The year was 1996. And the nation’s co-ops were looking for efficiency. One idea: inter co-op cooperation.

Here’s how the March 18, 1996 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, reported on a meeting of six co-op leaders:

“The presidents of the nation’s six dealer-owned hardlines cooperatives expressed the need for more co-operation among themselves in taking costs out of the distribution pipeline during an historic panel discussion about the future of hardware retailing … “

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