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December 2006

Newsletter Articles

Cologne Hardware Fair Open to DIYersStarting in 2008, the giant International Hardware Fair/Practical World will open its doors to skilled trades and do-it-yourselfers.
New Year’s Wealth ResolutionsBy Edward Chan With another year coming to a close, it is an opportune time to make resolutions and get into good habits for the New Year to manage personal financial performance for 2007. Doing so before the Christmas and New Year holiday season, means goals can be set and habits formed as soon as the new year working routine gets underway. Some considerations are:
SMART WATERMARK INTO NEW PHASEThe national accreditation symbol for products and services which save water outdoors is moving into a new phase following an injection of funding by the Australian Government’s Australian Water Fund.

Magazine Articles

Feature Article: Review Preview Overview2006 was an ordinary year for the hardware industry. Consumer (DIYers and Trade) spending over the past year on hardware and building products remained static at $25.5 billion. This has been in an environment where a significant proportion of home owners have been hit by three consecutive interest rate rises and an escalation in living costs.
Crafty Move at Kmart Sears is now selling the respected Craftsman brand of tools in Kmart stores. Bob Vereen reports…
RFID at Wal*MartWal*Mart, the world’s largest retailer and one of several pioneers in retail use of RFID tags, along with Germany’s Metro, will welcome another 300 vendors into its RFID program in 2007, joining the first 300.
Howard Springs Into LifeA conversion to the Handy format has given a Northern Territory retailer a new lease of life…
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November 2006

Newsletter Articles

Feature Article: TRADER TENANCYMichael Lonie, the Australian Retailers Association’s tenancy expert, has some tips for tenants… In recent months, a number of members who have elected not to renew their leases in shopping centres due to the unreasonable expectations of the landlord as to what the rent will be for the new lease, have been confronted with what should happen at the end of a lease.
News Article: Wal-Mart Buys Chinese ChainWal-Mart Stores Inc has agreed to acquire a hypermarket chain in China for about $1 billion, according to people familiar with the transaction, in a deal that could give the world’s largest retailer the biggest food and department store network in China.
News Article: Worx Releases Cordless QuartetPortability and convenience are the hallmarks of Danks’ 18 Volt four-piece cordless power tool set by Worx. The all-in-one set is perfect for virtually any job around the home or on the work site.
News Article: Eye Safety IgnoredAn Optometrists Association Australia survey of 1,200 people has revealed that over 70% of people do not bother to protect their eyes when doing routine tasks, repairs or improvements at home. Australians are risking their eyesight by wearing prescription spectacles or sunglasses as a substitute for proper eye protection when carrying out ‘DIY’ activities, according to the new research. Grinding and welding related activities are the most common eye related injuries, accounting for 29% of presentations to hospitals and GPs. Despite the high number of eye injures, an alarming 44% of all people surveyed said they wore sunglasses or prescription spectacles instead of safety goggles when welding.

Magazine Articles

Building MaterialsDo you know someone who has used a wood saw to cut anything but wood, or hit in a screw with a hammer, rather than using a screwdriver? If so, you might like to read this story…
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October 2006

Newsletter Articles

Bait AdvertisingThe ACCC has some advice on the perils of retailers using ‘bait’ advertising… What is bait advertising? Bait advertising generally occurs when a business advertises goods at a certain price but does not have a reasonable supply of the goods for customers to buy.
Japan DIY Homecentre Show 2006Organisers of this year’s DIY trade show are delighted with the turn out to the annual event. With numbers through the gate far greater than 2005 it is a sure sign that DIY is becoming an increasingly popular activity for many Japanese.
The Hardware Shop moves to bigger HomeOne of Home Timber & Hardware’s flagship stores – The Hardware Shop in Richmond (Vic) – is moving into a larger home after 13 years at Swan Street.
MEGA opens in PakenhamPakenham (Vic) on the outer south-eastern fringe of Melbourne is now home to the latest Mitre 10 MEGA.

