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ABC Supply continues California push

BY HBSDealer Staff

ABC Supply continues to ramp up its presence on the West Coast and has opened a new location in Fairfield, Calif.

The opening marks the fifth new branch that ABC Supply has opened in California in the past eight months. The roofing and building products distributor now operates more than 30 locations in the Golden State, according to ABCSupply.com.

The new Fairfield branch will be managed by John Laurence. Laurence, who has been in the industry for nearly two decades, will use his extensive sales and management experience to lead the team of associates in Fairfield as they ensure that their customers have the products and support they need to succeed, ABC Supply said.

“We’re confident that contractors in the Fairfield area will find our products and expertise second to none,” said Matt Cooper, vice president of ABC Supply’s West Region. “I know John and his team are looking forward to building relationships with them as well as the larger Fairfield community.”

ABC Supply said the latest California opening is part of the company’s mission of being “the easiest building products distributor for contractors to do business with.”

Based in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply operates more than 700 locations nationwide. 

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Passing of a retail giant

BY Marianne Wilson

The man who turned a small Swedish mail-order company he founded at age 17 into a global, $48 billion retail powerhouse has died at the age of 91.

On Sunday, Ikea announced the passing of its founder, Ingvar Kamprad. He died at his home in Smaland, Sweden, following a short illness, the company said.

“He will forever be remembered as a great entrepreneur, who turned his dream into a lifelong mission to make life better for the many people,” stated Jesper Brodin, CEO and president, Ikea Group, which operates some 350 stores around the globe. “He believed that everyone deserves a better life, and that Ikea can answer to their needs and dreams at home, even with small means.”

Kamprad stepped back from day to day operations in 1988, but continued to contribute to the business as a senior advisor, sharing his knowledge and energy, Brodin added.

“His greatest contributions to Ikea are his vision: to create a better everyday life for the many people, the Ikea culture and the long term approach to business,” he said.

Kamprad formed his company's name from his own initials and the first letters of his family’s farm and the surrounding village. He grew up in a rural part of Sweden whose citizens are known for their thrift and ingenuity, traits that Kamprad possessed and which are foundation for Ikea’s corporate culture. Its employees follow some basic tenants written by Kamprad in 1976, "The Testament of a Furniture Dealer," which states that "wasting resources is a mortal sin," and stipulates Ikea's "duty to expand."

In 1950, Kamprad introduced furniture, made by manufacturers in areas close to his home, into his mail-order catalog. Based on the positive response, he decided to discontinue all other products to focus exclusively on low-priced furniture. Several years later, he debuted the concept that would be the launchpad for Ikea’s global expansion and success: flat-pack (or ready-to-assemble) furniture, an idea analyst Neil Saunders called “revolutionary.”

“Distributing flat-pack was much more efficient and economical than shipping fully made items,” said Saunders, managing director, GlobalData Retail. “It also divided the effort — prices were lower because the customer had to assemble the product; that was the trade-off or compromise.”

Ikea owned by the foundation that Kamprad created, whose statutes require profits to be reinvested in the company or donated to charity.

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Epicor names new executives

BY HBSDealer Staff

Epicor Software Corp. has made two executive appointments.

David Mehok has been named CFO of Epicor, while Clarke Pich takes on a new role as head of global professional services for the company. Both Mehok and Pich will assume their roles effective immediately and report directly to Epicor CEO Steve Murphy, the company said.

"These new additions to our executive leadership team will be instrumental in driving the culture of growth, investment and customer centricity that is our focus," Murphy said. "The Epicor board of directors and I are confident that David's strong background leading global finance organizations and Clarke's expertise in enterprise software services sales and cloud implementations will position Epicor to achieve our objectives.”

Mehok has more than 20 years of experience leading global finance organizations and most recently served as CFO for Austin-based CLEAResult, the largest provider of energy efficiency programs and services in North America. Prior to that, he spent 18 years at Dell in a variety of finance roles including head of investor relations and the finance leader for one of the largest customer business segments at the company, Epicor said.

Pich brings more than 20 years of experience in professional services sales and most recently ran the North American cloud consulting sales team at Oracle for the commercial segment as group VP. The sales executive has held various leadership positions with Hitachi Consulting, Arthur Anderson, Momentum Software, Dr. Pepper Bottling Company and SAP America.

Based in Austin, Texas, Epicor provides industry-specific software designed around the needs of manufacturing, distribution, retail and service industry customers, including lumber yards. 

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