Change of directors at Sears Canada
Just days after Sears Holdings announced plans to partially spin off its Canadian division, Sears Canada appointed a new board member and said goodbye to another.
Sears Canada appointed Don Ross to its board of directors, effective immediately. Ross is a partner at a prominent law firm in Toronto and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada; the New York State Bar Association; and the Canadian, American and International Bar Associations.
Gone from the board is Deidra Merriwether, senior VP and president – retail services for Sears Holdings.
"The board of directors of Sears Canada is pleased to have attracted Mr. Ross to our Board," said William C. Crowley, chairman of the board, Sears Canada Inc. "Mr. Ross brings extensive experience in both domestic and cross-border commercial matters, as well as in corporate governance, and the board welcomes such an esteemed lawyer, educator and author."
Sears Holding said its partial spinoff will reduce the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings’ stake in Sears Canada from 95% to about 51%. Sears said it believes that the spinoff will permit each of Sears Canada and Holdings to focus on their respective businesses and allocate resources to best optimize returns on assets employed.
Air King offers Energy Star solution
West Chester, Pa.-based Air King added humidity-sensing exhaust fans to its line of ventilation fans. The products provide an automated Energy Star-qualified solution for residential ventilation.
Once installed, the exhaust fan turns on automatically when the humidity level in the room reaches the preset percentage, then will automatically shut off when the humidity level falls below the preset percentage.
“The humidity sensing fans make a lot of sense for homeowners and especially rental property owners,” said Jeff Kenkelen, president of Air King. “With standard fans, you are relying on the user to turn the fan on or off. Too many times the fan is not turned on, and proper ventilation does not happen. This can lead to problems such as mold or mildew, and poor indoor air quality in the home.”
The new humidity sensing exhaust fans are available in single and dual-speed models, with a maximum speed of 80 or 130 CFM. The low sound level and energy-efficient operation of the humidity-sensing exhaust fans make them geared for ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation requirements, as well as being compliant with CALGreen of the Title 24 California Building Code for use in bathrooms.
Obit: Soloman Lowi, big box pioneer
Soloman Lowi, one of the pioneers of the home improvement warehouse format, died on May 1. He was one day short of 90 years old.
Lowi founded Builders Discount in 1954 in Chatsworth, Calif., and over the next few years experimented with the format until 1970, when he opened a 180,000-sq.-ft. retail warehouse. Ultimately he owned three Los Angeles County locations that were one of the first large-format home centers to cater to urban customers with a low-price, no-frills approach. Among contractors, Builders Discount was known as a cash-and-carry operation. All sales were final.
Lowi sold his company in 1986 to Levi Kushnir, Israel’s largest home improvement retailer. Heavy competition from Home Depot and the now defunct HomeBase in Los Angeles County pushed Builders Discount into bankruptcy in 1992. The store in North Hollywood is now a Lowe’s.
Pat Farrah, Home Depot’s head merchant when the company was founded, met Lowi when the Atlanta chain started opening units in California. “He was a scrappy merchant that provided great bargains for the remodeler and handymen,” Farrah told HCN. “I remember his toughness and commitment to the customer. He was an inspiration to us all.”
Lowi spent his later years enjoying his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, according to his son Irwin Lowi. People wishing to share remembrances can email them to [email protected].