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California home improvement retailer names COO

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Friedman’s Home Improvement, the largest locally-owned home improvement retailer in San Francisco’s North Bay area, announced the promotion of David Proctor to chief operating officer, effective immediately.

Proctor, who joined Friedman’s in 1985, will be responsible for strategic oversight of the company’s day-to-day operations, along with his current finance duties as chief financial officer. 

“David has provided exceptional leadership, earning the respect of the financial community, our customers, employees and suppliers,” said president and CEO Bill Friedman. “His in-depth knowledge and collaborative leadership style will be invaluable as we continue to navigate these difficult economic times and improve our position in this highly competitive marketplace.”

Proctor, a Santa Rosa native, graduated from the University of California, Davis in 1974. He worked for Arthur Andersen in San Francisco as a CPA before joining Friedman’s.

Founded in 1946, Friedman’s has locations in Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Ukiah.

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Kansas Hardware business closes after more than a century

BY HBSDEALER Staff

J & S Hardware, a Pretty Prairie, Kan.-based hardware retailer and NAPA auto parts store, will close on Nov. 30, according to McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

The 8,000-square-foot store has been operating on the town’s Main Street for 108 years, according to Sue Farmer, who owned the business with her husband Jim. She pointed to the slow economy as the reason they are closing just four years after buying the business. According to the Pretty Prairie Community Association, several local businesses have closed in the last few years.

J & S Hardware, a Pretty Prairie, Kan.-based hardware retailer and NAPA auto parts store, will close on Nov. 30, according to McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

The 8,000-square-foot store has been operating on the town’s Main Street for 108 years, according to Sue Farmer, who owned the business with her husband Jim. She pointed to the slow economy as the reason they are closing just four years after buying the business. According to the Pretty Prairie Community Association, several local businesses have closed in the last few years.

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Existing home sales fall below 5 million

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Existing-home sales fell 3.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million units in October from a downwardly revised pace of 5.14 million in September. Sales are 1.6 percent below the 5.06 million-unit level in October 2007.

The sales figure, from the National Association of Realtors, includes single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

The national median existing-home price in October was $183,300, down 11.3% from a year ago when the median was $206,700. In September, the median existing-home price was $191,400. That 11.3 percent decline stands as the largest year-over-year drop on since 1968, and the lowest median sales price since March 2004.

“Many potential home buyers appear to have withdrawn from the market due to the stock market collapse and deteriorating economic conditions,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. 

Yun identified some areas with solid sales gains from a year ago, including many California and Florida markets, as well as Boston, Minneapolis, and Denver.

Total housing inventory at the end of October slipped 0.9 percent to 4.23 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 10.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from a 10.0-month supply in September.

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