HARDWARE STORES

Ace employees receive special training in pest management

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A number of Northern California Ace Hardware stores are participating in a new program that guides shoppers toward less toxic choices to control garden pests. Starting last month, employees in 13 hardware stores and retail garden centers are putting into place what they learned from rigorous training with experts from the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UCIPM) and professionals in the nursery industry.

The volunteer experts spent nearly one year with store managers, buyers and retail associates training and guiding them toward effective pest management products and techniques with the least impact on the environment. The program was funded by a Pest Management Alliance grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and the program is getting a boost from new funding from the U.S EPA’s San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund.

Grand Lake Ace Hardware, a Piedmont, Calif., store, is one of the locations participating in the program.

"We have a big opportunity here to have our neighborhoods reduce their use of toxic pesticides," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

“The Integrated Pest Management Advocates program is really about helping the consumer. It can be overwhelming to make choices at the store because of the breadth of products on the market,” explained Geoff Brosseau, executive director of the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA). “Home and garden pests can be managed with less-toxic methods. With trained managers and employees, consumers can now get more support in finding less-toxic products. These products effectively manage pests with the least impact on the environment.”

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Orchard Supply points to strengthened financial position

BY HBSDealer Staff

Orchard Supply Hardware Stores has announced additional progress in its efforts to strengthen its financial position through refinancing and reducing its debt.

The company closed on a new five-year Senior Secured Credit Facility consisting of a $120.0 million revolving credit facility and a $7.5 million FILO term loan, with Wells Fargo Capital Finance and Bank of America, N.A. The new facility replaces Orchard’s existing $100.0 million Senior Secured Credit Facility.

During the past 12 months, Orchard reduced its long-term debt by about $93 million and secured funds to remodel Orchard stores, primarily through multiple sale-leaseback transactions of company-owned properties. Its Real Estate Secured Term Loan was paid off as of July 28, 2012.

"We are pleased with the progress we have made to strengthen the company’s financial position, which includes substantially reducing debt and lowering our borrowing costs," stated Chris Newman, EVP and chief financial officer. "We are particularly pleased to have the new credit facility in place, which provides Orchard with additional borrowing capacity at better rates. We greatly appreciate the confidence that Wells Fargo and Bank of America have in our ability to manage and grow the company."

Moelis & Co. will lead the refinancing efforts of the Senior Secured Term Loan. 

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Hardware store damaged by Irene reopens

BY HBSDealer Staff

One year and two months after Irene swept through Prattsville, N.Y., Young’s Agway is open again, according to an article on Fox23News.com. Irene had destroyed the building and washed away its inventory.

“Today is the culmination of a lot of work and it is kind of the party,” store owner James Young told Fox23News. 

Young said the new 10,000-sq.-ft. building on Washington Street is bigger and better than before.

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