House-Hasson will complete 36 store-sets, which includes 14 new stores for dealers and 22 remodels.

Dealers are recognizing that updated stores create increased sales for customers,” said Dave Helfenberger

House-Hasson Hardware had a record year of sorts in 2015. The regional hardware distributor completed more “store-sets,” or new and remodeled stores, than in any other year in its 107-year history.

By the year’s end, House-Hasson will complete 36 store-sets, which includes 14 new stores for dealers and 22 remodels.

“Dealers are recognizing that updated stores create increased sales for customers,” said Dave Helfenberger, House-Hasson marketing VP, who leads a 12-member team that carries out store-set plans and implementation work throughout House-Hasson’s service area.

Store-set records were also reached in 2013 and 2014, but president Don Hasson thinks the third time is a charm.

“One year’s growth in new store-sets might be an aberration,” he said. “Two is an indicator. Three is a trend. A growing number of dealers are building new stores or upgrading existing stores, something they’d put off because of uncertainty over the economy’s direction.”

House-Hasson has also “bin-tagged” another 67 stores, or converted them to House-Hasson’s ordering, electronic support, and other systems. These include stores acquired via the Long-Lewis deal and conversions of competitors’ stores.

Of the store sets, the largest was a new 17,000-sq.-ft. store and a 9,000-sq.-ft. remodel.

“Remodeling projects are often to increase sales floor area and to spotlight products that attract new customers into a store,” said Helfenberger. “For example, stores are increasingly putting in their front areas paints and chip charts for paint color comparisons because paint is a product in which women take particular interest. Men tend to gravitate toward power tools, so stores are creating ‘corrals’ where power tools can be focused.”

House-Hasson’s network includes hardware stores and lumberyards in 17 states and the Caribbean Basin.

More than 100 store-sets have been completed in the last three years.

“Our independent dealers see the value in the investment they’ve made in their stores, and they want to see that investment grow even more,” said Hasson. “That’s a driver for store-sets, and why we’re anticipating no letup in this area.”

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