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Huffy bike maker growing: Dayton CEO shares future e-commerce plans

Published: Friday, October 13, 2017 @ 10:10 AM

            Huffy CEO Bill Smith addresses a group at a Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce event on the history of the company and where it is headed in the current retail environment. KAITLIN SCHROEDER/STAFF
Huffy CEO Bill Smith addresses a group at a Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce event on the history of the company and where it is headed in the current retail environment. KAITLIN SCHROEDER/STAFF

Huffy Corp.’s CEO says the company is evolving to stay ahead in an e-commerce world, whether that’s starting to sell on Ebay or launching a self-assemble bike that can be ordered online.

The key to Huffy’s success has been its willingness to adapt to change, whether its the decline of the sewing machine or the rise of e-commerce, said Bill Smith, the chief executive of the locally-based bike brand, speaking at a Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce event this morning.

Huffy, now based in Centerville, has been in the area for 125 years and is preparing to move to a larger headquarters in Miami Township that will give the company 40 percent more space to design and showcase its sample bikes.

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Smith said it doesn’t mean the company is less focused on bricks-and-mortar retail, it just means the company is expanding so its selling bikes all the ways people want to buy bikes.

“We are fast and aggressively moving into this new distribution channel and we will be available where consumers want to shop,” Smith said.

RELATED: Three things to know about Huffy

RELATED: Manufacturer’s success reflects Dayton industry ‘resurgence’

Smith outlined some of the ways the company is adapting to the current retail environment and the demands of online shopping, including:
  • Next year, Huffy plans to launch an easy-to-assemble bike line that requires no tools for the consumer to put it together.
  • The self-assembly is good for stores but even better for selling online, Smith said. “Everything literally snaps into place,” he said.
  • The company just launched an e-commerce initiative so it can become a bicycle supplier in China, where most of its products are manufactured. “So we will use e-commerce as a new marketing vehicle to enter markets where we didn’t have a presence,” Smith said.
  • He said they are looking at ways to work with mom-and-pop bike dealers, which have the potential to become service shops and distribution centers for all of its e-commerce business. “Where if you wanted to buy a bike online, but you didn’t want it delivered to the house, you could have it shipped to your local dealer. They could assemble it. And they could deliver it to you on Saturday when your home,” Smith said.
  • Huffy also just opened a store on Ebay last week.
  • Smith also predicted the U.S. will see electric bikes become popular in the next decade. “They are very popular in Europe and they are very popular in China but have not really made it to the U.S. but when they do we will be in the forefront,” Smith said.

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178-acre tax incentive area formed in Warren County

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 12:46 PM

Warren County commissioners approved 178-acre community reinvestment area on former SUMCO site.

Warren County commissioners approved a community reinvestment area on Tuesday for 178 acres west of Ohio 48 in Hamilton Twp.

The agreement sets the stage for the township and school board to negotiate a tax sharing agreement for commercial or industrial development of the former SUMCO industrial site off Grandin Road, officials said.

The township is working with the owners of the property, the Rippe family and Nick Geraci, on a development there, administrator Michelle Tegtmeier said.

RELATED: South Lebanon annexes 220 acres

The formation of the reinvestment area comes after land, including the former Peters Cartridge Factory development, was annexed by South Lebanon, as part of an agreement for the developer to get a tax abatement on this development, costing the Little Miami Schools tax revenue on developments.

RELATED: History of Peters Cartridge Factory

The abatements granted in the new area would be 50 to 100 percent for up to 15 years.

Commissioner Shannon Jones noted property taxes have dwindled on the land since SUMCO left the site eight years ago.

Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Bruce McGary said the resolution establishing the reinvestment area set up a process including the school district “at the table” for negotiations of more than 50 percent in property tax breaks.

The former SUMCO complex is expected to be demolished in anticipation of new development on the industrial site.

RELATED: $34 million in development planned at formers Peters Cartridge Factory site 

Commissioner Dave Young specified that tax incentives would not be used to subsidize residential development.

“The main purpose is to drive commercial, industrial,” said Matthew Schnipke of the county economic development office.

The area also enables Hamilton Twp. “to be competitive with other areas,” including South Lebanon and other cities capable of offering similar incentives in exchange for annexation from the township.

The tax abatement agreements are more lucrative for cities and villages, which collect earning tax from businesses, unless a township is part of joint economic development district with such taxing authority.

“We really think this would be a kick-start,” Tegtmeier said, creating a better tax base for the heavily residential township, south of Lebanon and west of Mason. “Right now, we have nothing.”

