you to walk down the hall and go into our vice president’s office and tell him that you are the right person for this job. I think that you can do it. I think he thinks you can do it, but if you don’t say it, you’re not going to get it.’ And that was probably some of the best advice I’ve ever been given.”

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Lita Abele, New Jersey-based U.S. Lumber Inc., president and CEO. On her journey from immigrant to president. “I learned the business from the ground up. My first job in the company was to answer the phone. So I learn everything that I know now by self-taught. I used my eyes, my ear, and my common sense, how to learn this lumber business. And then I tell myself, “One day, you will know who is Lita Abele.” And that’s what I did.” Vanessa Pierce, Melaco Sisters Hardware & Supplies, co-owner On serving as an example to community youth for college and blue collar opportunities. “We try to stay involved for the youth of our community. They know that our door is open, If they want to come in. We’ve had people just kind of come and hang out at the store to learn things. We do that just to help young people know that there are multiple options. It really is about working hard and just finding where you fit. I always tell young people: whatever you think you’re going to be doing in five years probably won’t be. But you know what? You have to start somewhere. You have to have a goal to work towards.” Evionne Silver, Builders FirstSource, VP of Install Business. On seeing her daughter take an internship with a transportation company. “I watched her get ready for her first day of work. And she had her steel toed boots, and she had her safety vest on and she had her hard hat. And I was so proud, because from the time my kids were young, I always had my safety vest with me and my safety glasses with me. I carried them in my bag everywhere I went. And it was really exciting to see her not be afraid to go out there and work hard [in her safety equipment] next to these men.”

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Sarah Dodd Lowe’s, Senior VP of global merchandising On the virtues of patience in personal career development “I actually had mentors along the way who slowed me down a little bit. I’d say that’s one of the biggest blessings that I’ve had. I was being asked to do all of these different kind of lateral positions around the organization. I was like, when’s it going to be my time? Which, come on, I mean, we all feel like that sometimes. You feel like you’ve put it in, you feel like you’ve done all the roles, and when’s it going to be your turn. What I didn’t realize, and now I do, hindsight’s 2020, is that by doing all of those different positions, when it finally became my turn, and I finally was given the opportunity to be an officer with the organization, that I was so much more prepared for that, and I was able to then elevate and to then speed up my career track.” Wendy Stine President, Stine Lumber On growing up in a family business run by six brothers. “I grew up under my dad learning hard work. Just because your name was on the front of the building didn’t mean that you get to just hang out and watch. He taught me that you had to be the hardest worker. And then he stepped aside and allowed me to become manager. And then moving on to our corporate office where I got to train with another uncle who was another great mentor for me. He put me into roles that I wouldn’t typically put myself into. They helped me to pursue my education, even though I had already graduated from college, and continued to help me develop.”

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CO C O - OP YOUR ULTIMATE RESOURCE.

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It's not just about purchasing. LMC Members have purchasing power. PLUS access to proprietary market intelligence, marketing support, and unique networking opportunities with the best dealers in the business.

GROW YOUR BUSINESS, LET’S TALK! www.LMCDifference.com © 2021 Lumbermens Merchandising Corporation


COVER FEATURE

MEET THE 2021 CLASS OF TOP WOMEN IN HARDWARE & BUILDING SUPPLY RISING STARS “Award recognizes a talented professional with the potential to make a significant positive difference within her company and within the industry for years to come.”

Narcisa Cuatlatl Inventory Manager, Ashby Lumber Leigh Hudspeth Director Specialty Products, BlueLinx Corporation

Ashley Gray Outside Sales Representative, Builders FirstSource Stacy Andersen-Bivona VP, Builders Warehouse Inc. Jaclyn Kueny Merchandising Manager, DecksDirect Margaret Clark Edward T. Clark & Sons

Alison Dowell President and General Manager, Emery Jensen Distribution Sally Paul Manager, Frontier Building Supply Stephanie Barrios Sales, Ganahl Lumber Shanna West Manager/Owner, H & H Home & Hardware

Rachel Hoops Trader/Components Sales, LMC Sarah Dodd SVP Merchandising, Lowe’s Sherry Pearson Manufacturing Lead, Lyman Companies Carpentry Contractors Co. Lisa Barrett Director Merchandising, McCoy’s Building Supply

