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UK DIY News

If you don't think Amazon is ever going to really impact on the UK DIY Market read this

Ace Hardware is rolling out smaller “Express” stores to better serve urban and rural customers, even as the competition heats up between the big box home improvement centers and Amazon.com. The return of the friendly neighborhood hardware store could help kill home improvement centers.

Ace has already opened 400 scaled down locations of 5,000 sq. ft. or less located inside other retail formats like supermarkets and paint stores, according to The Chicago Tribune. There’s even a cash incentive up to $150,000 to retailers willing to accommodate an Ace Express.

Earlier this week the possibility that Amazon was moving to a next day shipping standard with the pending arrival of same day shipping prompted a piece on how home improvement retailers better watch out.

Amazon’s new online fulfillment goals pit it head to head with Lowe’s and Home Depot. The weaker of the two chains could ultimately fail. Amazon has an advantage in inventory and service. Online reviews at Amazon are more valuable to shoppers than in-store information (and there’s lots of research to support this). If you can actually find a store associate, shoppers trust the information less than anonymous online sources.

Anyone researching a big remodeling project likely ends up at Amazon for reviews, tutorials and pricing information. Hitting the “buy” button once there becomes more compelling if the supplies are guaranteed to show up in the morning. No long drives to the store, no Saturday morning traffic, no wandering the aisles looking for things that should be there and aren’t.

And if there’s a neighborhood hardware store nearby, there’s no need to re-enact that experience a few more times looking for the inevitable missing parts and tools. Ace’s plan to actually expand its network is forward thinking and another blow to the home improvement chains.

Source: Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/lauraheller/2012/07/18/aces-helpful-hardware-man-could-help-amazon-kill-diy-centers/

18 July 2012
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