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DA-Pro Group event heads to Marco Island

BY HBSDealer Staff

Home improvement industry manufacturers and vendors will have the opportunity to meet with Distribution America (DA) officials and Pro Group leaders during the 2014 Executive Planning Conference (EPC) Nov. 13-15 at the Marco Island Marriott Resort & Spa in Florida. 

Steve Synnott, CEO of Denver-based Pro Group Inc., said: "word is catching on about this year’s event, as all vendor categories are showing growth – a sign that vendors have heard about success stories from companies increasing their business with the help of past EPCs."

"There are quite a number of vendors that have derived great returns by supporting the EPC, including names like Coleman Cable and Jack Links Beef Jerky" he said. 

The conference comes at a time where a sluggish start to 2013 is evaporating. "Vendors and retailers are seeing solid late-year sales boosts," according to Dave Christmas, president of Charlotte, NC-based Distribution America.

"Weather issues earlier in the year slowed things down a bit, but the past four or five months have been strong across the country," Christmas said. "We expect continued improvement and our Conference in November will allow us to discuss growth opportunities with all of our major vendors. Additionally, the conference is a great venue to meet with new vendors and to see new concepts."

The event is the result of a continued partnership between DA and Pro Group. The companies hosted separate annual events in the past, but since combining resources, have reduced travel days, expenses and increased efficiency for vendors, according to both companies.

 

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Orchard Supply launches mobile app for Founder’s Day

BY HBSDealer Staff

After months of bankruptcy and acquisition dealings, Orchard Supply Hardware is back in the news with the announcement of a new mobile app in honor of the company’s annual Founder’s Day event, which kicked off on Sept. 8.

“As we honor the Company’s heritage, our new mobile app is a great example of the future of our business and how we are continuing to bolster the high-quality service and advice our customers have always found at Orchard,” said Richard Maltsbarger, president of Orchard.

Celebrating 82 years in business, the app will help customers shop and take advantage of special savings during the event, as well as get "how to" advice for home and garden projects. Weekly ads will promote home improvement ideas and special product offers, and social features will allow users to check in at stores, earn and redeem Club Orchard points, unlock special promotions and share via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

“Since this business was founded, Orchard’s values have been based on neighbors helping neighbors," Maltsbarger continued. "Our motto for the fall season is ‘simple solutions’ and we are excited to celebrate more than 80 years in business and the continuing loyalty of our customers by offering a tool that makes it easier to shop and complete their home improvement projects. We look forward to continuing to strengthen and grow our business and to being a vibrant member of our local communities for many more years.”

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CNRG rolls out BlueTarp Financial

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Central Network Retail Group (CNRG), operators of 43 home centers, lumberyards and hardware stores, signed a deal with BlueTarp Financial, a provider of in-house trade credit programs for the building supply industry.

Under the deal, Protland, Maine-based BlueTarp will manage all aspects of the CNRG credit program — credit extension, customer service, billing and collections.

According to BlueTarp, the service provides each CNRG location improved cash flow, protection from credit risk, and an enhanced credit program experience for their contractors. 

CNRG, headquartered in Memphis, operates 43 lumberyards, hardware stores, and home centers throughout the southeast under brands like Morrison Terrebonne Lumber Center (Louisiana), Habersham Hardware (Georgia), Elliott’s Hardware (Texas) and Town & Country Hardware (North Carolina). 

The origin of the relationship began with Alabama’s NFL Building Supply, where BlueTarp managed NFL’s credit program since 2008. CNRG acquired NFL in 2011.

“Our growth plans are aggressive and we believe that BlueTarp can keep pace and help us realize this future growth,” said Boyden Moore, president of CNRG. 

The announcement of the partnership with CNRG comes on the heels of BlueTarp’s $15 million equity increase to support their own rapid growth rate. “BlueTarp is proud to add CNRG to our growing network of dealers,” said Scott Simpson, BlueTarp’s CEO. “Boyden is an innovative retail leader thinking ahead of the curve on how our industry is evolving. 

 

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