Personnel Update:
84 Lumber VP National Sales, Joe Gardiner, lost his life in a boating accident.
Ace Hardware has named William Guzik as the company’s new CFO.  Mr. Guzik will oversee all financial-related activities, including accounting operations, financial strategy, risk management, treasury, investor relations, planning and reporting.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
New England Building Materialsfiled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early in the year and closed its yards in Massachusetts and in Springvale and Windham, Maine.  The company sold three remaining Maine locations to Hammond Lumber. New England also sold two of its remaining locations including a Sanford Maine showroom to Deering Lumber. New England now only operates a saw mill and no longer qualifies for a listing in Chain Store Guide’s database of Home Center operators & Hardware Chains.
Industry Insight:
Finger Furniture is closing a Houston, TX location and has begun a going-out-of-business sale.  The 200,000-square-foot store likely will remain open for a month or two, depending on how that sale goes.
Friedman’s Home Improvementhas revealed plans to open a new location in Petaluma, California where it first opened in 1946 before its flagship store burned to the ground in 1976. Plans call for a 78,000-sq.-ft. main store in Deer Creek Village, where Friedman’s will be the anchor tenant.  Plans are to open the store in the fourth quarter of 2013, pending city approval.
Northwest True Value Hardwareannounced that they will invest $1.5 million to build a new retail store that will create the equivalent of 12 full-time jobs.  The store will be the largest of the then six retail stores that are part of the family-owned business.  The company will build a 20,000-square-foot building for the new store.  The store is expected to open in early 2013,
Orchard Supply Hardwarewill open a 50,000-sq.-ft. store in Torrance, Calif., showcasing the company’s new store format at the site of a former Kmart store. The store will open in early September and marks the company’s 89th store.
Tractor Supply Co. opened 18 new stores compared to 16 new store openings in the prior year’s second quarter despite a still sluggish economy. The company now operates 1,135 stores.
ProBuild Holdings Inc., cut 127 corporate positions across its operations nationwide “to reduce costs and better serve customers.  The job cuts were across all departments and geographic areas, although most of the cuts were administration positions, including jobs in finance and human resources.
Westlake Hardware will close a store in Independence, MO. in early September.