Fall 2022 Hardlines Strategies

HARDLINES Strategies


FALL 2022, VOL. 22, 2

Legacy Building Supply Takes Pride in Unique O erings Born for Building

Also in This Issue Get Ready for Kicko at the Fall Market Heart of Hardware: A Survivor’s Story

Booth # 340 ,


Teaming Up for Growth

A s I look back on the milestone moments we had celebrating our 150th last year, I have to admit that 151 might even look better. We’ve seen a true modernization of our business this year and an uncanny ability to survive the darkest times. I know your businesses have seen the same. We’ve all continued to fight the challenges of low staffing and supply shortages, but this industry is made up of survivors as we highlight in this issue. We unveiled our updated distribution center layout and state-of-the-art conveyor system in 2021 and have

Contents Ask the Expert . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Featured Products . . . . . . . . . 6 Reset Success . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Fall Market Preview . . . . . . 14 Heart of Hardware . . . . . . . . 20 Vince Fitzgerald Customer Profile. . . . . . . . . . 26 Legacy Building Supply Customer Profile. . . . . . . . . . 32 Toronto Lumber Hardware House . . . . . . . . . . 40 News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 In Memoriam On the Cover Marion Herschberger and his cousin Larry Herschberger co-own what is now Legacy Building Supply. Nestled in the cornfields of Arthur, Illinois, the operation focuses on delivering stellar service to customers while providing specialized building materials.

successfully brought new efficiencies and accuracies to our 500,000 sq. ft. facility. The use of spirals and pick-and-pass conveyor systems, as well as ergonomical shipping tables, have allowed for a 30% increase in production and safety. This assists our team to fulfill the company’s slogan of DELIVERING MORE for you. Not only were physical improvements happening on the inside, but our company’s business practices were also modernizing as well, with the elimination of a 70 plus-year-old labor union, following an internal vote in March. We’ve now implemented a fair and competitive program for our distribution center employees which includes new pay rates and additional benefits, all of which were impossible under union control. We are now moving forward as “One Blish-Mize!” Also moving forward and up is our customer Legacy Building Supply, in Arthur, Illinois. Cousins Larry and Marion Herschberger formed a partnership and bought the store in 2020—counting on their contacts from the construction industry to build out their retail customer base. It worked. The business has grown so much in the last two years that they continue to expand. See the photos of their store and latest Open House on Page 26. Also featured in this issue is Sharri Fuller of Toronto Lumber in Toronto, Kansas, who celebrated 40 years of business in 2020. She has survived the roller coaster economy and has sage advice for those weathering any storm. She also believes in helping her community and creating an amazing environment of service for her employees. Hats off to Sharri and we look forward to many more successful years working together. See her great store on Page 32. The fall season to me is all about football (GO CHIEFS!), being outside in my yard, tailgating with friends and family and crafting beer in my basement. We hope you feel some of that same sentiment at our Fall 2022 Buying Market where the theme is Touchdown of Savings. Look for great food, fantastic prices and a wide selection of goods that we warehouse. Truly, I see the brightest times ahead for you and the hardware business in general. We are teammates in this industry, and I feel very optimistic about our upcoming victories.

Advertising Information Hardlines Strategies is published twice every year by Blish-Mize. © 2022. For advertising rates and deadlines, please contact:

Warm Regards, Jonathan D. Mize CEO and President jonathan@blishmize.com

Blish Connor Blish-Mize

223 S. Fifth St., Box 249 Atchison, Kansas 66002 Toll free: (800) 995-0525 (913) 367-1250

Make your plan to attend the Fall 2022 Buying Market today! Scan this QR code to register and get ready for savings. Read more about the Market on Page 14 .

(913) 375-2505 (cell) (913) 367-0667 (fax) Email: blish.connor@blishmize.com

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What’s in a Sale Teach Your Team These Basic Skills to Create Return Customers

That doesn’t mean you have to resort to used-car-salesman, high-pressure tactics to close the deal. But they need to do more than just direct traffic around the salesfloor. An effective sales approach requires employees to proactively engage customers, understand their needs and create an excellent shopping to have a profitable retail business, sales associates need to be good at selling. W hile it may sound obvious, if you want

experience. If it’s successful, you’ll build lasting relationships so customers will return again and again. Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender, with retail consulting firm KIZER & BENDER, have worked with thousands of businesses to help them better understand their customers. Their explanation of the sales process will help your employees create an atmosphere of excellent customer

Talk about anything that doesn’t have anything to do with the store,” Bender says. “Use those first 30 seconds of the conversation to create an aura of partnership with the customer.” From there, transition to an open-ended question to start the conversation about why they came into the store. Ask questions such as “What brings you in today?” or “What project are you working on today?” Never ask “May I help you?” or “Do you need help?” or any other question with a yes or no answer. The hospitality you show with the initial greeting should be consistent wherever the customer goes in the store. “We tell employees to use our Seven Tile Rule,” Bender says. “Greet every customer who comes within 7 feet, or about seven floor tiles, of you. Every

service while at the same time encourage customers to buy. Break the Ice

While helping customers find what they need is your ultimate objective, that shouldn’t necessarily be the way you start a conversation. “In your first contact with a customer, you’re just breaking the ice.

