Bay Area hardware stores battle through a crazy year

In San Francisco, the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn have hit many local businesses like a ton of bricks. But for a select few sectors, business has been booming, from the grocery stores that saw mobs of panic-buyers to the gardening centers overwhelmed by bored quarantiners starting victory gardens.

So, what about our neighborhood hardware stores, trustworthy bastions of power tools and cleaning supplies? Are they crazy-busy from the legions of people taking on home improvement projects, or struggling to survive? Four of our favorite local spots told us how they’re doing, from enduring multiple burglaries to seeing soaring sales on unexpected items.

Cliff’s Variety


While business has generally been OK in 2020 at Cliff’s Variety in the Castro, general manager Terry Asten Bennett said they’re forecasting a rough fourth quarter. A lot of the store’s sales come from gifts, souvenirs and seasonal items, and with Halloween effectively canceled and

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Here’s what people are buying at home goods, home improvement stores and more | Food + Living

COVID-19 is shaping shopping behavior. That’s been bad news for retailers on many fronts — but certainly not all. Here’s a sampling some of the items shoppers have been snapping up for their homes.


Bon appetit

The Shops at Rockvale, located off Route 30 in East Lampeter Township, have seen a lower traffic count than usual over the past few months, says manager Kristi Burkholder. But sales reports show that those shoppers who are there are buying more things — especially if those things are related to eating at home, says Burkholder.

“The kitchen stores are out of control,” she says.

Foodie-focused business is also brisk at Zest! in Lititz. There, manager Elizabeth Elia says shoppers are increasingly investing in quality basics like kitchen scales. Pizza stones also are selling. So is anything having to do with bread.

“They’re getting serious about baking. One item that is selling like crazy

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Ammar’s completes multimillion-dollar renovation across stores

APPAREL and merchandise outfit Ammar’s has completed a series of major renovations across all three stores at a cost of approximately $60 million.

Speaking with the Business Observer, Michael Ammar Jr, owner of the retail chain and popular department stores, said that the completion of the projects coincides well with his initial plan of having the renovations done at a time when the company also celebrates its 60th anniversary.

“We spent about $60 million on the upgrades, with The Village being the majority of it. We actually were able to do this store [Sovereign] on a shoestring budget and come up with the identical layout, having had the experience of working on the other stores previously,” he told the Business

Observer, noting that while the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the process, they were grateful to have completed the much-needed renovations.

The upgrades, which see the stores having

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4 Stocks to Tap Rising Demand in Retail Discount Stores Space

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought about a major shift in consumers’ buying behavior and spending pattern. With the pandemic taking a toll on employment and household income, consumers are left with no option but to curtail spending. Definitely, measures undertaken to support households and the resumption of economic activities provided some relief but consumers’ hunt for better bargains continue.

Under the current circumstances, people have been showing a preference for discount stores for essentials and other household needs. A differentiated product range resonates well with customers’ spending habits. No wonder, the strategy to sell products at discounted prices has helped industry players expand customer base amid the pandemic.

That said, industry participants have been focusing on deepening engagements with consumers, expanding merchandise assortments, and enhancing digital and data analytics capabilities. They have been making strategic investments to provide consumers fast, convenient and safe shopping experience, be it offline or online.

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DIY Boom Continues to Drive Demand for Home Improvement Stores

Home improvement stores are on track to permanently land in the essential services or daily needs category, which retail investors have focused on for years. This year, home improvement activity has increased dramatically, and 40% of consumers have indicated that they plan to continue home improvement projects beyond the recession, according to research from the NPD Group. The activity has driven home improvement store sales up 11% this year.

During the pandemic, home improvement stores have become the second fastest growing retail segment in both brick-and-mortar and online sales. In lawn and garden, tools, paint, kitchen and bath and hardware segments, each saw a double-digit increase in both online and in-store purchases. The average shopping trip also increased 10% compared to the average trip in 2019.

