Personnel Update:

84 Lumber announced the retirement of Jim McCorkle, a 35-year veteran of the company.

Aaron’s, Inc. announced that David L. Buck and Tristan J. Montanero have each been promoted to Senior VP of Operations.

Aaron’s, Inc. announced that Andrea Freeman, the former VP Marketing and Brand Management at Newell Rubbermaid, has joined Aaron’s, as VP Marketing.

Allied Building Stores appointed Dale E. Mercer as President.  Mercer succeeds David Stiles, a 16-year veteran of Allied.

Beacon Roofing Supply, announced that Exec VP and CFO David Grace has retired from the company for health reasons. A nationally recognized executive recruiting firm is conducting a search for his successor.

Beacon Roofing Supply appointed Rick Welker to the position of acting CFO while searching for a permanent CFO to replace David Grace, who retired at the end of 2012.  Welker is currently the company’s VP and Chief Accounting Officer.

Do it Best Corp. promoted Don Randolph to the position of Retail Performance Manager.  In his new role, Randolph will oversee and lead co-op efforts in aiding the growth and improvement of member stores through enhancement of retail performance programs.

Orgill announced that Chairman of the Board of Directors, William Fondren, has retired as Chairman of the Board, but he will remain as a board member.  Ron Beal, Orgill’s President and CEO, will succeed Fondren as Chairman while retaining his current responsibilities with the company.

Orgill also announced that two additional executives with long tenures have retired from the company:  Ken Post and Steve East.  Ken Post was Chief Merchandise Officer, a position to be filled by Brett Hammers.  Steve East was VP Advertising. His replacement is Jeff Curler.

PRO Group announced an ownership change that makes President and CEO Steve Synnott the new owner.  Gary Cosgrave, the company’s chairman of the board, will remain involved in PRO Group’s strategic planning and said nothing will change in the company’s operations or staff.

Rocky’s Ace Hardware promoted Karen Gravelin to the position of VP Corporate Administration.

Rocky’s Ace Hardware appointed Bill Madormo to the post of VP Operations.

RONA has entered into an agreement with two of its largest shareholders, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Invesco Canada, providing for, among other things, changes to its board of directors.

Robert Chevrier, FCA, chairman and director of UniSelect and, until today, chairman and director of Richelieu Hardware, joins RONA’s board as executive chairman, effective immediately. He replaces Robert Paré, who will continue to serve as a board member.

Tractor Supply Company continued its planned management succession, with now former President and COO, Gregory A. Sandfort, assuming the role of President and CEO.  Mr. Sandfort was also appointed to the Board of Directors.  James F. Wright, the Company’s now former Chairman and CEO, was appointed Executive Chairman of the Board with a term of one year.

WOLF, the York, Pa.-based distributor announced the following promotions:

Brian Doub has been promoted to Regional Kitchen and Bath Sales Manager for a new service area comprising North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Texas.

James Biss has been promoted to Regional Kitchen and Bath Sales Manager for Ohio, Indiana and Canada.

Robert Lett, Sr. has been promoted to VP of Market Development.



Financial Focus:

Fastenal announced that net sales for the full year of 2102 increased 13.3% to $3.13 billion. The company opened 80 new stores in 2012, increasing its footprint to 2,652 locations as of Dec. 31.



Mergers and Acquisitions:

US LBM Holdings has acquired H & H Lumber Co. of Superior, Wis., which will become part of the Lyman Lumber Co.

Westlake Ace Hardware has been acquired by Ace Hardware Corp. for $88 million.

Previously Ace Hardware had been a co-op of independently operated stores, with each dealer owning a piece of the co-op. The corporate purchase of Westlake marks a change in Ace’s business model.

Westlake was founded in 1905 and became affiliated with the Ace Hardware network in 1959 and now operates as a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of Ace.



Industry Insight:

Crane Johnson Lumber Co., founded 129 years ago in 1883 opened its fifth location in.Surrey ND.

Handy Hardware Wholesale filed for Chapter 11 in hopes of reorganizing and re-emerging by early summer 2013.

Ingersoll Hardware of Rocky River Ohio, a company that had been around for 105 years, has permanently closed down operations.

Klingenberg’s Do it Best hardware store in Newport, Ky., has closed.

The store had operated under various owners for 90 years. It was one of five Klingenberg hardware stores opened by five Klingenberg brothers in 1922.

Klingenberg hardware stores in Erlanger, Fort Thomas and Dayton closed previously. Two stores remain open — in Covington and Latonia.

Nuts and Bolts Hardware announced the site of its next location in Odessa, Mo.  The new store, expected to open in April, will be the chain’s sixth location.  .

Sherwin-Williams has opened its 3,500 store in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. The 4,000-sq.-ft. store is the 70th retail location the company has opened this year and its 147th location in California.

W.T. Harvey Lumber Company, founded during the Civil War nearly 150 years ago, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, having never recovered from the 2008 housing market collapse.  The company has taken several steps to recover its pre-recession form, including reducing its work force by 65%.  The remaining employees, from top management down, have agreed to significant reductions in compensation to aid in the process. The company’s hope is that the 17 recently furloughed employees can be returned to regular employment, sooner rather than later.

WOLF, the York, Pa.-based distributor expanded its service area to include parts of Alabama, Indiana and Texas, increasing the number of states WOLF serves to 21.



Green Initiatives/Sustainability:

Ikea says it will sell only LED lamps and bulbs in its stores by 2016 in an effort to help customers save energy, reduce electricity bills and cut carbon emissions.

Ikea says it will sell the LED bulbs at the lowest price on the market.   As part of its initiative, Ikea also will change more than one million light sources inside its stores to LED and other more efficient lighting, the company said. Ikea kicked off its plans by giving every one of its 130,000 employees an LED light.

Ikea also released a two surveys in conjunction with the announcement. Its Ikea Global Study found slightly less than one half of Americans (43 percent) have at least one LED bulb in their house, compared to China with 80 percent, Russua with 65 percent and Sweden with 61 percent.

Only 27 percent of Americans know that LED bulbs last 20 years,  according to a separate Ikea survey conducted by Wakefield Research. The same survey found 34 percent of people don’t know that LED bulbs use less energy.

Ikea’s announcement follows other initiatives, such as the phase out of plastic bags in 2007 and incandescent bulbs in 201o.

The company also has implemented an aggressive rooftop solar program at its stores. Last month, Ikea completed its 33rd solar project in the US. Renewable energy provides 51 percent of Ikea’s energy, up from 47 percent in FY10, according to the company’s 2011 sustainability report released in February. During FY2011, energy efficiency across all Ikea stores improved by 4 percent compared to FY2010, which the company says helped save 6.2 million euro. The gains were mainly achieved through improvements in store equipment, such as HVAC systems and lighting.