It’s been a busy summer and fall for HCN: Its editorial staff was taken to many corners of the great United States in pursuit of emerging brands and game-changing products. We were happy to see many industry heavyweights at several of the big trade shows this year, as well as a few hidden gems in the home improvement aisle. From old favorites to promising newcomers, here are a few highlights from the reporter’s notebook.
Mansfield, Mass.-based distributor Boston Cedar brought in some star power to help relaunch its decking, railing and trim product lineup.
Hockey legend Bobby Orr was on hand at the event in Providence, R.I., as was Providence College basketball coach Ed Cooley. The celebration was designed to launch the compan's new decking, railing and trim product line up, and it attracted many of the leading northeast lumber and building materials dealers, according to the company.
The mailing address for US LBM Holdings is Green Bay, Wis. But don’t be fooled. The CEO lives in Ohio. The HR chief in Boston. The COO in New Jersey. And the marketing director is in Chicago.
The system of a permanent, floating headquarters is by design. “I don’t want to be handcuffed to a building,” says CEO L.T. Gibson. “One of the ways to avoid a big corporate culture is to avoid a big corporate office.”
BOSTON — When it comes to pricing, Orgill merchandising guru Paul Ohrberg has done the math, several times. And at the Memphis, Tenn.-based distributor’s Fall Market here, Orgill’s director of retail concepts shared some theories on price image.
Ohrberg’s presentation, titled “Merchandising Techniques: Increasing Your Add On & Impulse Sales,” covered a wide swath of store best practices. And it also hit on some specifics:
The initial four homes, which recently went up in Dudley Square and reportedly generate almost twice as much power as they consume, will be followed up by a development of 40 similar units in Mission Hill.
Boston -- Delta's innovative H2Okinetic Technology enjoyed its share of the spotlight at the Orgill Market. The innovation, launched a couple years ago and in the process of gaining traction, was prominently displayed at the Delta booth here.
National account manager Christopher Conlisk said that the company has increased advertising coverage of the new H2Okinetic Technology in an effort to increase its market presence.
Boston -- Orgill's Jim Wilson, VP of Worldwide Sourcing for the Memphis-based distributor, is philosophical about the role of house brands like MintCraft, Tool Basix and Vulcan.
"We're doing this because it adds value and our customers tell us it's a good thing to do," he told HCN during on the market floor of Orgill's Boston Dealer Market here. "If this was no longer a value, we would exit these categories and lines, but I don't see that happening here or anywhere else in the retail environment."
Boston -- Brian Kilcourse, managing partner for Retail Systems Research, took some time out at the Orgill Fall Market Friday to deliver a primer on mobile technology as a driving force in the contemporary retail environment.
The seminar, titled "The New Rules of Retail: How Today's Consumer is Changing the Game," positioned mobile technology as a harbinger of a giant "reset" in retail comparable to the Industrial Revolution and onset of the Information Age.
Boston -- Orgill merchandisers and store designers unveiled the Cobblestone Hardware concept store, one of the centerpieces of the market floor.
The store revealed a number of tweaks to previous market showpieces. In its 10,000 sq. ft. of selling space, Cobblestone packed in all the usual suspects, plus a healthy dose of Dollar Central program products and "As Seen On TV" merchandise.
Carlisle Wide Plank Floors has just expanded its national presence with a new Boston showroom. The self-titled "epic wide plank floor company" will be hosting a grand opening on Thursday, July 11 at the Boston Design Center, Suite 541.
Melville, N.Y.-based Leviton received the 2013 Industry Award of Merit at the National Association of Electrical Distributors’ (NAED) national meeting in Boston.
As part of NAED’s Annual Achievement Awards, which recognize individuals and companies that embody the industry's highest standards, Leviton was honored for the company’s active role in promoting and supporting the wholesale electrical distribution industry.