Lauren Melancon Guidry co-owner, Melaco Sisters Hardware & Supplies Vanessa Pierce co owner, Melaco Sisters Hardware & Supplies Mackenzie Hare National Account Manager, Milwaukee Tool Corinne Courtney Owner, Nailed It! Hardware

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OUTPERFORM TODAY. TRANSFORM TOMORROW. Everyday, our team of 27,000 professionals is driven to be the best and deliver for our customers. We’re on a mission to develop next-generation solutions that accelerate, optimize and transform the homebuilding industry. FOLLOW US

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COVER FEATURE

Jackie Marable Director of Retail Services, Orgill Inc. Lindsey DiGangi Corporate Marketing Manager, PLM Mutual Insurance Co. Julie Moser General Manager, Ridout Lumber Company Heather Young Components Plant Manager Shelly’s Building Supply

Tara Tansky Regional Sales Vice President, Stanley Black & Decker Wendy Stine President, Stine Lumber Alyssa Lett National Account Manager, UFP Keirstan Kure Digital channel manager, Parksite

BUSINESS EXCELLENCE

Judy Dinelle Building Ambassador, 84 Lumber

Award recognizes a leader who has demonstrated achievement, growth and success in the hardware and home improvement industry; embraced education and community service and inspired others to follow a similar path. Margi Harney VP IT, Beacon Building Products Gina Cashner Branch Manager, Beacon Building Products Susan Kunkel Big Johns Building Alison Steckowski Millwork Specialist, Builders FirstSource

Jeanine Froke VP of Marketing, Builders FirstSource Courtney Bynum Director of Customer Experience, Cameron Ashley Building Products Nina DeMarie Vice President IT, Cameron Ashley Building Products Bethany Doss Business Manager, Capital Lumber

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COVER FEATURE

Jaime Maloney President, Costello’s Ace Hardware Sunny Bowman Owner, Dakota County Lumber Shannon Bearman IT Project Manager/PSM, Do it Best Corp. Carolyn Epstein CFO, Dr. Ike’s Home Centers

Debby Stinebaugh Sr. Account Manager, Epicor Software Nikki Long Business Unit Director Structural Products, FastenMaster Katrina Ralston President, Feeney Inc. Abby Levy Sr. Manager Marketing, Metabo HPT

Christine Pepitone Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, H2 Brands Group Renee Heuser Owner, Heuser Ace Hardware Tammy Rubin VP and CFO, Hughes Lumber Co. Sue Lords Chief Human Capital Officer, Kodiak Building Partners Allison Low Senior Strategic Sourcing Manager, LP Building Solutions Penney Luhrs Owner, Luhrs True Value Kelley McFadden Buyer Power Tools & Accessories, LMC Carmen Arguelles Vice President, Marjam Supply Co

Tina Pape Operations Leader, Nation’s Best Holdings LLC Donna Souligne Owner, Remington True Value Sue Fusek CEO, Ron’s Home and Hardware Melissa Karlovitch Group Vice President, GreatStar Tools USA

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COVER FEATURE

Maria Ford President North America Commercial & Industrial Sales, Stanley Black & Decker Jean Fahy Building materials division manager, Do it Best Corp. Shavonne Clark Senior Manager Marketing, The Home Depot Rental Susan Thorne Owner, Thorne Lumber Co. Alexandria Lavaroni Treat’s General Store Holly Kutcher Director-National DIY Sales, UFP Industries Wendy Whiteash CHRO & EVP Culture, US LBM Lawanna Dendy Director HRBP Southeast Region and DEI Champion, US LBM

Deck and Trim

Structural

New Construction

Improving PROs' Businesses Through Innovation From developing new products to innovating new building practices, the voice of the PRO contractor guides everything we do at FastenMaster. To see all of our industry leading solutions, visit FastenMaster.com

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Wendy Minichiello EWP Sales Director - North America, Weyerhaeuser Co Julie Jensen Outside Sales Account Manager White Cap Construction Supply Evionne Silver Vice President Install Business, Builders FirstSource Sara Eller Vice President of Marketing, Cameron Ashley Building Products Jean Niemi Senior VP Marketing and Communications, True Value Susan Kasko Director Talent Development, 84 Lumber Lita Abele CEO, U.S. Lumber

