Personnel Update

Ace Hardware Corp. has promoted a 25-year employee to the position of VP Information Technology.  The company announced that Rick Williams will play an integral role in further driving strategic technology and systems management for Ace to shape business functions and deliver significant return on investments.

Home Depot announced that after the departure of now former Senior VP of Merchandising Hal Lawton to eBay, several additional executive moves have taken place within the company as a result or Lawton’s move:

  • Jeanine Huebner has been promoted to Senior VP Merchandising, Hardlines.
  • Huebner’s promotion opened room for moves for Jim Hovis, now VP Home Depot Services-Outdoors and Billy Basteck is now VP Merchandising Tools.
  • Home Depot also brought in Adolfo Villagomez as VP of Merchandising Building Materials.

Lumber Liquidators problems didn’t end with its CEO’s recently announced sudden abrupt departure. Now, it’s come to public attention that its Chief Compliance Officer, Raymond Cotton, quietly resigned in May.  The departure was discovered by Wall Street interests, who were somewhat the lynchpin for the 60 Minutes story were tipped off by a change in Cotton’s LinkedIn profile, listing Lumber Liquidators as a ‘Previous’ employer.

Parksite promoted Craig Wheatley to Director Market Development.  Wheatley is replacing Walter Gatley who is retiring after a 26-year career with Parksite.

PPG Industries has made a number of executive appointments:

  • Current VP investor relations Vince Morales has been promoted to VP investor relations and treasurer.  Corporate Treasurer Eric Thiele will become VP and Controller, global architectural coatings and protective and marine coatings.
  • Now former finance director and business controller, industrial and packaging coatings Scott Minder has been named director, investor relations.

Restoration Hardware (RH) has hired a Chief Real Estate Officer to lead the latest installment of its evolution into a “design gallery”: a 70,000-square-foot store in Las Vegas.  David Stanchak will be leading the transformation of RH’s current stores into Design Galleries, with responsibility for the company’s real estate and store development efforts.


Mergers and Acquisitions

Central Network Retail Group (CNRG) has acquired LumberJack Building Centers, Inc., a small chain of home centers based in Algonac, Michigan.

Stock Building Supply Holdings, Inc. and Building Materials Holding Corporation (“BMC”), announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which the two companies will combine in an all-stock transaction. The combined company is expected to have an implied pro forma enterprise value of $1.5 billion.  Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both companies, upon the closing of the transaction, BMC shareholders will own approximately 60% of the merged entity, with Stock Building Supply shareholders owning approximately 40%. The new entity will be based in Atlanta, and led by BMC CEO Peter Alexander, with executives from Stock and BMC serving in high executive posts. The plan is for the yards to continue to operate under their current banners after the merger.  The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015, subject to approval by both Stock Building Supply and BMC shareholders and typical regulatory clearances.


Industry Insight

La-Z-Boy unveiled its expansive new corporate headquarters with a look at a three-story, technology-laden facility that sits at the edge of an 80-acre nature preserve.  The 200,000 square-foot headquarters “makes a statement about where we’re headed as a company,” President and CEO Kurt Darrow said during the gala event. “Next year, we begin our 90 th year in business, all here in Michigan, all here in Monroe.

Rocky’s Ace Hardware offered a grand reopening of its Dover, New Hampshire, store on Saturday, June 20.  Founded in 1926, Rocky’s Ace Hardware now operates 34 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Florida.

Sears Hometown Stores plans to refresh a round of 51 locations, located in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Texas and Vermont.


Real Estate

Lowe’s has announced that it has decided to acquire 13 locations in Canada from Target.  These are a part of Canada’s decision to abandon its entire operation in Canadian retailing, earlier this year.


Green Initiatives/Sustainability

Lowe’s has announced a phase-out of neonicotinoids, targeting the year 2019 as the end of the pesticide on store shelves. Home Depot late last year mandated an extra tag for neonic-treated plants.   Neonicotinoids are the class of chemicals that are currently being evaluated by environmental agencies to further determine what effects they have on honey bee health.