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Ace lays off 20 at HQ

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ace Hardware confirmed Feb. 19 that it has laid off 20 corporate employees from various support areas of the company, effective immediately.

“This action was taken to help bring corporate expenditures in line with Ace’s revised bottom line operating expenses, which is compounded by the continued slowdown of both wholesale and retail sales due to the current soft economy and lackluster housing market,” the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said in a statement to Home Channel News.

“While we regret that these few select positions were eliminated, it will not impact our ability as a company to service our Ace retailers and, in turn, their customers,” the statement said. Although Ace did not specify which positions had been affected, HCN has learned that some of those laid off were field representatives.

One of the former employees who was informed of his termination on Monday said he was told the cuts were related to the company’s effort to return equity to $320 million, the co-op’s equity level before its $152 million accounting error. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said various field representative positions were among the cuts.

Ace has about 900 corporate employees in Oak Brook, and some 5,000 team members work at its distribution and manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, according to its Web site.

The announcement comes six months after Ace discovered the short fall in its accounting books.

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Hardlines technology forum slated for April

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Hardlines Technology Forum (HTF), an annual gathering of the industry’s information technology and supply chain executives, has announced its lineup of retail panel participants for the April 21 to 24 event.

Appearing at the panel, which will be held on April 23, are Greg Linder, director of supply chain operations for True Value; Brett Hammers, vp-marketing for Orgill; Michelle Adams, director of merchandise operations planning for Lowe’s; and Kay Williams, vp-information technology for Do it Best.

The keynote presentation this year, “Mastering Your Supply Chain,” will feature Ernest Nichols, director of the FedEx Center for Supply Chain Management, and Dick Raman, president and CEO of TIE Commerce.

New to the conference this year is an educational track devoted to the business-side IT professional and presentations by Lowe’s, True Value and Do it Best on how to be a successful trading partner with their companies. Other sessions planned for the five-day conference deal with topics such as EDI, data synchronization, utilizing POS info and chargebacks.

The HTF, sponsored by the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), will be held at the Peabody Memphis Hotel in Memphis, Tenn.

For more information, visit www.ahma.org/htf.

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Home Depot names new board member

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Albert Carey, former president and CEO of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division, has been named to the Home Depot board of directors.

The appointment brings the number of directors at Home Depot to 15.

Carey, 56, will serve as a member of the retailer’s audit and infrastructure committees.

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