Personnel Update:

Ace Hardware Corp. announced that John Venhuizen has been named President and CEO of the hardware cooperative. The appointment is part of a strategic leadership transition that was announced last fall.   In September, Venhuizen was named President and COO of Ace Hardware, while Ace’s outgoing leader Ray Griffith maintained the title of CEO.

Beacon Roofing Supply has appointed Joseph Nowicki as Exec VP, CFO and Treasurer.

Handy Hardware Wholesale Senior Director of Retail Development, Lynn Bradley, is out at Handy Hardware, due to a cost-cutting move according to the Houston-based co-op.

Home Depot announced that now former JC Penney VP Strategic Marketing Lisa DeStefano-Orebaugh has accepted the VP Marketing and Brand Management position at Home Depot.

Lowe’s has named Sylvain Prud’homme as President of Lowe’s Canada. He replaces Alan Huggins, who is returning to the United States as Lowe’s VP International Operations.

Rona has named Robert Sawyer President and CEO.

True Value Co. tapped Brent Burger, owner of hardware stores in Maine, as Chairman of the Board.  Burger replaces outgoing Chairman Brian Webb, owner of Krueger’s True Value in Neenah, Wis. and Grand Rental Station in Appleton, Wis.


Financial Focus:

Ace Hardware Corp. posted fiscal 2012 revenues of $3.8 billion, up 3.6% from the previous year.

Pier 1 Imports reported that for the fiscal year ended March 2, 2013, total sales increased 11.2% to $1.705 billion from $1.534 billion last fiscal year.

True Value reported gross billings of $1,884.9 million, an increase of 1.1 percent or $20.1 million for the same period a year ago, for the year ending Dec. 29, 2012.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

PPG Industries has finalized the acquisition of the North American architectural coatings business of Akzo Nobel N.V., Amsterdam, in a deal valued at $1.05 billion.

Sleepy’s was confirmed as the winning bidder for the 80-store Mattress Discounters chain in U.S. Bankruptcy Court here.


Industry Insight:

Aaron’s announced that the company plans to open 125 stores in 2013 and hire 750 new employees.

Floor and Decor Outlets of America has announced plans to expand its Midwest presence with the openings of two more stores in the Metropolitan Chicago area. The first will be in Arlington Heights, Ill., on April 18.  The grand opening of the store in Aurora, Ill., will follow this summer.  Like the company’s store in Lombard, Ill., the Arlington Heights location will feature a 90,000-sq.-ft. showroom and will employ 50 to 75 people.

Leslie’s Poolmart opened 15 Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies stores across 10 states, as part of the company’s plan to open 48 new stores this spring.

Marvin’s Building Materials and Home Centers announced plans to open its 28th store, and its second in Tennessee.  The store is expected to open in June 2013.

Menard opened two stores near St. Louis — one in St. Peter’s, Mo., and the other in O’Fallen, Ill.

Ocean Shore Hardware’s owners have changed the company name to Hassett Ace Hardware feeling that the time is right to honor the family history by using the Hassett name.

Pier 1 Imports expects approximately 30 store openings and 14 closings/relocations for a net increase of 16 stores as it begins fiscal 2014.


Green Initiatives/Sustainability:

IKEA has plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its distribution center in Perryville, Md.

The 768,972-sq.-ft. PV array consists of a 2,674.9-kW system, built with 18,576 panels, and is the state’s largest rooftop array. The IKEA distribution center will produce approximately 3,397,178 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 2,397 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 499 cars or powering 359 homes yearly.

This installation represents the furniture retailer’s 36th completed solar project in the United States, with three more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of Ikea nearly 90% of its U.S. locations with a total generation of 38 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings — as opposed to a solar lease or power purchase agreement — and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. This investment reinforces the long-term commitment of Ikea to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic technology. Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, Ikea has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, Ikea evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs. IKEA has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S., and by 2016 will go L.E.D. by selling and using light bulbs that are only L.E.D.

Constructed on 278 acres in the community of Perryville, in Northern Md.’s Cecil County, this 1.7 million-sq.-ft. Ikea distribution center began operations in 2002, employs approximately 550 coworkers and currently helps provide inventory to many U.S. Ikea stores.