Personnel Update:

Aaron’s has named David Buck COO, replacing Ken Butler, who is retiring after 39 years with the company.

Do it Best Corp., announced that Corbin Prows has joined the company as the Retail Program Manager, responsible for the creation and implementation of marketing strategies to increase co-op member participation in a variety of key retail programs.

RONA Inc. announced the appointment of Alain Brisebois to the position of Exec VP and Chief Commercial Officer.

Snavely Forest Products announced the addition of David Cunningham, Operations Manager.


Financial Focus:

Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corp. reported that for the full year sales dipped to $657.3 million, compared to $660.5 million for fiscal 2011.

Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. Reported that annual revenue rose 25% to $1.19 billion.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Handy Hardware Wholesale, the Houston-based co-op that filed for bankruptcy protection in January, announced that Littlejohn Management Holdings has agreed to acquire Handy.  Littlejohn is a Connecticut-based private equity firm with substantial holdings in the wholesale distribution business and the hardware industry.  The deal, which has the support of Handy’s board of directors, its member advisory committee and member equity committee, is expected to gain court approval in July 2013.

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

US LBM Holdings announced the acquisition of seven-unit Shelly Enterprises of Telford, Pa., the company’s ninth acquisition since 2010.


Industry Insight:

IKEA announced that it hired contractor for its Kansas City-area store, expected to open in the fall of 2014.  The 359,000-sq.-ft. store will be built in Merriam, Kan.

Sherwin-Williams Co. reported that the company expects to open 70 to 80 paint stores in 2013.

Tractor Supply Co. reported that the company expects to open 100 to 105 new store openings in 2013, as well as to support construction of a southeast DC opening later this year and a new store support center slated to open in 2014.


Green Initiatives/Sustainability:

Ikea has officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its store in Stoughton, Mass. The 118,000-sq.-ft. array consists of a 590.8-kW (DC) system, built with 4,220 laminated panels. It will produce approximately 695,000 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 479 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 94 cars or powering 60 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents).

The installation represents the 38th completed solar project for Ikea in the U.S., with one more location underway, giving the chain an eventual solar presence in nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of 38 MW. Ikea contracted REC Solar for the development, design and installation of the Stoughton store’s customized solar power system.

The retailer owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015.

Ikea’s solar reinforces the long-term commitment of Ikea to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, the company has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.