OPERATIONS

Ace Hardware tops customer satisfaction ranking for eighth consecutive year

BY Marianne Wilson

Oak Brook, Ill. — The J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Store Satisfaction Study has ranked Ace Hardware “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores” for the eighth year in a row. Ace has captured this ranking ever since the organization began this study eight years ago.

“We are honored and humbled to receive this recognition from our valued customers for the eighth year in a row,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation. “We believe we are blessed to be in the business of serving others, so it is encouraging to see our local Ace owners and their teams of ‘helpful hardware folks’ ranked so highly by consumers.”

The J.D. Power study is based on responses from more than 2,900 consumers who purchased home improvement products or services in the previous 12 months. Ace Hardware ranked highest among major retailers with an overall satisfaction index score of 791 on a 1,000-point scale. According to consumers, Ace performs particularly well in the staff and service category.

The score is based on performance in five areas: merchandise, price, sales and promotions, staff and service, and store facility.

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REAL ESTATE

M&M’s store opens in Paris airport

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Mars International Travel Retail (MITR) has opened the first M&M’s store in France, in Terminal 2A at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.

The shop, managed by LS Travel Retail, combines M&M’s iconic characters and the magic of Paris. The entrance is designed as a replica of the Arc de Triomphe, with M&M’s characters on either side. Each character is shown in a location in the capital city and illustrates a typical scene from Parisian life, from the painters of Montmartre to the tourist with map in hand. There is a space next to each character to allow for photo taking.

"We are delighted to be the first airport in France to welcome a concept store like M&M’s and the only one in the world to offer our passengers the chance of making their selection from the legendary ‘wall of colour.’ The aim is to surprise our travelers, both big and small, and offer them a final deliciously amusing image of Paris and France," explained Mathieu Daubert, retail director at Aéroports de Paris.

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REAL ESTATE

American Girl to open store in Scottsdale, Arizona

BY Marianne Wilson

Middleton, Wis. — American Girl, a division of Mattel, announced plans to open its newest store at Scottsdale Quarter, an open-air lifestyle center owned by Glimcher Realty Trust and located in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The 12,000-sq.-ft. store is slated to open in late summer of 2015 and will be located within a new 180,000-sq.-ft. expansion of the property.

“For 16 years, American Girl retail stores have created unforgettable memories for millions of girls and their families, and we’re thrilled to now bring the American Girl experience to even more fans in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area,” said Wade Opland, American Girl’s VP of retail.

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