© 2021 GAF 08/21

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NEW PRODUCTS

At the center of growth: Fasteners Supply and demand have weighed heavily on the home improvement and construction industry in the past 18 months. And the role of the most common product at any job site — the fastener — has been through a tumultuous year. But also a year marked by growth, innovation and expansion. Executives and experts who spoke to HBSDealer for this Fastener eBook special report made clear that supply chain disruptions haven’t stopped the industry from rolling out new features and benefits – mainly to address speed and efficiency. But there’s also stories of durability and availability that have factored prominently in 2021. And no one said it was easy. “It’s been an effort in agility all year,” said Hillman Group’s Tim Ferguson, vice president of fastening and the hardware segment. Phil Lail, president of Pan American Screw, used the word “chaos” to describe some of the challenges facing the

fastener market. And at Midwest Fastener, Glen Gevaart, vice president of hardware sales, says in addition to responding to an influx of demand from new customers, the company revamped its entire construction fastener category during the pandemic. Meanwhile, residential construction marches on through headwinds that include a labor shortage and volatile pricing. With supply bottlenecks pressuring sales upward, year- overyear median new home sale prices are up 18.7%. (Only 21% of current sales are under $300,000). The stakes are high for suppliers. And many big brands are responding by reshaping their product mix — and reshaping their business — to steady the flow of construction. HBSDealer’s 2021 Fastener eBook, containing more products, insights, videos and interviews, is available at HBSDealer.com/report.

Pandemic moves

One impact of the pandemic for Portage, Mich.-based Midwest Fastener has been an opportunity to revamp the entire construction fastener category, said Glen Gevaart, VP of hardware sales. The company’s improvements start with updating the opening price point BuildRight brand elevating the product mix with the newand-improved SaberDrive. New to the line is the SaberDrive Platinum version that specializes as a deck screw. Included in the list of benefits is durability. It achieves 2,500 hours in the industry-standard salt spray test. As the name implies, the product is blasted with salt water until it rusts. A 2,500-hour rating is a long way from what used to be considered sufficient (500 hours) and is at the top of the range of what’s considered a high-quality fastener.

Speed wins

Across the board, the solution that everyone seems to be looking for these days is speed on the job site. “The guys on the job, they’re jammed right now,” Ferguson said. “With the labor shortages and pent-up demand for remodeling and new construction—they can’t afford to be slow, and they don’t have time for a call back.” New from the Hillman Group for 2021 is the new Fas-n-Tite Fence Post Screw, which installs wire or panel fencing without a hammer or pre-drilling. Use in place of traditional fencing staples on wire up to 6 gauge. Easy to install and remove with a drill or impact driver, the Fas-n-Tite Fence Post Screw installs 10-times faster and is 3-times stronger than traditional fence staples. For all woods including pressure treated lumber. Hammer-free installation saves your fingers with the screws coated for corrosion resistance. They are available in 3 sizes for small tasks or big projects.

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Application of analytics

At PrimeSource market analytics are playing an elevated role in providing the right product in the right place at the right price. with 34 distribution centers and more than 30,000 skus, is in the business of optimizing the offering for each customer. “We can accurately identify the most popular products for any market,” said Brian Blevins, senior director of analytics. “But the golden ticket is found a personalized solution for an individual customer location… optimizing the product selection based on shelf space, local demand, and customer specialty. We call this tool PrimeSet and it’s already helping our customers offer better products while controlling costs.”

Made in USA

At SPAX, a brand of Altenloh, Brinck & Co. U.S., Inc., expectations call for significant growth in the fastener market over the next 12 months. And Eric Ashack, SPAX product manager, expects the SPAX brand to benefit from demand for American-made building products. The company is also positioned to take advantage of job site trends, he said. “We’re seeing changes in pressure-treated lumber and an emphasis on matching that with coating technologies. Color is more of a player now in our industry. Contractors are looking for a great-looking finish for decks, as well as corrosion protection,” he said. “In addition, there are several new uses for engineered screw fasteners that can replace not only nails but also other hardware. Perhaps most important of all for the busy contractor, these new applications for fasteners can take less time and labor than traditional methods.”

