Personnel Update

Cedar Creek hired Kelley Jenison as Manager of National Accounts.

Cedar Creek announced the promotion of Alan Brothers to General Manager of the Nashville, Tennessee location.

Furnitureland South co-founder Stella Harris, died unexpectedly at her home. She was 69.  Ms. Harris was named chairman of the Top 100 company in November as part of a management restructuring that followed the death of her husband and former Furnitureland South CEO, A. Darrell Harris, on Aug. 8. The two had been married for 50 years.

Guardian Industries Corp. has named Thomas (Tom) B. Highley President and Chief Executive Officer of Guardian Building Products (GBP). Highley succeeds Steven Ziessler, who led the company since 2011.

The Hillman Companies has hired  Jeffrey Leonard as its new Exec VP, CFO.

The Home Depot Inc. has appointed Jamil Farshchi to the new position of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).  The move comes months after the home improvement retailer said its payment systems were breached at some 2,200 U.S. and Canadian stores.

Plum Creek Timber Company announced that Laura Clise joined the company as its new Director of Sustainability.

Weyerhaeuser Distribution’s St. Paul, Minnesota location announced a promotion to its sales team.  Janel Landis has been named Sales Manager.

WOLF announced that Christopher Bardasian has joined the company as its new Exec VP Business and Product Development.


Financial Focus

True Value Company reported that annual revenue was $1,495.0 million, an increase of 5.9 percent, or $83.5 million. Comparable store sales to retailers were up 5.2 percent on a gross billings basis. Destination True Value retail comp store sales were up 4.8 percent and overall comp store sales were up 3.1 percent. 2014 was a 53 week reporting year versus a 52 week reporting year in 2013. On a 52 week comparable basis, gross billings were up 4.9 percent, or $93.9 million.


Mergers and Acquisitions

Building Materials Holding Corp (BMC) announced that it has acquired the assets and operations of Vidalia, Georgia-based VNS Corporation (“VNS”), enabling BMC to expand its product offerings into the southeastern United States.

Builders FirstSource, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire ProBuild Holdings LLC , in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.63 billion.  The transaction, which was approved by the Builders FirstSource Board of Directors, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second half of 2015.

Mattress Firm acquired Sleep America, based in Phoenix, AZ for $12.5 million.

Rocky’s Ace Hardware, a Springfield, Massachusetts-based family-owned business with neighborhood based stores in five states, announced the acquisition of Greenville Ace Hardware in Greenville, Rhode Island.  Greenville Ace Hardware has been serving the greater Smithfield, Rhode Island area since the early 1900s. The 13,500 square foot Greenville store will begin to be converted to the Rocky’s format immediately.

Westlake Ace Hardware, a subsidiary of Ace Hardware Corporation, has acquired all four Watkins Hardware locations, located in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska.  The 110-year-old Westlake Ace Hardware chain acquisition all brings Westlake Ace Hardware’s total store count to 89 locations.

Westlake Ace Hardware, shortly after announcing a its newly acquired Midwest locations, the company indicated that it has expanded deeper into Texas.  The retailer, which is owned by Ace Hardware, has acquired Turner Hardware in Farmers Branch, Texas. With this purchase and the recently announced acquisition of the four-store Watkins Hardware chain in the Midwest, Westlake now has 90 neighborhood hardware stores in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.


Industry Insight

Leslie’s Poolmart Inc. opened 15 new retail locations throughout the U.S. on Thursday, April 9. Cities with new stores include Auburn, Bakersfield, Ceres, Palmdale; San Mateo and San Rafael, California; Rockledge, St. Augustine and Tallahassee, Florida; Gainesville, Georgia; Glenpool, Oklahoma; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Hudson Oaks, Texas; Queen Creek, Arizona and Monroe, Louisiana.

Leslie’s Poolmart Inc. plans to open 41 new stores in 2015 between March and May. With these new stores, Leslie’s will bring its total store count to almost 900 nationwide. The company employs approximately 4,500 associates across the country during the swimming pool season.

Mattress Firm Holding Corp. announced plans for its growth in fiscal 2015, with expectations to open 200 to 220 new stores.

Pier 1 Imports Inc. suffered a big decline in profit in the fourth quarter and announced that it plans to close 100 stores as part of a three-year plan to “reduce occupancy costs”.