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“Use those first 30 seconds of the conversation to create an aura of partnership with the customer.” —Georganne Bender, Kizer & Bender

When you ask customers how you can help them, here are a few different responses you might receive. Here’s what you could do next. How should you respond?

“There needs to be a level of comfort with selling related items, and it can sometimes be hard for people to want to talk about it.” Kizer and Bender recommend making add-on selling practice a regular part of employee meetings by doing an activity called “Give Me 5.” To do it, take a handful of items from anywhere in the store, hold them up in a meeting and ask employees to call out five additional items they could sell with each product. It’s a simple yet effective exercise to get employees thinking about what they should be suggesting with each sale. Cement the Relationship After you’ve answered all your customer’s questions and suggested relevant add-on items, it’s time to close the sale and help them make the purchase. There are many different ways to close a sale, such as asking, “Would you like me to help you carry this to the cash register?” or “Is there anything else you need today?” or “Would you like to take advantage of the special pricing we have on that item?” However, the most important way you can close a sale is to find a way to follow up. Let customers know you’re interested in their project beyond the point where they make a purchase and head out the door. “Before a customer leaves, ask them to come back and tell you how their project turned out,” Bender says. “The paint department is a great example. Before the customer leaves, say something like, ‘Would you do me a favor? When you’re finished painting, would you take a picture and bring it in to show me? I would love to see how it turned out.’ When a customer comes back and shows you that picture, you know you’ve turned an ordinary shopper into a loyal customer.”

single customer needs to be acknowledged by any employee who gets within 7 feet.” Demonstrate the Product If you’ve established rapport with a customer and become their partner in helping them get what they need, then they’re likely to be receptive to your help when they have questions about the product they’re buying. Employees acquire product knowledge in a variety of ways, including hands-on training and vendor workshops. Also remember to have employees read product labeling. Most customers are going to be reading the packaging, so if employees don’t at least know what the manufacturer says about a product, then customers might wonder if they know anything at all. “Everyone should be reading product labels,” Kizer says. “You don’t necessarily have to know everything about the product, but it’s important to at least know the three or four features or benefits that make that product unique.” If they are buying a high-ticket item, make sure customers understand why that product is the best choice for their project, especially if there is a choice between several price points of the same item. “Get customers to the point where they understand and agree with what you are telling them about the product,” Kizer says. Add to the Sale As you train employees on selling skills, remind them that suggesting additional items is not pushing customers to purchase something they don’t need. Rather it’s helping them avoid an extra trip to get something they forgot. Add-on selling skills require a solid grasp of product knowledge and take practice. “Add-on selling needs to be a natural part of the conversation,” Bender says.

“I know what I need.”

Show them where to find the products they’re looking for and recommend add-on items.

“I’m just looking.”

Let them know you’re available if they need help. Attempt to ask general questions about what they need so you can get them pointed in the right direction.

“I’m not really sure what I need.”

Ask follow-up questions to learn more about their project and be ready to make product recommendations that best suit their needs.

Note: Portions of this article were originally published by the North American Hardware and Paint Association. The article has been edited for style and fit and has been reprinted with permission.

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Fall 2022 Selections Check Out These Top Vendors and Products This Season

Cordless Vacuum The HOOVER ® ONEPWR™ Cordless Hand Vacuum is perfect for quick, easy pick-ups around the house and on the go. A built-in crevice tool and an easy-empty XL dirt cup is the ideal combo for tackling any unexpected mess. Plus, the lightweight, compact design makes it perfect for grab-and-go cleaning anytime, anywhere. Hoover hoover.com

Light Fixture Satco Products’ LED 16W 10" Flush Mount 3000K light fixture features a contemporary design with a brushed nickel finish and acrylic white lens, is made of steel and acrylic and features a five-year limited warranty. The fixture is dimmable, listed for damp applications and is rated for an average of 50K hours. With 1400 lumens, 90 CRI and 3000K with a color temperature of warm white, this flush mount light fixture can light up any dark hallway or foyer. Mounting hardware and installation instructions are included. Satco Products satco.com

Kinetic Recovery Rope Erickson’s 1.25" x 30' Kinetic Recovery Rope has a breaking strength of 44,200 pounds, is made from 100% nylon, stretches up to 28% of its original length and is coated to increase abrasion resistance. Kinetic energy is the energy an object possesses due to its motion. As the rope is pulled and stretched, it builds up kinetic energy creating a slingshot effect to help recover a vehicle. It features reinforced pull loops to add strength where it is needed most and includes a breathable and reusable storage bag. Erickson ericksonmfg.com or 810-765-1144

