Dealers are seeing new or renovated stores as a great investment.

Knoxville, Tenn.-based House-Hasson Hardware set a company record in 2013 for new and remodeled hardware store and lumberyard projects, the company announced.

House-Hasson’s 30 new-store and remodeling projects, called store sets, topped the previous high mark of 25 set in the previous year.

“These numbers are growing because dealers are seeing new or renovated stores as a great investment, and they’re taking advantage of deals the depressed real estate market has enabled them to make on building and locations,” President Don Hasson said.

“We saw this unfolding last year and thought it might be a trend originating within the economic downturn,” he added. “Entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs for a reason: they’re always looking for ways to advance. The growth in our dealer technology support is probably a lead horse pulling their wagon.

House-Hasson heads into 2014 with more such projects pending than at the start of any year in the company’s 107-year history. It opened 2014 with a record 44 projects on its planning boards.

The company has a corporate team set up to work with dealers on their new or renovated store planning; design; layout; merchandising; dealer and customer support; electronic functions; and every other component of opening the new business.

Dave Helfenberger, House-Hasson vice president of marketing, said dealers are combining real estate bargains with a series of features House-Hasson has added to improve dealer profitability.

“These store sets are very serious, detail-oriented and large projects for dealers,” Helfenberger said. “It’s mainly about more square feet, more product facings, and producing more sales per square foot.”

House-Hasson Hardware serves some 2,000 independent hardware stores and lumberyards in 17 states and the Caribbean