Beacon names new CEO, other promotions
Beacon Roofing Supply, one of the nation’s largest distributors of roofing, siding and other exterior building products, has named Paul Isabella as its new president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Isabella is the current president and chief operating officer at Beacon. He replaces Robert Buck, who will remain as chairman of the board.
Isabella joined Beacon in November 2007 as the president and COO. His 33-year career began at General Electric Company in 1977, where he worked for 22 years. Following his tenure at GE, Isabella held executive management positions at The Stanley Works and Cooper Industries.
Beacon announced several other executive promotions that will take place on Jan. 1. David Grace, the current CFO, is also assuming the title of executive VP. Grace joined Beacon as an accountant in 1987 and served in positions of increasing responsibility until he was named CFO in 1997. He oversees information technology as well as the company’s financial organization.
Patrick Murphy, a senior VP at Beacon since 2008, is being promoted to executive VP. James MacKimm, a 10-year veteran of the company, is also being promoted from senior VP to executive VP. Kent Gardner, who joined Beacon in 2005, is being promoted to Senior VP.
C. Munroe Best III is being promoted to senior VP, after filling several roles at Beacon, including regional VP since 2006.
Headquartered in Peabody, Mass., Beacon Roofing ranked third on the Home Channel News Top 350 Scorecard, with $1.73 billion in sales for 2009. The company operates branches in 37 states in the United States and three provinces in Eastern Canada.
Researchers see demand opening for windows and doors
After falling 4% annually since 2004, demand for windows and doors is forecast to rise 6.6% per year to $31.2 billion in 2014, according to a study from The Freedonia Group.
Although housing completions will remain below the level reached at their cyclical peak in 2006, the recovery in new home construction will fuel above-average gains in the residential market for windows and doors through 2014,” according to a Cleveland-based Freedonia Group statement promoting its “Windows & Doors” study.
Plastic windows and doors — including vinyl, fiberglass or wood-plastic composites — will see the most rapid growth, increasing more than 10% per year, according to Freedonia. One reason is that improvements in processing techniques have enabled manufacturers to make less-costly, more-efficient fiberglass doors that look more and more like real wood.
Meanwhile, demand for wood windows and doors is forecast to rise 7.2% per year to $10.9 billion in 2014.
Here is the breakdown by category of annual growth through 2014:
Metal, 4.3% Wood, 7.2% Plastic, 10.2% Total, 6.6%
Lowe’s executives unveil digital moves
Sales at Lowes.com are running about 35% ahead of last year, according to CEO Robert Niblock, who spoke to analysts during the retailer’s recent Analyst and Investors Conference. Still, the Mooresville, N.C.-based home improvement giant has ideas on how to improve its digital business.
Among the projects to advance that goal are a mobile app to help customers buy product from their mobile devices. Lowe’s executives said the company is adding at least 1,200 additional SKUs to the site each week. (It has more than 110,000 SKUs online currently.)
The lowes.com website is important to the retailer not only as an outright revenue generator, but also as a sales driver. “A large portion of our total sales are influenced online,” said Larry Stone, Lowe’s president and COO.
In early 2011, the company will launch “ask and answer” functionality for all product categories on lowes.com. With this feature, according to Stone, customers asking product specific questions will “receive answers from a variety of sources — the lowes.com community, Lowe’s employees and manufacturers.”
The company has also enhanced its lowes.com in-store pickup guarantee — instead of 30 minutes, orders will be ready in 20 minutes. To promote the change, the company’s web site promotes the slogan: “Shop. Click. Pick up. 20 minutes guaranteed.”
The moves reflect an increasingly multi-channel world.
“We cannot operate as independent sales channels because customers are not shopping that way,” said Stone. “They’re shopping at Lowe’s, wheter that includes a single store, multiple stores, lowes.com, over the phone or an in-home selling expericence.”