Former Westlake Ace Hardware execs open second store

A second Nuts and Bolts Hardware store -- this one located in Independence, Mo., near Kansas City -- celebrated its grand opening Oct. 3 to 5.

The event came several weeks after the flagship store, a 51,000-square-foot Destination True Value format, was opened in Overland Park, Kan., by Brian Richards, a former executive at Westlake Ace Hardware, and partner Scott Westlake, also formerly of Westlake.

According to Richards, the new Nuts and Bolts is a 28,000-square-foot store that showcases more than 300 kinds of locks, a tool wall with "big-box selection" and complete departments in paint, lawn and garden and outdoor cooking.

"In a time when retailers are fine-tuning how few employees they can get by with on the floor, Nuts and Bolts is loading its sales floor with associates who are not only available, but knowledgeable," he said. "The digital kiosk and the high-definition LED signs provide the interactive experience that customers demand, while the store's lighting, fixtures and layout are dramatically up-to-date."

Richards, the company president, spent more than 30 years with Westlake -- a 90-store chain with stores in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas and