Handy Hardware sales up 40 percent at fall market

Handy Hardware, the Houston-based co-op with just under 1,200 members, showed a 40 percent increase in warehouse sales during its recent fall market in San Antonio. Attendance was also up 8 percent at the market -- Handy’s first-ever held outside of Houston.

“Inflation is a small part of it, but our economy is still pretty good in this region,” said Mickey Schulte, vp-marketing and purchasing. “When property values were going through the roof, ours went up some but not a lot, so we’re not experiencing as much of a housing slump.”

Handy Hardware’s sales are up 7 percent through the first seven months of 2008, including an 18 percent jump in July.

The market, held Aug. 14 to 16, attracted about 750 vendors and featured special new products and green products sections. One of the busiest areas was paint and sundries, as Handy has done several conversions in the past three months, Schulte said. The company has carried PDG paint for 15 years and Valspar for the last three years.

“We have all the basic programs everyone else has, but with little or no fees,” Schulte said. “Our claim to fame is the lowest delivered prices in the industry.”