Innovation hits the deck

The CAMO MARKSMAN System of MARKSMAN tools and Edge Screws is the solution to achieving a fastener-free surface on square decking. The MARKSMAN tools clamp to and space the boards and guide Edge screws into the side of the board, creating a strong connection with the joist. Customers like it. “It’s pretty simple,” said Gordon South, owner of Wood Bully Ltd of Toronto. “You have the little spacers and run it along with the joist, use the spacers to keep the gapping consistent. Put a screw in each end of the tool, then you take your drill and the included specialized bit which is the perfect depth for it and then you fasten on every joist for a great looking deck.”

Growth story

At Big Timber Fasteners, a brand that’s part of the $8 billion The Marmon Group, (in turn owned by Berkshire-Hathaway) financial strength provides the necessities for growth: R&D, investment in factories, investment in inventory, and a knowledgeable field team. “Our customers are telling us business is booming right now, and it has been since the early onset of COVID-19,” said Phil Lail, President of Pan American Screw “As families were ‘trapped’ in their homes under quarantine, they were wanting to improve their living spaces. Decks were being built, kitchens and bathrooms remodeled, and new construction was strong and robust.”

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ACE HARDWARE REPORT

Westlake Ace goes ‘yard’ Dealer builds on a foundational category By Tim Burke Ace Hardware Corp. executives for years have hammered on the importance of backyard and BBQ to the success of a hardware store. It’s one of the co-op’s “Famous for Four” family of priorities (along with paint, home preservation, an holidays and trim.) Fixing up a backyard has been going on for as long as people first sprawled out to the suburbs. Lately though, it’s been more about bringing new choices and more options to the homeowners’ personalized backyard paradise, as the pandemic-induced nesting phenomenon settled over the nation. More customers are at home working and spending family time together, not only indoors but outdoors in —where else — their backyards. This has blown up the ideas and options to make the backyard over into an outdoor grilleria, a playland, a vegetable garden, a workspace, and a glorious retreat full of options and dreams realized —all of it, sometime altogether — and hardware finds its place, perfectly fitting with the backyarding movement. Westlake Ace Hardware is out in front of the backyarding trend. “Customer interest in the outdoor living category has been growing steadily for several years,” said Laura Byrne-Harris, senior director, merchandising & marketing at Kansas City-based Westlake Ace Hardware. “With the COVID-related lockdowns of 2020, the category grew significantly as consumers found themselves at home more.” As such, she said, homeowners reallocated portions of their personal budgets from travel to the products

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“Backyarding is here to stay,” said Kansas City-based Westlake Ace Hardware Senior Director of Merchandising & Marketing Laura Byrne-Harris. Beyond an outdoor workspace, people have discovered a retreat full of options, such as gardening, cooking, and a getaway space to simply relax and dream.

they could use at home to create beautiful, multi-functional outdoor spaces where they could work, play, relax, and entertain. “The backyarding trend carried over into 2021, and we don’t see any signs of it declining,” Byrne-Harris said. Westlake Ace owns and operates 151 stores in 12 states, including California, Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina and Washington. Generations have shopped at the 116-year-old hardware. Westlake has been part of the Ace Hardware Cooperative since 1959. Westlake Ace is not only Ace’s largest dealer member, it’s also a wholly owned Ace subsidiary, and has been since 2012. This yarding trend is rekindled partly by homeowners’ desire to create a dream space back there. But how do

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hardware stores ‘find a spot at the fire bowl’ so to speak to best support their customers? Reaching customers can take the form of many channels. Byrne-Harris said: “Westlake Ace has promoted the backyarding trend by employing several marketing channels, including print advertising, local market media relations, and social media to reach consumers.” They have focused their marketing efforts on outdoor living products such as BBQ grills, outdoor lighting, live goods, and accessories. As people return to more inperson activities at stores, she said, “interactive demos and sampling events will play a big role in customer outreach at our 151 neighborhood locations. BBQ grills, accessories, sauces, and rubs will play a big part

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True partnership means being there when times are at their toughest. Thank you for standing with Charlotte Pipe during the uncertainty of 2021 and beyond.


