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December 10, 2013

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.

December 11, 2012

Almost 100 citizens packed the Dec. 4 city council meeting in Sammamish, Wash., to voice support for a local Ace Hardware dealer whose lease will expire this summer, according to an article in the Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter.

March 30, 2012

Cologne, Germany — In the hallway connecting the multiple levels of show floors here at the sprawling Koelnmesse exhibition center, Manfred Maus, the famous pioneer of German home center retailing and founder of OBI, is pacing while talking on his cell phone. He later tells a reporter that home centers maybe should rethink their model.

March 2, 2012

Orlando, Fla. — Most attendees just made passing mention to the thinner crowds and smaller booths this year at the International Builders’ Show. It’s like commenting on how cold it is when there’s snow falling from the sky. Regular exhibitors that opted out from the show were Home Depot, Masco, Andersen Windows, Atrium and Weather Shield.

August 31, 2011

True Value CEO Lyle Heidemann offered some friendly advice to a reporter recently. “Bring your camera to Philadelphia this year,” he said. 


Philadelphia is the site of the Chicago-based co-op’s Fall Market, Sept. 23 to 25. Here, True Value will be displaying its Destination True Value store design and format for smaller stores. In the Philadelphia and nearby East Coast markets, the co-op is expecting strong attendance from dealers with smaller-than-average footprints. 


August 2, 2011

Sulphur Springs, Texas — “Let me show you something.”


That’s how an employee at Fix & Feed Sulphur Springs Hardware greeted a reporter who was visiting the store about 80 miles east of Dallas on a hot July weekday. She marched to a back room of the 20,000-sq.-ft. hardware store to a door marked “Keep this door closed at all times,” and led the visitor inside. 


“Here is where we make the fudge,” she said. 


December 4, 2008

The longtime area business underwent a renovation and expansion, including green-friendly touches....

April 13, 2008

Manfred Maus, the retired co-founder of leading German retailer OBI, was milling about Hall 7...