Matt Richert, now president of Richert Lumber, and his crew of 37 employees were busy this week preparing not just for the three-day opening event but also for a visit next Wednesday by John Vanheisen, the new president of Ace and others from the firm's headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., just west of Chicago. After touring Richert's expanded store that is now filled with Ace products, Vanheisen, Richert and Richert's father Tom, who started the business in 1976, will attend a Northern California dealer group meeting in Dublin.
Richert Lumber flew the True Value Hardware flag for 28 years, but as Matt took the management reins from his father last year, they decided to expand the business and bring in the larger variety of housewares and household improvement goods that Ace offers. They also tripled the sales floor from 5,000 to 15,000 square. The expansion and larger product offerings seems to have worked. Matt Richert said sales this month are up over April a year ago by 94.4%.
Today, shoppers can find shelves stocked with coffeemakers, blenders and other household goods right along with 2x4s in the back lumber yard, patio umbrellas next to wheelbarrows and, just a short walk away, decorative stone and rocks from Richert's Rockyard business. Designer shower doors and complete bathroom remodels are on the second floor along with specialists to help shoppers plan their upgrades.
Open house festivities start at 7 a.m. next Friday with free coffee and donuts and spin the wheel games for prizes. At noon, Thorne and the Richerts will join the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce in the ribbon-cutting ceremony. On Friday and Saturday, the Children's Miracle Network will be at the store with Richert contributing $1 for every dollar shoppers spend to the nonprofit organization.
On Friday, a coupon special included in this newspaper will offer shoppers 50% off any item in the store up to $30. On Saturday, Richert will give away reusable bags with a 20% off deal on whatever shoppers can stuff in one of those bags. On Sunday, the store will give away 5 gallon buckets, again with 20% off whatever a shopper can fit in the bucket.
Bands, hotdogs and a presentation Sunday by Foothill High School cheerleaders cap off the festivities. Both Tom and Matt Richert will be there along with Matt's wife Amanda and their two children, Lily, 4, and Myles, 6, who is in kindergarten at Alisal Elementary school.
"We all live in Pleasanton and we look forward to seeing our friends and neighbors when they come to help us celebrate," Matt Richert said.