Ace names new director of retail training
Ace Hardware has promoted 22-year company veteran Rich Lynch to director of retail training at the co-op’s Oak Brook, Ill., headquarters.
Lynch, 44, will be responsible for developing and executing an enhanced store training curriculum, rounding out training offerings through Ace’s learning management system and working with Ace retailers to implement in-store training programs.
Lynch began his career at Ace in 1986 as dealer services representative, where he worked with Ace retailers on mainframe-based margin and inventory management services. He has also held such positions as retail development manager and retail training manager and has worked in the areas of Store Development, Ace Rental Place, Ace Commercial and Industrial Supply (now known as B2B), Reprographics/Graphic Services, Category Management and Ace Contractor Center. During his high school and college years, Lynch worked at a local Ace Hardware store in Elk Grove Village, Ill.
“This is a much-deserved promotion for Rich,” said Ken Nichols, Ace’s senior vp-retail operations. “For more than 20 years, he has consistently added value and implemented ideas that have ensured continued progress for our company.”
Home Depot earnings down 24.3 percent
Home Depot’s second-quarter net earnings dropped 24.3 percent to $1.2 billion from $1.59 billion in the year-ago period. Net sales were $20.99 billion, down 5.4 percent from $22.18 billion in the same period last year.
Comparable-store sales fell 7.9 percent.
The results were in part weaker because of comparisons of the 53-week fiscal 2007 calendar to the 52-week fiscal 2008 calendar. Without that difference, comparable-store sales would have been off by slightly less — down 7.2 percent, the company said. Second-quarter sales were negatively impacted by $160 million because of this comparison.
“We continue to see pressure on our market and the consumer, generally,” said Frank Blake, Home Depot chairman and CEO. “Despite the macroeconomic conditions, we saw improved execution in our merchandising and operations initiatives during the past quarter. I am very proud of what our associates have accomplished in a difficult environment.”
For the full year, Home Depot anticipates a sales decline of 5 percent overall and an earnings-per-share decline of 24 percent due to “continued softness in the housing and home improvement markets.”
At the end of the second quarter, Home Depot operated a total of 2,257 retail stores, including 1,965 Home Depot stores in the United States, 167 stores in Canada, 72 stores in Mexico, 12 stores in China, as well as two Home Depot Design Centers, five Yardbirds stores and 34 EXPO Design Center locations.
Housing starts fall in July
U.S. housing starts in July fell 11 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 965,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That figure is 29.2 percent below the revised July 2007 rate of 1,371,000 units.
Single-family housing starts fell 2.9 percent from June to 641,000; compared with July 2007, that figure fell 10.9 percent.
The number of privately owned housing units that issued building permits last month fell 17.7 percent from June to 937,000, or down 32.4 percent compared with the same period last year.
Building permits for single-family homes fell 5.2 percent month-over-month to 584,000.