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Drill Press Palmgren’s 10" 5-Speed Bench Drill Press is available in a bench, step-pulley and belt- driven model and is designed for general purpose intermittent use. The practical, light-to-medium-duty drilling machine combines performance and economy into one and is an ideal choice when working with metal, composite, plastic or wood. The head, table and base are made of durable cast iron, and the spindle is supported by high-quality ball bearings and has a spindle depth stop. It features a rack and pinion table riser, laser alignment, a drill chuck and key, front-mounted safety and more. Palmgren www.palmgren.com

Sealant Spray Flex Seal is liquid rubber in a can. It sprays out as a thick liquid, seeps into cracks and holes and dries as a watertight, flexible, rubberized coating. Flex Seal can be used for weatherizing homes, gutters, roof repair, foundation and concrete waterproofing, indoor and outdoor projects, pools and pool equipment, RV and motorhome repairs, car and boat repairs, bathroom fixes, furniture repair and more. It works on wood, metal, tile, concrete, masonry, fabric, glass, plastic, aluminum, porcelain, drywall, rubber, cement, some types of vinyl and more. Flex Seal is available in 14 oz. jumbo aerosols and 12 vibrant colors. Swift Response LLC flexsealproducts.com or 833-411-3539

Touchscreen Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Lock Kwikset’s Halo Touchscreen Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Lock is now available with a black finish. It does not require a smart home hub and functions with the Kwikset App on either an Apple or Android mobile device and Wi-Fi, allowing a user to control the lock from anywhere there’s an internet connection. It is available in two versions which include either a touchscreen or 10-digit keypad and includes a Smartkey cylinder. Kwikset kwikset.com or 800-422-4278

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TARTER ® FARM I RANCH I HOME /////////////////////////////// 1,000 SKU'S I 10 CATEGORIES I 1 CALL

Stop By Booth # 440


To view our full line of products , visit us online or contact your Blish-Mize Representative!

i.800.4i4.2837 [ TARTERUSA.COM

Refinishing Paint Beyond Paint is specifically formulated to allow you to refinish your furniture, cabinets, countertops, masonry, tile, metal, plastic and almost any surface with this all-in-one bonder, primer and finisher. It requires no stripping, sanding or priming, is eco-friendly and contains a low VOC so it’s safe around children and pets. Beyond Paint is much thicker than normal paint and requires only two coats and minimal prep. It is formulated with four times the paint particles as that of regular paint, offering superior coverage and a professional grade finish. It is made in the U.S. Beyond Paint beyondpaint.com or 866-266-0650

Interior Paint and Primer As part of a new lineup of PPG-branded products exclusively for Blish-Mize dealer partners, Manor Hall Interior Paint & Primer in One is a zero VOC super-premium latex that was developed to resist household stains through the combination of resin and proprietary formulation. The 100% acrylic latex has outstanding adhesion and coverage and offers a burnish and mildew-resistant coating, providing durability for use in high-humidity and high-traffic areas. Outstanding hiding is aided by excellent flow and leveling which provides a rich, smooth film for a beautiful finish. The full lineup includes Manor Hall Interior and Exterior, Wonder-Tones, Weather King and Ultra-Hide. PPG ppgpaints.com

Fly Trap The Bug Ball Fly Trap catches and holds pesky biting insects such as horseflies, yellow flies, deer flies, greenhead flies and many more. Environmentally friendly and odorless, the Bug Ball can be used anywhere without fear of harm to humans or animals. The kit includes three Bug Balls made from heavy-duty, weather-resistant black PVC, one 10-ounce spray-on can of Catch Em’, three inflation needles, three 12-foot by ⅛-inch black polyethylene rope and three 2 ¼-inch S-hooks. Bug Ball Inc. bugballkit.com or 850-866-7698

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J.P. Lumber recently worked with Blish-Mize sales representatives and merchandisers to reset several categories throughout the store.

Space Solutions Rely on Blish-Mize to Help You Set Your Store

J .P. Lumber in constant flow of contractors, city staff, road crews and locals daily for the last decade. Oakland, Iowa, has served a

many of whom had been missing the entire front corner of the store,” says Peggy Kaldenberg, one of the Blish-Mize sales representatives working on the reset. “The addition of this area has led to customers purchasing products the store has always stocked but that they had not seen before they were merchandised together as a themed display.” The operation is still undergoing the reset process with Blish-Mize, with many more improvements to come.

Owners Jerry and Suzanne Pierce recently took their operation through the reset process with Blish-Mize for a few reasons, including labor and training challenges. The changes include the creation of a showroom for homeowners and contractors to better push the operation’s new home build and remodel products and the addition of a seasonal display area to the front of the store. “The seasonal display area has since proven to be a big hit with customers,

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What can you gain with a reset? 10 Benefits of a Blish-Mize Reset

• Consolidation of products and product categories • Rearranged categories or products that entice customers to remain in your store longer • New pathways that push customers into areas they may have missed previously • Opportunities for new products and categories to be added to your store

• • • •

Improved organization A fresh perspective

A refresh of current display sets Most up-to-date knowledge of categories and products

• Improved inventory management and product training • New aesthetics for customers

The new seasonal display in the front of J.P. Lumber has helped draw attention to products customers didn't previously know the store stocked.

