FINANCE

Menards, IBT ink deal for store-within-store strategy

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta Atlanta-based IBT Enterprises announced it has entered into an agreement with Menards as its preferred provider of in-store financial and retail partners.

Under the agreement, IBT will assist in identifying strategic partners to co-locate within Menards stores as well as provide the design and construction of the in-store facilities.

“Many of Menards’ customers are business owners, whether contractors, tradesmen or other home improvement service providers,” said Adam Ray, sales and leasing representative for Menards. “Placing a financial institution in the front of our stores means these entrepreneurs can make one less stop during their work day. Doing so improves their productivity, allows them to generate more revenue and better serve their customers. The combination is a natural fit.”

IBT also said it will be providing training to the financial and retail partners, to teach them about Menards culture and how to provide services the home improvement retailer’s customers would need.

“Staffing a stand-alone banking branch or retail establishment is very different from an in-store facility,” said Carmen Cox, VP and retail account manager for IBT. “For example, when you visit a traditional financial institution, most of the employees are behind a desk or teller window and may focus on one service. In the in-store model, employees are more apt to interact with customers as they come and go, and in some cases roam the aisles to assist customers with their shopping.”

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Home goods looking good, for some

BY CSA STAFF

The success one retailer has in a given category can oftentimes be an indicator of a rising tide lifting all boats, which is why results last week from Bed Bath & Beyond are of particular interest to Target. The home goods specialist said first-quarter sales for the period ended May 29 increased 13.5% to $1.9 billion and same-store sales increased 8.4%. Earnings per share surged 53% to 52 cents a share.

Target is a major player in the home category, and last year it said the home furnishings and decor category accounted for 19% of total sales of $63.4 billion. As defined by Target, the category includes furniture, lighting, kitchenware, small appliances, home decor, bed and bath, home improvement, automotive and such seasonal merchandise sas patio furniture and holiday decor.

A strong performance by Bed Bath & Beyond is either an indication that the overall category is looking up, despite some significant ongoing difficulties in the housing market, or simply an example of a well-positioned superior operator gaining share from competitors, one of whom is possibly Target. The company has certainly had mixed things to say about the home category during the three month period that overlaps with Bed Bath & Beyond’s first quarter. For example, In May, comps in home were down slightly with a low single digit increase in the decorative home category and softness in housewares. In April, comps were moderately better than the total company decline of 5.9% and were led by a low single digit increase in the decorative home category with the softest performance in seasonal categories. In March, comps in home increased in the mid-to-upper single-digit range with the strongest results in the seasonal categories and weaker performance in housewares.

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Former Ace director dies at 89

BY CSA STAFF

Gregg Ziegler, the past director and vice chairman of Ace Hardware Corp.’s board of directors, was laid to rest last week. He was 89.

The World War II veteran joined the family business, Ziegler’s Ace Hardware, after graduating from college in 1947. He was the recipient of the 1983 Illinois Retail Merchants Association’s Retailer of the Year. Today, Ziegler’s Ace operates 11 locations in Illinois.

According to his obituary in the Chicago Tribune, Ziegler was also an accomplished driver who set the NASCAR record for the Flying Mile event at Daytona Beach in 1960.

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