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CNRG to open NFL Home Center in Mississippi

BY Brae Canlen

Central Network Retail Group, a chain of 36 home improvement centers, has opened a new NFL Home Center store in Gautier, Miss., on the site of the former Coast Building Supply.

The store has a 10,000-sq.-ft. sales floor with an assortment of hardware, paint, electrical, plumbing, tools, lawn and garden, and home organization items. Additionally, the store has a full-service lumber and building materials yard.

CNRG acquired the NFL Building Center in Daphne, Ala., on Jan. 1, 2012, and reopened the NFL Home Center store in Gulf Shores, Ala. on March 1, 2012. The Gautier store is 57 miles west of the Daphne store.

“The new store in Gautier is part of our plan to expand the NFL brand along the Gulf Coast,” said Jimmy Smith, chairman of CNRG. “We were presented with a good opportunity to reopen a store that had recently closed. It fit within our strategic plans for NFL perfectly.”

Boyden Moore, president of CNRG, added, “We are working on growth plans for each of the brands we currently operate as well as assessing opportunities to acquire other brands in new markets. We are excited about this step forward in our growth and look forward to more to come.” 

CNRG currently operates home center and hardware stores in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and North Carolina under the Home Hardware Center, Morrison Terrebonne Lumber Center, NFL Home Center, Elliott’s Hardware and Town & Country Hardware brands. CNRG was formed on May 1, 2011, by Jimmy Smith, president of Home Hardware, and Boyden Moore, president of Tyndale Advisors. The company said it is building a multi-format, multi-brand operating company through strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

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Lowe’s looks to technology as advantage

BY Ken Clark

At its annual meeting Friday, Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock said that uncertainty remains in the marketplace, but the Mooresville, N.C.-based company is increasingly leveraging technology to build stronger relationships with customers. 

"The consumer continues to change at an unprecedented rate, and these initiatives will ultimately create a customer experience that is both omni-channel and relevant throughout every stage of the home improvement process," Niblock said. "That’s the future we’re striving every day to realize."

Niblock said the company’s organizational changes and strategic investments, including last year’s $900 million technology upgrade, are helping Lowe’s create a differentiated experience that is simple and seamless across all selling channels.

The Lowe’s board of directors declared a 14.3% increase in its quarterly cash dividend to 16 cents per share, payable August 8, 2012, to shareholders of record as of July 25, 2012. Lowe’s has declared a cash dividend each quarter since going public in 1961.

During the meeting, shareholders re-elected board members Raul Alvarez, David W. Bernauer, Leonard L. Berry, Peter C. Browning, Richard W. Dreiling, Dawn E. Hudson, Robert L. Johnson, Marshall O. Larsen, Richard K. Lochridge, Robert A. Niblock and Eric C. Wiseman to one-year terms.

Shareholders ratified Deloitte & Touche as the company’s independent public accountant.

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Fifty winning retailers, state by state

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The second annual list of Home Channel News Hardware Store All-Stars winds through Missouri, Montana and Nebraska with stores that feature special items, unusual brands and unique departments. 

Missouri
Overland Hardware
Overland, Mo.
Small enough to know its customers by name, yet big enough to handle the needs of industrial accounts is Overland’s mantra. Special orders are its specialty. Seven times a year, it publishes an eight-page circular featuring more than 90 items at the ‘Right Price.’ Overland focuses on having what the customer needs and teaching them how to use it, no matter how long it takes.

Montana
Power Townsend Do it Best
Helena, Mont.
This Helena, Mont., retailer knows how to compete against Home Depot and Lowe’s — both have locations across the street. They offer kitchen, bath and flooring (with free design services), and their appliance section features brands you won’t find in the big boxes, such as Speed Queen and Crosley.

Nebraska
Glenn’s True Value
Lincoln, Neb.
When owner Steve Glenn turned several thousand sq. ft. of his Glenn’s True Value hardware store into a dollar store, he did not know how successful it would be. “We slapped up a sign, and the next day we had 100 people show up and we weren’t even ready.” Traffic has remained strong. Glenn said the businesses are complementary. “The dollar store is a destination, whereas the hardware store is a convenience business,” he said.

For the complete list of 50 winning retailers, state-by-state, register or log in to Homechannelnews.com

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