Part of any strong merchandising strategy includes well-organized, fully stocked core departments, like plumbing, so customers can easily find what they need.

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Shop the 2022 Blish-Mize Fall Market and connect with vendors, other retailers and the Blish-Mize team on the Market floor and at events.

Touchdown of Savings Stock Up and Save at the Fall Buying Market

E xplore deals and discounts, new products and learning opportunities, along with food and Fall Buying Market, which takes place Sept. 15-17 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas. fellowship, at the 2022 Blish-Mize

“Our MVP Savings Event promises great fun and value for your time,” says Blish-Mize marketing director Cindy Kane. “Now, more than ever, we know the time in your store is so important. Hands down, this is the most efficient and exciting savings event for our customers.” Customer Appreciation Celebration On Friday, Sept. 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., dig into delicious Jack Stack Barbecue and relax with live music. Cash and prize giveaways will be held at 6:30 p.m. Shop Hot Deals Surprise Buys The Surprise Buys program will feature deals on 10 items that will be revealed in an event on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 8 to 10 a.m.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back for an exciting Fall Buying Market and kicking off another great season of selling,” says Jonathan Mize, Blish-Mize CEO and president. “Our customers can take advantage of the incredible deals we have to offer and take time to reconnect with friends and explore new and returning vendors.” The MVP Savings Event kicks off the Fall Buying Market on Thursday, Sept. 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. Customers can enjoy appetizers and drinks along with Showstopper deals, which are only available that evening. Cash spiffs will also be available to customers who purchase eight or all 16 items. Let’s Celebrate MVP Savings Event

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Assortment Central This area of the Market highlights popular assortments and merchandising tips for appealing displays. Take advantage of Assortment Central deals and deep discounts on the latest product lines. Endcap Zone Explore special displays and pricing in this area of the Market to find inspiration and discounts for your endcaps. Hardware House Visit the Hardware House Booth #740 to view a full lineup of products available to Blish-Mize customers, including fixtures, locksets and more. Learn more about Hardware House’s latest offerings on Page 40 .

vice president of sales and marketing at Blish-Mize. “You won’t want to miss these products and deals.” THE 99 Browse a selection of 99 products chosen by Blish-Mize representatives to maximize margins and strengthen your product diversity. These special deals are only available during Market hours. What’s New Area Check out new-to-the-industry items and advances in product technology from fresh and favorite vendors. Pallet Buys Enjoy special discounts on quantity buys. A full listing is available at blishmize.com.

Market Attendee Terms Four percent cash discount and 60 days dating on all qualifying* warehouse market purchases. *Qualifying market purchases include warehouse Market orders placed Sept. 15-17 and online SmartBook orders. You must attend the Market to receive 4% 10th Prox + 60-day terms.

Browse These Areas Stop by core areas of the Fall Buying Market to discover new products, special merchandising strategies and Market-only deals. “We’re excited to offer an amazing selection of new and favorite products at the Fall Market,” says Clay Uhrmacher,

Continued on Page 19


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MARKET SCHEDULE Enjoy our Poker Run from Thursday at 4 p.m. through Saturday at 10 a.m.

3 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Business workshop “2023 Advertising,” presented by Jody Maude, HDA, and Sara Rebant, Blish-Mize 5:30 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Market closes 5:30-7:30 p.m. . . . . . Customer Appreciation Celebration With Jack Stack Barbecue and live music 6:30 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cash and prize giveaways SATURDAY 8 a.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Market opens 8-10 a.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Surprise Buys With Suprise Buys drawings at 10:15 a.m. 11 a.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cash and prize giveaways 11:15 a.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Poker Run prize giveaways 12 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Market closes

THURSDAY 4-7 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MVP Savings Event With deals, spiffs, food and drinks

FRIDAY Cash and prize giveaways throughout the day

7:30 a.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Coffee and donuts 8 a.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Market opens 8 a.m.-5 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stackouts 10 a.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Business workshop “Building Your Bench,” Presenter: Melanie Moul, NHPA 12 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch 1-5:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Plinko




Fall Market Checklist This list includes deals and events for customers attending the 2022 Fall Buying Market. Thursday ShowStoppers Friday Stackouts Saturday Surprise Buys THE 99 Margin+ Coupons Assortment Central Endcap Zone What’s New Area Seminar’s from Melanie Moul, Jody Maude and Sara Rebant Plinko Customer Appreciation Event

Poker Run Pallet Buys

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Download Today!



Scan the following QR codes to download the Blish-Mize mobile apps using Google Play or the App Store.

The free apps are available for download on iOS and Android devices using Google Play or the App Store. Search “Blish-Mize” or scan the QR codes to download the apps.

