Personnel Update:
Builders FirstSource VP, Controller and Principal Accounting Officer Brad Leist has resigned his position to pursue other opportunities.
Canadian Tire Corp. has announced the appointment of Marco Marrone as its new COO of the company’s core retail business. Marrone will have oversight of all of CTR’s operations, including merchandising, marketing, supply chain, and store operations, including dealer relations.  Mike Arnett has been appointed Exec VP, Corporate Development.  Dean McCann has been appointed as the company’s CFO and Exec VP Finance replacing Marco Marrone.  Mary Turner takes on the roles of COO of Canadian Tire Financial Services and President of Canadian Tire Bank, replacing Dean McCann.  Harry Taylor has been appointed COO at Mark’s stores division, replacing Paul Wilson, who has decided to leave the company.
Elliott’s Hardware brought in Andrea Spencer — granddaughter of Elliot’s founder Jerre Elliott — to head the business as President and CEO.  Elliott’s former President and CEO Kyle Walters is no longer with the company.
Lowe’s has announced the appointment of Kevin Measel to Senior VP Store Operations West Division, where he will replace Jim Frasso, who is retiring after a 17-year career with the company.  With Measel’s promotion to lead the West Division, Senior VP Brent Kirby now has responsibility for the North Division. Senior VP William Edwards retains responsibility for the South Division.
Tractor Supply Company announced that Gregory A. Sandfort assumed the title of COO in addition to his role as President.  As planned, Stanley L. Ruta, who previously served as Exec Vice President and COO has retired from the company. 
Financial Focus:
Ace Hardware Corp. reported that total revenues for the full year were up 5.1% to $3.7 billion.
Builders FirstSource reported sales for fiscal year 2011 of $779.1 million, up 11.2% over fiscal year 2010 sales of $700.3 million. 
Home Depot reported that sales increased 3.5% to $70.4 billion for the full fiscal year.
Lowe’s reported that for the fiscal year sales were $50.2 billion, a 2.9% increase over the prior fiscal year.
True Value announced that revenue for the year ended Dec. 31,
 increased 3.4% to $1.86 billion
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Elliott’s Hardware is under new ownership as the company has been acquired by the Central Network Retail Group (CNRG).  The company will keep its name and identity and has brought in Andrea Spencer — granddaughter of Elliot’s founder Jerre Elliott — to head the business.
Industry Insight
Bill’s Ace Hardware in Concord, CA, has closed after five years.  
Elliott’s Hardware has left Do it Best as its primary distributor.
Fleeger’s Pro Hardware of Toledo, OHhas closed its doors permanently.  The first Fleeger’s store was opened shortly after World War II and was ultimately operated by the third generation of family ownership.  After closing the store for a week to prepare for final sales, the store reopened the second week of February for its going out of business sale.
Hamblen Hardware, Florida‘s oldest hardware store which began life in 1875 in the nation’s oldest city St. Augustine has closed operations.
Hanneke Hardware has lost its lease on one of its three locations and will close by the end of March.
Home Depot plans to open 11 new stores in 2012.
Lowe’s plans to open approximately ten locations during the 2012 fiscal year.
Menards will open a 200,000-sq.-ft.-plus store this spring which will be the retailer’s first store in the state of Kentucky.
Orchard Supply Hardware Stores plans to open up to three new stores and remodel up to six locations for the 2012 fiscal year ending February 2, 2013. 
RONA Inc. will close 10 big-box stores by the end of this year as the Quebec-based home improvement and gardening retailer tries to stop mounting losses and appeal to more consumers.  The company also plans to start opening 25 smaller stores focusing on more personalized customer service that are a short drive away from the planned closures.
The company expects it will redeploy the sales volume of 10 big-box stores to 25 stores by the end of 2012.
Sears plans to close 10 Sears Hardware Stores in the first half of 2012.
The Container Store has announced plans to open six new locations in the United States by year’s end.  This includes its first move into Las Vegas and Long Island. It will bring the company’s store count to 59 by the end of 2012.
Real Estate:
Tractor Supply Co. has increased its estimated domestic store growth potential to 2,100 locations from a previously estimated 1,800 stores.  In working toward its expanded goal of 2,100 stores, Tractor Supply will continue to target square footage growth of approximately 8% annually, which has been a “very manageable” growth rate for the company, according to company sources.