MORE: Downtown Dayton housing development growth fueled by tax incentives

Young said he typically opposes creating tax incentive areas through which communities compete with each other.

But Young noted in this case it gave Hamilton Twp. a tool it could use to prevent annexation of potential economic development.

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Amazon looking to buy abandoned Toys ‘R’ Us storefronts

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 3:35 PM


Amazon is looking to buy abandoned Toys ‘R’ Us storefronts once the company shuts them down for good.

The online retail giant is looking at the possibility of acquiring some Toys ‘R’ Us locations as it expands its brick-and-mortar footprint across the country, Bloomberg reported. The stores could be used to showcase its Echo devices.

Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy last week. At the beginning of 2018, the chain had more than 800 stores before announcing in January that it would shutter 180 stores.

“Today marks the dawn of a new era at Toys“R”Us where we expect that the financial constraints that have held us back will be addressed in a lasting and effective way,” said Dave Brandon, chairman and chief executive officer.

» RELATED: 5 things to know about Amazon in Monroe

The possible interest comes as Amazon enters the brick-and-mortar game. The company purchased Whole Foods lst year, and it is also opening bookstores. Its cashless convenience stores, Amazon Go, are also reportedly expanding in states across the U.S. in coming years.

So, how does Amazon Go work? Consumers use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products they want and walk out. No checkout. No lines.

The store’s technology uses computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning to automatically detect when products are taken or returned to the shelves and keep track of them in a virtual cart. Customers grab their items and go, and then their Amazon account is charged with the bill. The store will offer ready-to-go meals, grocery essentials and even locally made food.


JC Penney cuts 360 jobs in stores, corporate headquarters

Coroner requested after Fuyao forklift accident: What we know now

Macy’s outlet store to open at shopping center in Dayton area

Check out this $1 million home for sale in Clearcreek Twp.

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Rita's Italian Ice offering free treats on first day of spring

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 10:19 AM

Rita’s Italian Ice is offering a free treat to mark the first day of spring.
Rita’s Italian Ice
Rita’s Italian Ice is offering a free treat to mark the first day of spring.(Rita’s Italian Ice)

As the country says farewell to a long, harsh winter for many, it's time to celebrate springtime with a free treat.

>> Read more trending news 

Rita's Italian Ice is once again giving away a free Italian ice on March 20 from noon to 9 p.m.

The promotion has grown in popularity over the years, with almost 1 million Italian ice cups given away in a nine-hour period in 2017, according to Rita's.

For those who love cool treats, Dairy Queen will mark the first day of spring with a free cone promotion.

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Macy’s rolling out new mobile checkout at most store locations

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 7:19 AM

Macy's announced 5,000 job cuts and seven more store closures.

Macy’s Inc. is introducing mobile checkout services at most of its store locations.

Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette told an audience at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Consumer & Retail Technology Conference in New York earlier this month that the retailer plans to test mobile checkout at about 450 of its 650 stores.

» CONTINUED COVERAGE: Macy’s outlet store to open at shopping center in Dayton area

Customers can use their smartphone app to scan items throughout the store. Then, the shoppers use the express checkout lane where employees will verify their purchases and remove security tags. It is unclear when the roll-out of the new technology will occur.

Macy’s has several store locations in the region. Macy’s is renovating one of its existing stores in the Dayton area to add an outlet store, according to a permit submitted to the Montgomery County Building Regulations Division.

» CONTINUED COVERAGE: Macy’s ‘fine-tuning’ staffing at some stores

Macy’s submitted a permit for a partial remodel of its existing Macy’s department store located at 2700 Miamisburg Centerville Road at the Dayton Mall. The estimated market value of the completed project is $75,000. The permit indicates the project is a partial building alteration to make space for a 1,300-square-foot Macy’s Backstage outlet.

»MUST-READ RETAIL NEWS: Will Macy’s become a discount store? Retailer shares grim sales report

The department store chain has invested in its off-price concept, called Macy’s Backstage. The company added 11 new Backstage stores within existing Macy’s stores in the first quarter of 2017. The stores, similar to Nordstrom Rack, offer discounted prices on brand clothing up to 80 percent off.

In January, the company announced the closure of 11 Macy’s stores — including one in downtown Cincinnati. It’s part of the retailer’s plan to close approximately 100 stores, which was announced back in August 2016.


• JC Penney cuts 360 jobs in stores, corporate headquarters

• Coroner requested after Fuyao forklift accident: What we know now

• Macy’s outlet store to open at shopping center in Dayton area

• Check out this $1 million home for sale in Clearcreek Twp.

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