# 713

Download the Apps Make the most of your time before and during the Blish-Mize Fall Buying Market with the help of two comprehensive apps. The Blish-Mize app and the Blish-Mize Market app can help you streamline your Market planning, appointment setting and product research long before you arrive in Overland Park. Blish-Mize App • Browse the Blish-Mize product catalog. • Place orders from your smartphone/tablet. • View updated product and inventory information, scan UPC barcodes and see your personalized purchase information. Market App • Make an appointment to meet your sales rep at the convention center. • See venue information and receive notifications for events. • Create a personal to-do list so you can remember to meet with a vendor or find information on a product.

Use Your SmartBook Your SmartBook can help you make strategic buying decisions before and during the Fall Market. This resource is customized for your store and includes your warehouse purchases for the past 12 months. It also offers suggested ordering amounts for the next three and six months to help you plan before you arrive at the Market. SmartBook Sections • Key selling “Market Featured” items. • New items Blish-Mize has added from vendors in the last year. • The balance of the items you have purchased, sorted in quantity order. “The SmartBook can help you plan your purchasing for the entire year,” says Sarah Lee, vice president of purchasing at Blish-Mize. “It’s a very helpful tool full of recommendations and useful information.” Access your personalized SmartBook at blishmize.com or contact your sales rep to start making your Market strategy.

Continued from Page 15

Seminars On Friday, Sept. 16 at 10:00 a.m., NHPA’s Melanie Moul will present “Building Your Bench,” a seminar that will discuss how retailers can develop key decision-makers and contributors from within. She’ll touch on strategies and tools retailers can use to improve company culture and build trust within their team. All of these strategies together will result in a leadership team that is poised for growth and ready for new responsibilities. At 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Jody Maude and Sara Rebant will highlight the 2023 advertising tools you can use to impactfully advertise your store. Learn about the advertising and marketing options Blish-Mize offers, including AdStudio, SignStudio and Xpress Ad flyers. If you can’t make it to the seminar, make sure to stop by the Blish-Mize marketing booth to learn more.

Booth # 658


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Vince Fitzgerald (second from left) spent 10 years coaching at local schools before he began working at Texas Tool & Equipment to spend more time with his sons, Brock (far right) and Bron (far left), and his wife Shelley (second from right).

A Survivor’s Story How Vince Fitzgerald Celebrates a Second Chance at Life

V ince Fitzgerald located in Lubbock, Texas, in 2000 with plans to stay only three to five years to spend more time with his newborn son, which the job allowed with its convenient work hours. joined Texas Tool & Equipment,

Founded in 1960 as Surplus Center of Lubbock by Troy and Norma Montgomery, the operation was a military surplus store until 1969 when Greg Williams, Troy and Norma’s son-in-law, joined the company and began diversifying its inventory to include tools. In 1980, Greg and Linda Williams, who are also Vince’s in-laws, purchased the company and changed its name to Texas Tool & Equipment. The operation now specializes in hand and power tools. Twenty-two years after Vince left a career in coaching football, basketball and track at local schools to join the industry, he has worked his way up to assistant

manager and recently overcame a long and difficult fight against COVID-19. Fighting for a Chance On August 4, 2021, Vince, his oldest son and his wife tested positive for COVID-19. “I am a fairly healthy individual, so at the time I thought it would be like a bad flu and ultimately pass,” Vince says. A week after his positive test, Vince’s breathing took a turn for the worse, and he was convinced by his wife Shelley, who has been a nurse for over 25 years, to go to the emergency room. “I was not overly fond of the idea of going to the emergency room,” Vince says.

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Texas Tool & Equipment in Lubbock, Texas, has a rich history. It began as a military surplus store in 1960. It now specialized in hand and power tools and plays an important role in its community.

Hardlines Strategies • Fall 2022 21

“But I was moved to the intensive care unit within 30 minutes of my arrival.” Strict protocol kept Vince isolated from his family during this time, though he was able to see them through the glass of his hospital room and speak to them on FaceTime. Just eight days after arriving at the hospital, Vince’s health declined further and doctors informed him he would need to be placed on a ventilator. “It came as a shock,” Vince says. “I knew I was struggling with my breathing, but I didn’t know it was that bad; there wasn’t anything else they could do.” After calling his family and informing them of the situation, Vince was placed on a ventilator and spent the next 31 days in an induced coma. “I don’t remember hardly anything from that time,” Vince says. “But I know at one point the doctor told my wife he didn’t think I would make it. She begged them to help me through it, saying ‘If you

Vince then attended another rehab center, whose goal is to have patients spend less than two weeks at the facility. “I participated in a lot of testing initially to establish a baseline,” Vince says. “They asked me when I was hoping to leave the facility; I said I wanted to be out by my birthday, which I was successful in doing.” After spending nine days at his final rehab center, Vince finally returned home in October, 61 days after his initial hospital visit. Many of the following days were spent at home doing additional rehab. In December, Vince returned to Texas Tool & Equipment, working part time before returning to full-time work by the beginning of the new year. “That first week full time just about killed me,” Vince says. “Being on my feet for over eight hours on the concrete floor was exhausting at the beginning. But from there, my energy levels and physical capabilities kept getting better and better.”

can get him past this, he’ll follow through on all the recovery protocols and rehab.’” And he did. Nearly 40 days after Vince arrived at the hospital, he was taken off the ventilator and moved to Covenant Medical Center where he spent 10 days in recovery. The Road to Recovery COVID-19 took an extreme toll on Vince’s body. “I lost 60 pounds throughout the whole process,” Vince says. “At the time, it was hard for me to understand how sick I had been and still was.” Vince had to relearn how to walk and took speech therapy, and for three weeks after the coma, he could only eat ice chips because he was still hooked up to a feeding tube. “I can’t say it was pleasant,” Vince says. “Seeing people eat in front of me was tough, but I wanted my family to be with me as much as possible.”