ACE HARDWARE REPORT in these events as well as the chance for consumers to see new services in action, such as the laser-guided Resharp knife sharpening program.” As families spent more time

Ace on the Twittersphere The tweets tell the story of the people, places, products and paint that help make up Ace Nation.

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at home in the past year and rediscovered the hidden joys and peaceful retreats just a few paces beyond their patio doors, they crafted purposeful outdoor spaces that reflect how they live their lives. “From BBQ to lighting to accessories like patio furniture, fire pits, and live goods, they’re always delighted by the array of products they can find at our stores,” said the senior director. “More importantly, when we help them, it sparks a conversation that often leads to fun and creative ideas for their backyards.” The backyarding trend affects how items are merchandised in-store. Westlake Ace, she said, continues to devote more space to the backyarding trend, typically at frontof-store to encourage aspirational browsing, and it continues to expand product assortments. For instance, Byrne-Harris said, “store additions include the Ooni pizza oven, a tabletop oven that allows you to cook made-to-order pizzas in under 90 seconds right on your patio, creating a fun food component for your entertaining. “We also added the stylish Solo Stove the newest fire pit option for your backyard that allows friends and neighbors to gather around the fire and enjoy the heat without the smoke of a traditional fire pit.” She said that Westlake lives the Ace Helpful Promise mantra every day, providing friendly and helpful advice so customers get their projects done right. “The recent backyarding trend has created some additional fun opportunities for our store associates to work with customers to share their own outdoor experience, and help shoppers realize their vision for a perfect backyard,” she said. That leads us to the question: Is the backyarding trend more than a fad? “I think it’s here to stay. Though 2020 was a challenging year, it afforded people the opportunity to

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The numbers from Oak Brook

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. had massive gains in last year’s third quarter, riding the pandemic-induced stay-at-home and spend-on-the-home trend. More recently, the company reported small gains, but big enough to propel Ace to another record Q3 revenues and net income. Here are some of the numbers for the period ending Oct. 2: Q3 revenues: $2.0 billion, up 1.4%; Q3 net income: $99.3 million, up 0.6%. Total wholesale revenues: $1.8 billion, up 1.4%: Net domestic store growth: 30 new stores, for a total of 4,759 domestic stores. U.S. comp-store sales: up 0.3% (based on 3,400 retailers that share data); “In light of last year’s extraordinary growth, and despite significant headwinds from global supply chain disruption, I’m pleased to see increases in both the top and bottom line for the quarter,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO. “We added to 2020’s unprecedented surge in business, and our two-year stacked growth for the third quarter is up 32% in revenue and 64% in net income from 2019.” Outdoor power equipment, electrical and power tools set the sales pace for Ace in the third quarter.

reconnect with their families and those closest to them. That carried over into the backyard,” she said. “Through a little bit of effort and the right products, they rediscovered the hidden joys and peaceful retreats just a few paces beyond their patio doors.” The director offered tips on achieving success in the backyarding category. “Don’t be afraid to embrace it, but also make sure you have a meaningful assortment in any brand you decide to carry,” Byrne-Harris said. “It’s not just the grill sale, it’s the repeat fuel, accessory, sauce, and rub sales that makes the BBQ category really inviting.”

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NLBMDA UPDATE

NLBMDA Radar:

Four industry issues for 2022 By Andy Carlo As 2021 draws to a close, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) has its eyes on a series of topics that weigh on its dealer members and the industry. The past year has provided pricing volatility in lumber and building materials, a growing labor shortage, and home prices that continue to rise. And that’s just the beginning.

Here’s a look at four issues the NLBMDA is tracking for 2022:

1

Vaccination Requirements: When first announced this past September, the NLBMDA almost immediately opposed the Biden Administration’s plan for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to set an Emergency Temporary Standard that would require COVID vaccinations. According to the plan, workforces with 100 or more employees would be required to be vaccinated with those unvaccinated facing weekly testing.

Company’s not following the plan would face stiff fines. While the policy is not dead, it has since been suspended due to legal challenges. The U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit ordered the mandate be halted until further notice. The vaccination standard continues to lurk, however.