Magazine Articles

Copping A SprayThe NSW Government is introduction legislation to control the sale of spray cans which could have serious ramifications for retailers… From November 1, 2006 the NSW government plans to impose further restrictions on the sale of spray cans, with substantial penalties for non-compliance.
Will Sears Survive
Once America’s largest and most successful retailer, now Sears is being evaluated by some observers as a firm which might not survive. Bob Vereen reports…
A Family AffairPorters Home and Building Centre is one of the largest hardware operations in Australia and is constantly evolving…
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September 2006

Newsletter Articles

Feature: Christmas Snippets To Share With Your TeamRetail Consultant, Jurek Leon, author of ’52 Terrific Retail Tips’ has some handy hints on how to survive the upcoming Christmas Trading season…
Preview Article: Pure and SimpleHere’s something that’s so straightforward it’s got people suspicious. Elizabeth DeFriest meets plumber, Kevin Venville, whose H2O PurePlus water cleaning system is set for big things…
News: Ready For Retirement After 40 years of working in the family business – 25 of those years as Managing Director, Barry Porter of Porters Home & Building Centre in Mackay (Qld) has retired.
News: Kincrome Acquires Finkal Following more than fifteen years distribution of Finkal punches, Kincrome has taken full ownership of the Australian brand.
News: HAV Retail Awards It’s not too late to organise to attend the Hardware Association of Victoria’s Gala Awards night on September 19 at Crown Palladium.

Magazine Articles

US News: To Discount Or NotBob Vereen investigates how some retailers in the US are solving the problem of providing quantity discounts to customers…
Retail Focus: Future Bright at SunliteA boutique-style Thrifty-Link store in the heart of Sydney’s CBD is doing a roaring trade. Pauline Hoogen reports…
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August 2006

Newsletter Articles

Feature: Join Australia’s Biggest Hardware Store SurveyWhat is the net profit margin of your hardware store? If it is not at least 9.17%, then you are not matching the performance of Australia’s best hardware businesses.
Preview Article: The Future of CCAIn March this year new regulations came into effect with regard to the use of CCA (Copper Chrome Arsenate) on timber products…
News: Woodruffs Buy BenallaBenalla Mitre 10 Home & Trade in Benalla (Vic), recently gained over half a century of hardware experience when father and son team, John and Gary Woodruff took ownership of the rural hardware store.
News: Home Depot Continues AcquisitionsHome Depot continues its vertical integration through acquisitions.
News: WA Leads the WayWestern Australia has won Danks’ inaugural trophy for generating the highest quarterly sales growth over the previous year’s corresponding figures.

Magazine Articles

US News: Make Your Website PayBob Vereen interviewed successful website retailers and website developers and came up with this “how-to” article to help hardware retailers improve their existing websites or to start using the Internet to help their businesses…
Retail Focus: Central To SuccessMitre10 Home & Trade in Frankston (Vic) holds a unique position in the Mitre 10 organisation. Pauline Hoogen reports…
Product Focus: Magic of the Power GenieInvented by two Victorians, the Power Genie is an ingenious energy saving device that automatically switches equipment on and off…
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July 2006

Newsletter Articles

Feature: Compare Your PerformanceAre you content just to be profitable, or would you like to improve your performance and profitability? Bob Vereen reports from the US…
Preview Article: Water Friendly HomesWater use efficiency is an increasingly vital issue, particularly when it comes to building new homes. Gary Workman from GreenPlumbers® has some advice for making households water-friendly…
News: China Top Export DestinationChina will become the top exporting destination for about 30% of Australian exporters in the next five years, according to a recent survey.
News: A Future LeaderCameron Willey of Wallington Mitre 10 Home and Trade in Drysdale, (Vic), was recently awarded with the Uncle Bob’s Club, 2005 Jenny Ruff Memorial Youth Achievement Award.
News: Bradford ExpandsCSR Bradford celebrated the expansion of its glasswool insulation plant at Ingleburn, NSW, with an official opening of the plant by the NSW Minister for Energy, Joseph Tripodi in June.

