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Boston Cedar rolls out new product mix

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mansfield, Mass.-based distributor Boston Cedar brought in some star power to help relaunch its decking, railing and trim product lineup.

Hockey legend Bobby Orr was on hand at the event in Providence, R.I., as was Providence College basketball coach Ed Cooley.  The celebration was designed to launch the compan’s new decking, railing and trim product line up, and it attracted many of the leading northeast lumber and building materials dealers, according to the company. 

Boston Cedar’s new supply partners RDI, KOMA Building Products and Trex received special notice. The new suppliers "offer everything that Boston Cedar requires of our manufacturing partners: High integrity, finanical strength, forward-thinking product innovations and unbending focus on all aspects of exceptional customer service," said Rob Ankner, chairman.

Following presentations, dealers met with NHL Hall of Famer Bobby Orr. Cooley gave a presentaion on the importance of striving for greatness. 

"I’m genuinely excited about the positive reaction by our loyal customer base to these game-changing products and programs," said Paul Colliton, VP of sales and marketing for Boston Cedar.

Before the product mix relaunch, Boston Cedar had been a major distributor of AZEK products.

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Sears Canada to lay off close to 800 workers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears Canada has announced its plans to lay off nearly 800 employees over the next six months, as well to shut down its central parts processing center in Belleville, Ontario, and 16 other stand-alone parts processing locations.

"The changes we are announcing today are being made to bring the structure of our organization in line with the size of our business," said president and CEO Doug Campbell, who was hired a few months ago after Calvin McDonald jumped ship for Sephora. "These improvements are initiatives we are implementing as part of the efficiency lever, one of the three levers we utilize along with the merchandising lever and network lever to maximize total value for the organization. While right-sizing is important for a more effective enterprise, our greatest opportunity lies within the merchandising lever, where our focus is on providing quality products and services that Canadians expect from Sears when and where they want them at prices that provide great value."

“Decisions that affect associates such as those which we announced today are not taken easily, and are made with great forethought and consideration," he added. 

Of those affected, 712 will be in its repair services business and 79 will be at the head office in Toronto. In the stead of its repair technicians and support teams, the company will hire contracted technicians in mid-sized cities; for large cities, Sears technicians will be kept in place.

The Belleville, Ont. center will be consolidated into three fulfillment centers in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, according to the retailer.

The retailer has been steadily selling its store leases and shutting down key locations. A report in the New York Post on Monday alleged that Sears Holdings is considering the sale of Sears Canada, which the retailer denied.

In its most recent earnings report, Sears Canada posted a net loss of $48.8 million.

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Lowe’s adds product locator to mobile app

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In an effort to enhance its in-store experience, Lowe’s has integrated Point Inside, Inc.’s StoreMode mobile technology into its app to help customers locate products themselves.

"Helping customers complete their home improvement projects simply and easily is what Lowe’s is all about," said Ronnie Damron, SVP multi-channel testing and commercialization. "We’re constantly looking for new, innovative ways to use technology to serve our customers better. Whether customers are browsing the store for ideas or searching for a specific item in a hurry, we think the Product Locator feature will simplify the shopping process, creating a better experience that encourages customers to come back again and again."

The new Product Locator feature will allow customers to search for products and locate them on a detailed store map. Customers can also create shopping lists, look up prices, inventory availability, detailed product information, ratings and reviews, as well as weekly ads that are all specific to the location.

Store employees will also be equipped with the app in order to provide better service.

The feature is available via Lowe’s iOS and Android mobile apps, as well as Lowe’s mobile-optimized website. 

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