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Once both of his sons graduate college, Vince looks forward to helping Texas Tool & Equipment expand into additional locations.

Hardlines Strategies • Fall 2022 23

Texas Tool & Equipment stocks a variety of hand and power tools for its array of customers which include farmers, contractors and more.

Hardline Strategies Fall 2022.qxp_Layout 1 7/6/22 3:22 PM Page 1

at show only promotions. Visit us for in booth only specials.

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Vince received a warm welcome from coworkers and customers, though there was a lot of surprise on his quick recovery. “Our customers were shocked to see me back so soon,” Vince says. “They just couldn’t believe it.” Vince continues to work through issues with his liver, as well as regaining weight that was lost throughout his illness, but overall he has few remaining ailments. “If you’ve never seen a walking miracle before, I’m your chance,” Vince says. “It is still sometimes hard for me to understand how sick I was because I don’t remember a lot of it, but my family’s amazement about where I was and where I am now throughout the recovery process is enough for me to feel very lucky and thankful.” Looking Ahead Vince says he is grateful for how far he has come, and he looks forward to helping Texas Tool & Equipment grow.

Future plans for the operation involve expansion, with the company in the process of adding a location in Amarillo, Texas. “I think if that goes well, we might expand into Odessa or El Paso,” Vince says. “We already have customers in those areas who know about us and visit our store once or twice a year. I wouldn’t mind stepping out of Lubbock to another location once my sons graduate from college.” In the meantime, Vince will continue doing what he loves: interacting with customers. “I love interacting with people, and I love my customers. My oldest son, who works at the store with me, can’t believe how many people I know,” Vince says. “I believe if you want to find success as a retail business, you need to get to know your customers. It truly makes a difference.” Vince enjoys the variety of people from all walks of life who he gets to work with on a daily basis. “I interact with farmers, ranchers, contractors, mechanics, professors, college

students, vendors and salespeople,” Vince says. “Getting to know them and what they do while providing our community with the tools necessary to succeed is fulfilling. I will be forever thankful for this job and the people I meet.” Vince’s love for interacting with people carries over to his relationship with Blish-Mize. “I have enjoyed getting to know employees from Blish-Mize. I’ve even met the president, Jonathan Mize, a couple of times,” Vince says. “That’s just not something that happens with larger companies. You very seldom get to know those people.” Blish-Mize also assists the operation by filling gaps in its product offerings. Vince says the operation purchases 350 to 400

different SKUs from Blish-Mize. “They fill a ton of holes that we

wouldn’t be able to fill if we had to go to different vendors,” he says. “They do us a great service as our wholesaler.”

Booth # 456

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Seeking Success Retailer Stands Out Through Customer Service and Special Offerings

Legacy Building Supply’s employees held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate their two-day open house in May 2022.

A mong the sits a family business built on determination and a vision for growth. In 2005, Alan Miller founded Cornerstone Building Products, which primarily sold rolled metal for roofing and siding. cornfields of Arthur, Illinois,

In 2015, Miller expanded the business into lumber and building materials, which allowed the operation to offer complete pole barn packages to the rural customer base that is majority Amish. In 2020, Marion Herschberger, who was selling building materials at the time, teamed up with his cousin, Larry Herschberger, a professional contractor, to establish a new company. “Cornerstone Building Products asked us if we wanted to buy them out,” Marion says. “With Larry’s experience in construction and my familiarity with building products, we decided to seize the opportunity and came to an agreement, renaming the operation

Legacy Building Supply to recognize its longtime presence in the community.” A New Beginning On May 6, 2022, Marion, Larry and their employees held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in conjunction with their two- day open house at the brand new facility, which had been under construction for the past year. The company had been leasing the facility that served as the home of Steel Star metal rolling operation before constructing its new building from the ground up. “Our new facility is about a mile and a half from the old one,” Larry says. “But it is also on the main road, which has increased foot traffic in our operation.”

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Legacy Building Supply’s open house attendees received door prizes, discounts, giveaways, food and machine demonstrations.

Marion Herschberger (left) and his business partner Larry Herschberger (right) strive to provide elite customer service to their customers.

Legacy Building Supply’s open house brought a crowd and served as a great way to bring the community of Arthur, Illinois, together.