Magazine Articles

US News: Taking Business DowntownAs developers all over the western world turn previously run down city centres into residential areas and office buildings into warehouse-style apartments, opportunities flourish for urban hardware stores.
Retail Focus: Maclean Bring it HomeAfter only three years of trading, Maclean Home Hardware was awarded New South Wales Store of the Year for 2005 at the recent Danks NSW State Conference. Pauline Hoogen reports…
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June 2006

Newsletter Articles

Feature: Found in TranslationSteve Liston is not a man to let things get lost in translation. As one of the first foreigners to enter the Japanese DIY industry, Steve is a pioneer with a wealth of industry knowledge.
Preview Article: Women At WorkWhy would a woman want to take on trade work in fields traditionally left up to males? Why do some clients specifically seek out female tradies and what do men think of women working in their domain? Janice Ryan meets two women who have the answers…
News: HoME Partners Fire Safety InitiativeHoME Hardware in conjunction with Archicentre, the CFA and MFA in Victoria, are running a three month Fire Safety Initiative that could…
News: A 3D ExperienceThe 3D Paint & Colours’ National Conference was held in May in Auckland.
News: New Look for Bathurst Mitre 10Tradespeople and DIYers in Bathurst (NSW), have welcomed the recent opening of Petries Mitre 10 Home & Trade.

Magazine Articles

US News: Home Depot Gets ConvenientHow many times have you noticed unused parking spaces in big-box parking lots and thought how wasteful that is? Bob Vereen reports on Home Depot’s experiment with convenience stores…
Retail Focus: DeMar has come FarIn the late 1880s, a holding yard for second-hand timber and building materials salvaged from demolitions, commenced trading in Melbourne’s inner-city suburb, Clifton Hill. More than 100 years later, a timber business is still there. Pauline Hoogen reports…
Product Focus: MobiconThe innovative Mobicon offers a cost effective way to lift and move containers…
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May 2006

Newsletter Articles

Feature: Danks’ Suppliers NightDanks held a function for many of its suppliers at Crown Casino in Melbourne last month, where it addressed its future direction and the expansion of Danks’ house brands program.
Preview: Sutton Tools – Forging AheadDespite increasing competition from overseas imports, proud Aussie manufacturer, Sutton Tools, is thriving. Pauline Hoogen reports…
News: Landcare AwardConserving the planet became even more rewarding for Wallington Mitre 10 Home & Trade in Wallington, (Vic),…
News: Workchoices SeminarsThe Department of Employment and Workplace Relations is conducting information seminars across Australia to introduce local employers and employees to the WorkChoices system.
News: Tokyo CallingThe Japanese DIY Association has put the call out for Australian companies to come to Japan and exhibit at their annual trade show in August.

Magazine Articles

US News: European InnovationWhilst in Germany for Practical World, Bob Vereen took a look at innovative German chain, Knauber and European heavyweight, Kingfisher…
Retail Focus: In The PinkIn today’s business climate, few family businesses can boast a record of 145 years and six generations of trading and employing people from the local community. Pauline Hoogen reports on the remarkable Pink family…
Product Focus: eWoodeWood™ is an exciting new product, with patent-pending, manufactured and marketed by Victorian company, Close the Loop…
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April 2006

Newsletter Articles

Feature: Comparing World RetailersBob Vereen reports on how some of the major retailers around the world compare in profitability…
Preview Article: What Does OH&S Mean?Occupational Health and Safety issues are a vital part of all workplaces. OH&S consultant, Bevan Smillie, explains…
News: Retail Heads Gather At Practical WorldAfter an absence of two years, the famous Cologne (Germany) Fair returned in March, now called International Hardware Fair/Practical World, and occupying some new and some re-numbered halls.
News: Watson’s is the Talk of the TownWatson’s Hardware, a Thrifty-Link store in NSW, has undergone many changes in its 77-year life – the most dramatic when it moved from Campsie to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains.
News: Mitre 10 National Conference 2006Mitre 10’s National Conference 2006 is fast approaching.

Magazine Articles

US News: Transforming The GiantThe Home Depot that burst on the American retailing scene more than 25 years ago and quickly dominated the hardware/home centre business, is undergoing tremendous changes. Bob Vereen reports…
Retail Focus: A Co-operative EffortA hundred-year old Co-op in country Queensland has been given a new lease of life via a transformation to a Thrifty-Link store. Pauline Hoogen reports…
Product Focus: Angle MagicThe New York AngleMag distributor describes AngleMag as the “state of the art dovetail guide”. A customer in Batemans Bay, NSW, said AngleMag should be called “AngleMagic”. They refer to an ingenious invention by Australian, Jeff Snell…
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March 2006

Newsletter Articles

Feature: Bunnings has the ‘Works’Not content to dominate the hardware industry, Bunnings has opened an experimental spin-off store called HouseWorks.

