Craig Cowart to lead Handy Hardware

Craig Cowart

Craig Cowart will succeed Doug Miller as president of Houston-based hardware distributor Handy Hardware, effective Oct. 1. 

Cowart will lead Handy as it distances itself from its tumultuous recent period and builds on its “ProfitPlus” value proposition, the company said.

Handy Hardware emerged from a Chapter 11 filing in August 2013 after being purchased by Hardware Holdings, part of the Littlejohn & Company group. At that time, the company’s structure changed from a member-owned co-op to an independent wholesaler and distributor.

Miller came to Handy in July 2013 as interim CEO. He had been president at Spokane, Washington.-based Jensen Distribution. “With the progress we have made, it is appropriate for a new leader with a long-term vision to take over,” Miller said. “We couldn’t have found a more capable person than Craig Cowart to lead Handy going forward. His 23 years of retail experience has been invaluable in our turnaround, and his customer focus will benefit our dealers even more going forward.”

Cowart said: “I am so excited about the opportunity to lead Handy Hardware. I want our dealers and vendors to know that the entire Handy team is committed to creating a better partner than we have ever been, ready to aggressively meet the needs of the evolving retail market.”

Cowart has leadership experience at Lowe’s; Marvin’s Building Materials and Home Centers; and Your Other Warehouse, a distributor owned by The Home Depot.

“The new Handy is a better and more capable company, and our new ownership structure provides deeper financial resources and greater sourcing and merchandising options for our dealers,” said Cowart. “Ultimately, Handy’s success is tied directly to how we help our customers compete, and how Handy and Hardware Holdings helps make complex assortments simple.”

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