2

Softwood Lumber Agreement: The NLBMDA has continued to call for renewed talks between the United States and Canada for the sake of implementing a new softwood lumber agreement. In August, the NLBMDA

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met with the Canadian Embassy in Washington to discuss the matter. Earlier this year, the Commerce Department recommended that the countervailing and anti-dumping rate on Canadian softwood lumber be increased from 8.99% to 18.32%. The move came at a time when the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported high lumber prices were adding $30,000 to the cost of a new single-family home. And in October, softwood lumber saw an increase of more than 9%, marking the first big price jump since May.

3

Labor: The industry’s skilled labor market remains limited and the NLBMDA regards the trend as a top priority next year. In the most recent Home Builder Institute’s (HBI) Fall 2021 Construction Labor Market Report, nearly 740,000 construction

workers per year are needed in the next three years. According to the HBI, the construction industry needs more than 61,000 new hires per month to keep up with growth and the loss of workers retiring or leaving the industry. Additionally, HBI reported that the number of open construction jobs per month averages between 300,000 to 400,000. If the housing market wants to grow, and dealers look to sell more lumber and materials, additional skilled labor is sorely needed.

4

home builders, the future isn’t clear in Washington. At press time, the House of Representatives had passed President Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill, which includes legislation for housing, including $150 billion in funding for the creation and renovation of affordable housing. As the plan heads to the Senate, the bill has come under fire due to potential tax increases along with new building and energy code requirements. As the NLBMD continues to support affordable housing and an increase in residential construction, the organization does not want it to grow at the expense of dealers and builders.

Affordable Housing: While more affordable housing would provide a sales boost to dealers and

These issues and more — much more — will be explored during the 2022 ProDealer Industry Summit in Washington, D.C. March 29-April 2. Find out more at Prodealer.com.

WEYERHAEUSER DISTRIBUTION We build on our promise to earn your trust with each delivery. For more information about what we can offer you, go to weyerhaeuser.com/distribution.

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MARKET INSIGHTS

Top Guns take aim at Industry issues If you can buy it, buy it. That’s the distilled advice given by a panel of award winning retailers who took on a variety of issues during the recent NHPA Top Guns Awards event in Las Vegas. Supply chain challenges and labor shortages were top topics for the retailers, who represent a long history of business success through the Top Guns program. The 2021 class, who assembled here during the National Hardware Show, also represent a wide variety of businesses:

Mike Brackin, president of HomCo Lumber & Hardware of Flagstaff, Ariz.;

Ian McNaughton, owner of Gravenhurst Home Hardware, in St. Jacobs, Ontario; and

Top Guns in Las Vegas. Left to right: Brackin, McNaughton and Templeman.

Greg Templeman, president of Sunpro, a pro-focused dealer with 16 locations in Utah and Idaho.

Each explained that they were feeling new types of business pressure from supply chain disruptions. “Well, if my father knew how much our value of our inventory was right now, he’s turning over in his grave a few times,” said Brackin of HomCo Lumber. Brackin added that his team

includes specialists who “are constantly looking for product” to fill gaps. “Not just a week supply or two week supply, but maybe even a sixmonths supply,” he said. “Luckily, we have the space to handle it.” High performance during a supply chain crunch requires effort to stay ahead of the curve, he added, and it can also involve “getting creative on merchandising. “Patience is key during these times.”

CONGRATULATIONS ALLISON LOW

Senior Strategic Sourcing Manager for Direct Raw Materials

2021 Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply: Business Excellence © 2021 Louisiana-Pacific Corporation. All rights reserved. LP is a registered trademark of the Louisiana-Pacific Corporation.

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Top Gun Fun Facts

He added that everyone is in the same boat. McNaughton, the Canadian representative on the panel, explained his playbook for the supply chain crunch: “We’re just gobbling up everything we can get our hands on,” he said. Many LBM dealers are double buying said Templeman. In other words, they’re buying in anticipation of a need sometime in the future, with the added hope that the second order may arrive at the yard before the first. “It’s certainly a crisis for us,” he said. “I’ve got great managers that are doing a great job managing through it, but when it’s there and we know that it’s an item that will turn quickly in our operation, we buy it.” Hiring and the labor shortage was another major topic among the