Preview: A Crafty ChannelThe art and craft channel has traditionally been on the fringe in hardware retail stores but it is a channel that is expected to grow significantly in the next few years…

News: Farewell to FrankWell-known industry figure, Frank Whelan, has resigned from Mitre 10 after twenty years.

News: Hudson in AustraliaAmerican manufacturer of sprayers and dusters, Hudson®, is the latest company being represented by Master Distributors in Australia.

News: New $20 million WA Export Woodchip TerminalLeading plantation forestry companies Timbercorp Limited and Integrated Tree Cropping Limited (ITC) today launched their $20 million export woodchip facility at Albany in Western Australia.

Magazine Articles

US News: 84 Lumber Hits 50 It isn’t pretty, it isn’t air conditioned or warmly heated in winter, and it isn’t in high traffic locations, but 84 Lumber keeps growing and growing. Bob Vereen reports…

Retail Focus: Booming In BathurstNot content to run a successful hardware store in Lithgow, Mike and Lisa Coates have opened another business in Bathurst. Pauline Hoogen reports…

Product Focus: Designs On An AwardAward-winning company, Demain International, has its sights set on another prestigious award with the release of its sophisticated, new cordless drill…

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February 2006

Newsletter Articles

Feature: A Giant DownsizesHome Depot is opening smaller stores in smaller communities in both the US and Canada. Bob Vereen reports…

Preview Article: All Eyes On The SpiderJake Tyson has gone from carpenter’s apprentice to one of the Australian tool industry’s biggest success stories. Elizabeth De Friest reports…

News: Retail Novice Wins State AwardSmithfield Mitre 10 in Cairns, Queensland, was recently announced as winner of the Retail Store of the Year Award (for a store size 750 sq m to 1250 sq m) at the 2005 Hardware Association of Queensland (HAQ) Awards.

News: Dahlsens Acquire SpantrussFrom one family to another, Shepparton (Vic) business, Spantruss, has become the latest addition to the portfolio of building and hardware family-owned business, Dahlsens Building Centres.

News: HASA Launches Training InitiativeRod Evins, President of the Hardware Association of South Australia (HASA) launched the HASA Training Guide at the Adelaide Oval Function Centre recently.

Magazine Articles

A Bucket Full Of SalesBob Vereen reports on a novel, yet effective, promotional concept…

Hats Off To Taffa’sTaffa’s Mitre 10 started as a family business. More than 50 years on, it still is. Pauline Hoogen reports…

Fuel Cell ForkliftToyota has independently developed the world’s first forklift that uses a hydrogen fuel cell system…

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January 2006

Newsletter Articles

Feature: The Magic of Dealing With Inventory

Mark Geraghty has some tips on how to deal with the problem of post-Christmas excess stock…

Preview Article: Who’s Using the Web?

Late last year, research company, Wraith Dragon Media, conducted a study in NSW amongst hardware retailers, to ascertain the level of website activity and the use of on-line marketing.

News: New Henkel Headquarters

The Henkel Group has guaranteed its long-term presence in Australia with a A$10 million investment in its new Australian and New Zealand headquarters.

News: Farewell to Chris

More than 60 representatives from the Victorian hardware industry gathered at Crown Casino in Melbourne to farewell bow tie-wearing, Chris Rizonico, from Sutton Tools.

News: Oasis and Floriana Join Forces

Oasis Horticulture and Floriana have announced the consolidation of Australia’s two largest seedling producers, effective from February 2006.

Magazine Articles

Barrow & Bench Mitre 10 – Award Winning Performance

Barrow & Bench are setting the ‘benchmark’ for hardware retailing. Pauline Hoogen reports…

Make the Most of Super

Michael Hutton explains how to maximise the benefits of superannuation…

Coping After Katrina

After last year’s devastating hurricanes, retailers put aside their own problems to help communities rebuild. Bob Vereen reports…