Home Depot Versus Lowe’s

Placer.ai, which also looked closely at shopping trends in the major home improvement brands, found that Lowe’s saw an early

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Revealed: Coventry’s British Home Stores building set to get a new tenant

Coventry’s former British Home Stores building is set to taken over by a new tenant it has been revealed.

The large British Home Stores (BHS) building on the corner of the Upper Precinct and Smithford Way has been empty since it closed in the summer of 2016.

There has been ongoing speculation over the former department store being taken over by a new tenant – or tenants – but so far nothing concrete had emerged.

Now Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for jobs and regeneration has revealed that contracts have been exchanged and an announcement on the building’s future is not far off.

Councillor Jim O’Boyle revealed the move during a walkabout tour of Coventry city centre with CoventryLive to showcase the many improvement works that are taking place to transform the city centre.

Cllr O’Boyle said: “Contracts have been exchanged between the company which owns the BHS building and

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It’s boom time for discount stores in the land of luxury

In a country known for its love of the lavish and luxurious, discount stores are making a surprising impact on the UAE’s retail sector, with a spike in consumer spending during the past few months.

As the region has been rocked by salary cuts and job losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, insights from credit card company Visa reveal that, in non-food categories, discount stores, home improvement stores and pharmacies are the three categories with the largest growth in sales since lockdown measures were introduced.

At the same time, higher ticket value categories, such as apparel, accessories, electronics and department stores, saw double-digit drops in spending, according to Visa’s data.

This change in consumer spending habits can be partially attributed to the economic slowdown brought on by Covid-19, the company said, adding that the trends have been echoed in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

“We are seeing that the

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Lowe’s Canada Recruits For Around 625 Jobs In RONA And Reno-Depot Stores In Quebec

(RTTNews) – Lowe’s Canada, affiliated to home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW), announced Wednesday that it is currently recruiting for positions in its RONA and Reno-Depot corporate stores in Quebec.

The company plans to fill more than 625 full-time and part-time regular positions in these stores.

Further, about 30 positions are available at the Boucherville distribution centre.

Lowe’s Canada said it offers associates several benefits, including a student incentive program providing a minimum of $200 to eligible associates in position for least three months, an award program, a flexible schedule, and exclusive discounts.

Marc Macdonald, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources at Lowe’s Canada, said, “We are looking for dynamic, customer-oriented individuals from all backgrounds, with or without experience, to immediately join our teams across the province, particularly in the Montreal Metropolitan Community, Gatineau, and Quebec City. As we navigate through uncertain times, we offer multiple career opportunities, stable and rewarding

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B&M discount chain to open up to 45 stores

B&M storeImage copyright
Getty Images

Discount chain B&M has said it will open up to 45 new stores this year after sales soared during the coronavirus lockdown.

It said its business model was “well-attuned” to customer needs, with discount goods being sold at out-of-town stores.

Retailers have had mixed fortunes during the coronavirus pandemic.

In August, retail sales were boosted by increased spending on DIY, but clothing sales still lagged.

Supermarkets and DIY stores are among the retailers that have seen high demand during the pandemic as people stocked up on food and home improvement goods during and after lockdown.

Last week, Tesco and Morrisons again put limits on the number of some items that shoppers could buy to try to prevent a repeat of panic-buying which led to shortages in March.

Rising to the challenge

B&M, which sells goods including DIY and foodstuffs, said its staff had done well to

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Is your Sur La Table closing? The kitchen goods retailer is liquidating more stores by the end of September

Going-out-of-business liquidation sales are now underway at 17 additional Sur La Table stores.

Can shopping malls survive the coronavirus pandemic and more store closings?

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

The Seattle-based luxury kitchen goods retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July and announced plans to close 51 of its 121 stores while looking for a buyer for remaining locations. Five locations were listed as permanently closed in July.

According to a news release Friday, liquidation firms Great American Group, SB360 Capital Partners and Tiger Capital Group are managing the sales at the closing stores, which started Aug. 28, and the initial discounts are up to 30% off original prices, the release said. 



a store inside of a building: Sur la Table is closing at Freehold Raceway Mall.


© David P. Willis
Sur la Table is closing at Freehold Raceway Mall.

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