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panelists. And while all agreed that a labor shortage is taking a toll on the entire industry, the smaller businesses reported that their stores have not suffered from staffing shortages. Brackin explained, “We’re always looking, and always looking to hire good people.” The business conducts group interviews once a month, whether HomCo has openings or not. If someone stands out, they’ll make an offer. “After 60 days of training we usually have spot for them,” he said. That was the case with the store’s current manager, Christy Engle. Both Brackin and McNaughton said, they know that others in the industry are hurting for new hires. But both say that it’s common for customers to apply for jobs at their stores. A sign at the Home Hardware store reads:

Brackin’s great grandfather was a founder of Payless Cashways, which had a long and storied run in the home center industry during the 20th century. SunPro was an HBSDealer 2019 Hardware All Star honoree. Ian McNaughton, recommends that all store owners “Walk your store like you’re a customer.”

“We are not in the hardware business, we are in the people business.” And that culture, McNaughton said, helps attract job seekers. Templeman described a different situation at the pro-oriented, LBM dealer Sunpro. “We are having a labor crisis.” The company has agreements with 5 different staffing agencies in its effort to fill positions. He described one tactic as going door to door and distributing handouts with job opportunities. “It is really, really hard night now in Utah and Idaho.”

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

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MARKET INSIGHTS

The empty-shelf challenge By Tim Burke Landon Garner, third generation owner of Rogers, Ark.-based Garner Building Supply and Rental, which has served Northwest Arkansas for 65 years, related, “We are having to project forecasts earlier than we normally would.” He said their company is leaning on and, “trusting those industry relationships we have cultivated for years with our buying groups.” Cody Miller, inventory maintenance specialist at Hartville Hardware, located in Hartville, Ohio, explained what he’s seeing: “In general, manufacturing is not able to keep up with demand mainly because of shortages in the workforce.

Also, a lot of our suppliers are not able to get basic materials because of shortages and/or they are on allocation.” The other issues are at the ports. “There is a container shortage due to many ships waiting at ports, waiting to be unloaded, but there is nowhere for those containers to go,” Miller said. Explaining supply chain issues with your hardware customers, and letting them see the whole picture, helps. “We are trying to be as transparent and honest as possible with our customers about what is going on,” explained Miller. One example is with exterior doors and windows, he mentioned. “We’ll

tell customers upfront about the challenges in the industry and that they could be looking at a 12- to 16-week lead time, compared to a 2- to 4-week lead time in years past.” The other thing Hartville does, Miller said, is work hard to find alternatives for the customer. If a customer comes in looking for a certain product that they cannot get at that time, he explained, they ask ‘what else do we have for them that can fulfill their need?’ Garner, who has been a True Value dealer for more than 40 years, indicated that it comes down to communication.

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Empty shelves, like these at a hardware store in the Midwest, are happening due to ongoing supply challenges that some owners feel will continue well into 2022.

“Contact them throughout the process with updates and continue to do so until delivery.” Another area is how shortages affect products on the shelves. “Sometimes our shelves just haven’t been as full, since so many of our lead times have been extended,” said Cindy Kandel, divisional merchandising manager at Hartville Hardware. They have also been faced with

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an unprecedented amount of price changes. “This means we are all paying more for items at checkout.” The Garner Hardware owner indicated there are product shortages on shelves, but added, “this far into the game, customers understand.” Hardware store buyers today are investigating alternative suppliers, for instance from North America. Kandel said she has, “absolutely brought in new product lines that are made in other countries than China. Many of my flooring vendors have begun to manufacture product lines in the U.S. “We, as a company, want to support that kind of investment in products that bring manufacturing back to the United States. We hope that it will stabilize prices, as well.” Garner has studied the possibility

of finding other suppliers closer to home. “We have,” he said, but indicated he’s finding that raw material shortages are still the issue. “Even if we could get product ‘Made in America’, which would be great, the manufacturers are struggling to obtain the materials to make products,” he pointed out. Garner felt that the supply challenges will last through 2022. But he hopes to see an easing of allocations and product availability before then. Finding a way to work through this, seems to be the overall feeling. “Look for alternatives, when possible,” Miller concluded. “Give your customers another option. Be honest with your customers about the issues, not as an excuse, but so they know you are on their side and are working for them.”

HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

43


MARKET INSIGHTS

Livable Home for aging in place Lowe’s has launched a multi-year commitment to become the leading retail destination for aging-in-place and life-change solutions. And it teamed with the AARP for help. Through the new Lowe’s Livable Home program, the retailer will offer a combination of expertise, services and products. Included in the new program is an online and in-store collaboration in customer education with AARP, the organization dedicated to serving people 50 years and older. According to AARP, less than 1% of U.S. homes have specific features needed to support aging in the home, while 77% of people aged 50 years and older would like to stay in their

Livable Home at Lowe’s features aging-in-place products and AARP signage.

current home as long as possible. Many lack the expertise or resources to adapt to their home. “Nearly every family in America at some point, including my own, faces

the important and often intimidating responsibility of preparing a home for life’s changes,” said Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s chairman and CEO. The type of relevant projects range from low-threshold shower installation to installations of grab bars to temporary or permanent stair lifts and ramps. Part of the new program is Lowes.com/ LivableHome, which includes a virtual library of articles and videos. AARP will help create online content and will also assist in associate training. In-store enhancements are underway now in nearly 500 stores in some 50 metro areas. The rollout is expected to continue expanding throughout 2022.

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Congratulations to the Award Recipients!

44

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS Stine Lumber Marketing Director Jeremy Stine won a seat in the Louisiana State Senate. Stine, a Republican, will represent District 27. He shared with HBSDealer that his legislative priorities include “securing funding for disaster relief and recovery to help create more opportunities and jobs.” While serving in the senate, Stine will continue in his role with Sulphur, La.-based Stine, LLC., which operates 11 locations. L&W Supply named Trish Boomsma branch manager of the Grand Rapids, Mich. location. Boomsma is a 15-year veteran of the distribution industry, having spent the past four years with L&W Supply. She has served multiple roles during her time at L&W Supply, including inside sales representative, quote coordinator, analyst, and trainer.

Stine

Boomsma

Gabriel

McCoy’s Building Supply promoted Ray Gabriel to vice president of information services. Gabriel has been with McCoy’s for nearly 20 years and began his career as an assistant store manager before moving to headquarters and joining the IS Department. KAI, a national design and build firm, hired Tobin Ezekwesili, MBA, PE as Director of Electrical Engineering at its Dallas-Fort Worth office. Ezekwesili is responsible for the overall economic

Ezekwesili

Canales

well-being of assigned projects. He comes to KAI with more than 15 years of engineering experience Altenloh, Brinck & Co. US, Inc., the manufacturers of SPAX engineered fasteners, hired Henry Canales as Regional Sales Manager - SPAX, located in Florida. Canales brings several years of sales experience with PrimeSource Building Products. In his most recent role, Canals served as a Retail Field Specialist in the LBM channel.

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HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

45


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) Sept: 1,555,000

NAICS 44413

(sales in $ billions)

50

1800

(sales in $ billions)

4

1700

40

1600

40.0

39.2

40.0

37.6

36.9

36.7

1500

2.76

3

3.03

2.97

2.89

30

1400

2.82

2.88

2

1300

20

1200 1100

1

10

1000

0

900

O N D J F M A M J J A S O

2020

SOURCE: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

Single-family starts

0

AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER

J ULY

2021

2020

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

2021

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

(in thousands, SAAR) Sep: 1,080,000 1400

HBSDealer Stock Roundup

1300

the percent-change performance of stocks based on Nov. 18 prices

1200 1100

100

1000

BLDR

900

TSCO

800

80

600

ANNUAL CHANGE

700

O N D J F M A M J J A S O SOURCE: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT

Existing-home sales (in millions, SAAR) Oct.: 6,340,000 7

LOW

60

BECN HD

40

DE

WY

SHW

6.5

20

6

DJI

5.5

SWK

0

5

0

5

10

15

20

25

4.5

MONTHLY CHANGE

4 3.5

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

O N D J F M A M J J A S O

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)

8.0

10.0

4.0

80

46

Current Prior month

120

Prior year

16.0

4.6%

18.0

October 0.0

$3.00 $2.50

14.0

6.0

2.0

100

12.0

20.0

60

113.8

$3.41

October

Nov. 18

140

$2.00

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER

$3.50

SOURCES: LABOR DEPARTMENT, THE CONFERENCE BOARD, AAA

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