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The open house brought a crowd, and attendees received door prizes, discounts, giveaways, food and machine demonstrations; one lucky grand prize winner received a $500 in-store shopping spree. “We were very pleased with the turnout,” Marion says. “It feels great to be supported by the community.” With product vendors offering additional information to curious attendees, a cotton candy machine and rows of tables for visitors to sit and enjoy meals, the operation’s open house served as a great way to bring the community together while informing customers on the businesses’ offerings. Optimizing Offerings Arthur, Illinois, maintains a population of around 2,300 residents. Legacy Building Supply’s customer base is 80% contractor while the remaining 20% fall into the DIY segment.

Legacy Building Supply’s open house introduced the community to the broad spectrum of products and services the company offers.

Stop By Booth # 622

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to offer complete building packages to our customers and assist them with any of their building needs.” Products are merchandised at a high level; endcaps are organized, relevant and eye-catching and categories such as fasteners, electrical and plumbing are comprehensive and well-maintained. Legacy Building Supply’s vast product lines also include building materials and accessories, lumber, metals and trims, doors and windows. Roll forming, metal roofing and siding, available in extensive color offerings, continue to provide the backbone of the business and set it apart from the average home improvement store. “Full post-frame building packages remain a priority for us,” Marion says. “Post-frame houses are continuing to gain popularity, so house packages, whether post- or stud-frame construction, are now offered as well.”

Blish-Mize greatly assisted in cultivating these offerings.

“We chose to have our business in Arthur because of the large community of people who are constantly participating in building and remodeling projects,” Marion says. “We have great customers and contractors in the area, and we know what kind of service they require because we were in their positions not too long ago.” As former construction workers, Marion and Larry know their operation’s professional base well, and their overall familiarity with the area allows them to cater to DIYers efficiently. “Adding the hardware section to the business encouraged more walk-in customers. We went from one walk-in customer a week to three to five a day.” Larry says. “Knowing the area and our customers allows us to customize our offerings, bettering our service ability and generating success.”

“Blish-Mize has a lot of knowledge and expertise,” Marion says. “When we started developing our inventory, they were able to suggest products that would be useful and popular with our pro customers, and they have been.” With the closest lumber material supply business 10 miles away, only a small hardware store in town and a number of contacts from Larry and Marion’s previous experiences, the business has earned great success in the past two years, pulling customers from as far as 240 miles away. The 4,224-square-foot salesfloor merchandises everything from building packages to coolers and grills. “I was excited about offering building packages,” Larry says. “When we first bought the business, we offered metal roll forming and a little bit of lumber. I love that we are able

Stop By Booth # 550


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Larry and Marion Herschberger rely on their relationships in the industry, including their Blish-Mize team.

Booth # 313

Come see us at booth # 624

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Building the Right Team Legacy Building Supply currently has 15 employees, and with the different specialty machines used in the operation, training is of the utmost importance. “We always have several people trained to run any given machine,” Marion says. “This practice allows us to always have somebody available to cover an area or machine if another employee wants to take a day off or is out sick.” Training employees on these machines is easier said than done, and according to Marion, finding the right person is the most important aspect of the process. “Finding good people who are willing to learn new skills goes a long way,” Marion says. “When they are enthusiastic about being a part of something bigger than themselves, it’s even better.”

Staff at Legacy Building Supply also hold customer service in high regard at the encouragement of Marion and Larry. “We have a great team that we are so thankful for. We wouldn’t be where we are today without their help and support,” Marion says. “As a new company, we are focusing on providing quality customer service, accepting and correcting mistakes and always doing what is right, not just what is always easy.” Future-Focused Marion and Larry plan on continuing to establish the company as a go-to place for home improvement and building materials and to grow the customer base. “We hope to increase our manufacturing capabilities and expand our facility in the coming months,” Larry says. “Further down the road,

there are plans to grow into the wholesale market, but our focus will always remain on keeping customer service high, even as our customer base and operation continue to develop.” For now, Legacy Building Supply is focusing on building and establishing relationships with both customers and vendors. “I really enjoy meeting new customers and helping them build their dream,” Larry says. “Building those relationships and making those connections goes a long way.” One of the relationships that Marion and Larry have built is with Blish-Mize. “We discovered Blish-Mize through one of our own customers,” Marion says. “We have been very pleased with everything and appreciate the support we have received from them throughout this process.”


Booth # 756

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Support, Service and Success Celebrating Sole Ownership Since 1994

Sharri Fuller (second from right) has found success through hard work, determination, knowledge and a great team.

S harri Fuller purchased Toronto Lumber Co., in Toronto, Kansas, with her first husband Tom Hoag in 1980. The company was founded around 1880, and the original structure of the store is around 120 years old, with 2,000 square feet of enclosed storefront and 9,600 square feet of lumber outbuildings.

“We consider our rich history to be part of our charm, and we’ve had to learn to make the most of our limited space,” Sharri says. While Tom had worked in a few retail lumberyards and had a background in construction and electrical when they bought the business, Sharri had just completed an associate’s degree in data processing at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, and had little knowledge of the industry. “I had a strong background in accounting and math, so I loved taking on the challenge,” Sharri says. “I also had a history of being shy, so learning to interact with customers was my biggest obstacle in the beginning.”

