Personnel Update:

Beacon Roofing Supply has appointed Jeanine Montgomery as VP and Chief Accounting Officer.  Montgomery is replacing current CAO Rick Welker, who will remain on board as acting CFO for approximately one month to assist with the transition.

The Hillman Group announced that James P. Waters is now the company’s CEO.  He has replaced Max “Mick” Hillman, who retired as CEO after 44 years with the company.

Hillman will retain a seat on the board of directors.  Waters was promoted from his post as Exec VP and COO.

Interline Brands, Inc. has appointed John Bakewell to the post of CFO.

Snavely Forest Products announced that its marketing operations department has hired Drew Garrison manage a number of print and online marketing initiatives.

Williams-Sonoma has named David Jimenez Senior VP Visual and Store Experience. Jimenez previously served as VP Visual Merchandising and Store Design at Hallmark.   In addition to the appointment of Jimenez, the company named three other executives to new leadership roles in the supply chain area.

Peter Sassi was named Senior VP of Stores for the Williams-Sonoma brand. In his new role Sassi will continue to bring strategic insights and deepen customer relationships and evolve the in-store experience. Jeff Howie will now serve as the Senior VP of Inventory Management and Finance for the Williams-Sonoma brand. John Trifoso is expanding his current role as Senior VP of Pottery Barn Inventory Management, to lead the inventory management teams for the Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen brands.


Mergers and Acquisitions:

Orchard Supply Hardware Stores announced that it has reached an agreement through which Lowe’s Companies, Inc., in which Lowe’s will acquire the majority of its assets for $205 million in cash, plus the assumption of payables owed to nearly all of Orchard’s supplier partners. To facilitate the sale and restructure its balance sheet, Orchard has filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

The agreement with Lowe’s comprises the initial stalking horse bid in the Court-supervised auction process under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code. Under the terms of the agreement, Lowe’s would acquire no less than 60 of Orchard’s stores, based on further due diligence on the store locations. The Company expects to complete the process in approximately 90 days, pending receipt of the necessary approvals from regulators and the Bankruptcy Court.

Orchard fully expects to operate its overall business and the vast majority of its stores as usual during its financial restructuring.

Lowe’s indicates that it will convert the stores to a new format and operate them as a separate, standalone business, retaining Orchard Supply Hardware under the current management team.


Industry Insight:

Fastenal opened 33 new stores during the first six months of this year.

Lumber Liquidators marked a major milestone in Las Vegas with the opening of its 300th store, which showcases the company’s new “store of the future” format.


Green Initiatives/Sustainability:

Ikea plans to increase the solar array atop its two-year-old Centennial, Colo. store, with panel installation slated to begin in July.  Completion of what is already Colorado’s largest single-use rooftop array on a commercial building is slated for this fall, and will elevate the project to the state’s largest rooftop array of any use.   The 83,700-sq.-ft. solar addition will consist of a 623-kW system, built with 2,492 panels, and will produce 961,000 kWh of electricity annually for the store.  Including the existing system, Ikea Centennial’s total 1,121-kW solar installation of 4,704 panels soon will generate 1,701,000 kWh of clean electricity yearly, the equivalent of reducing 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 250 cars or powering 180 homes.

Ikea has extended its partnership with ECOtality, a clean electric transportation and storage technologies company, and plans to add 24 Blink electric vehicle charging stations across eight more locations in the United States.