In 1994, Sharri took over complete ownership of the business, and has flourished as the sole female owner for more than 28 years in a male-dominated industry. Success was found through hard work, determination and knowledge, she says. “Take time to learn your business and never make excuses,” Sharri says. “Customers will respect you for your knowledge.” A Strong Base Located 110 miles southwest of Kansas City, Toronto has a population of approximately 300 people, with the

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Stop By Booth # 308

Toronto Lumber was founded around 1880, and the original structure of the store is around 120 years old.

stay on top of the market,” Sharri says. “We also make sure we don’t disregard other small competitors, even though some are up to 40 miles away.” Another key product the business sells is metal from Central States Manufacturing, which includes a lifetime warranty. “We do most of our quoting and online ordering through Central States Manufacturing’s ordering system,” Sharri says. “Their system allows us to provide our customer with a quote quickly and accurately.” Toronto Lumber staff fills numerous special orders for their customers in the rural area.

“Even with recent supply chain issues, we have been able to keep our shelves fully stocked,” Sharri says. “Blish-Mize delivers to us weekly and has had a good fill rate in these crazy times.” Because Toronto Lumber has limited space, Sharri is intentional with what SKUs she brings into the operation and utilizes brand loyalty to simplify merchandising. “We only carry one brand of power tools, but it gives us more purchasing power, and our product knowledge is unmatched,” Sharri says. “Additionally, sticking to the quality products we know well keeps homeowners from becoming overwhelmed by decision fatigue.”

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majority of the population retired and drawn to the area for deer hunting and fishing at the nearby Cross Timbers State Park and Woodson State Lake. “Our customer base is a mix of farmers, carpenters and a few roofing contractors,” Sharri says. “Homes and cabins at Woodson State Lake bring business to our remote area as well.” Toronto Lumber stocks top-of-the- line lumber, steel roofing, hardware and concrete, which is mainly purchased by agricultural fence builders. “We inspect nearby big-box stores to keep our prices competitive and strive to

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In 2017, Sharri Fuller accepted two awards from the Kansas Department of Commerce in recognition of Toronto Lumber’s success. Here she receives one of the awards from former Kansas governor Jeff Colyer.

Come see us in Booth # 442

The Power of People Sharri believes a positive attitude goes a long way in a business and knows her employees serve as invaluable sources of knowledge for every customer. “Customers don’t just receive products when they visit our store,” Sharri says. “We provide initial assessments, a contractor-to-homeowner matchmaking service, experienced advice, material take-off,competitive pricing, delivery, small-town customer service and a personalized relationship with our staff.” Toronto Lumber received two awards in 2017 from the Kansas Department of Commerce. The Office of Minority and Women Business Development awarded the store the Minority and Women Enterprise Development Award in retail. In recognition of its contributions to economic development, community service and leadership in Kansas, the operation also received the Award of Merit.

Toronto Lumber serves farmers, carpenters and roofing contractors in the area.

Stop by Booth # 304

Toronto Lumber strives to be forward-thinking and continually makes improvements to the operation to better serve its customers.

Stop By Booth # 509

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Looking Forward Future plans for Toronto Lumber involve Sharri taking a step back and letting her youngest son, Drew Hoag, and his wife, Jessie, continue to run the business. Drew has been working in all areas of the business since 2018, and Jessie has been assisting the operation with computer software, accounting and social media since 2015. “Drew’s construction knowledge and younger outlook for our company has allowed our sales to continue to grow, even in these uncertain times,” Sharri says. Sharri also continues to enjoy the constant need to learn and the various jobs she completes daily. “With DIY programs and the internet, new product information is always making its way to our customers. Staying up to date on that information is a task I enjoy,” Sharri says. “I also love that I can

work back in the office, wait on customers or rearrange a shelf display, all in one day. I like to please people, so interacting with customers gives me particular satisfaction because I know that I solved someone’s problem or had the part they needed. This industry will never be boring!” Toronto Lumber has plans to keep updating its facility with new buildings, and as Sharri steps back, she plans to provide the advice and support to Drew she didn’t have when taking over the business 42 years ago. Another key element of the company’s future plans include its relationship with Blish-Mize. The distributor has been Toronto Lumber’s primary hardware supplier since May 1, 1986. “Blish-Mize has always been personable and provided great service,” Sharri says. “I remember when Jonathan Mize, the current CEO and president, was first working in the company. I’m so glad that he has continued the family business.”

Community service is also a priority for Toronto Lumber, with the staff spending many business and personal hours supporting the local booster club, township community building and fire department, Sharri says. Sharri also strives to keep the store forward-thinking and is continually making improvements to the operation. “Customers want to do business with companies that plan on being in business for a long time,” she says. “We show our commitment to longevity by continuing to display even the smallest of improvements, such as painting the front door or putting a flower box out front to show we are proud to be here.” Other best practices Sharri employs include always being open during the hours posted and refraining from sharing any business woes with customers.


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