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Epicor signs three-year deal with Ace

BY Ken Clark

Epicor Software Corp. signed a three-year deal with Ace Hardware Corp. that promotes Epicor as Ace’s only recommended point-of-sale solution provider. 

Epicor’s extended deal brings Epicor Eagle business management software to Ace’s retailer owners.

"We look forward to continuing our relationship with Epicor the next three years to enhance Ace store operations by further simplifying processes in the store, and tightening integration between the Epicor store system and Ace business systems," said Mike Elmore, CIO for Ace Hardware Corp.

According to the Dublin, Calif.-based technology company, the Epicor product provides extensive functionality, flexibility and integration capabilities. Managers can easily multi-task with the back-office applications, which are accessible from a POS system.

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Profits plunge at Scotts Miracle-Gro

BY Brae Canlen

Scotts Miracle-Gro, the industry’s largest supplier of lawn and garden products, reported sales of $1.06 billion for its third fiscal quarter, showing little change from sales of $1.05 billion in the same quarter of 2011.

Adjusted income from continuing operations was $99.4 million in the third quarter,  a 21.5% drop from adjusted income of $126.7 million for the same period a year ago.

The Marysville, Ohio-based company said consumer purchases of its products at its largest retail partners in the United States declined 5% in the third quarter.

"After a strong start to the season, consumer engagement clearly began to decline in May and June," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO. "We’re pleased to see strong year-over-year improvement in consumer purchases of mulch and controls, but our fertilizer and growing media categories are flat so far this year and have not delivered the results we expected.”

Hagedorn added that the company will “move as quickly as we reasonably can to restore the level of profitability that our business reported just two years ago.” Part of that strategy, he said, was planned price increases, along with several other initiatives to improve the gross margin rate and reduce expenses.

"While we will continue to evaluate acquisition opportunities, our near-term focus will be on restoring our current business to an appropriate level of profitability, not on integrating something new," Hagedorn said.

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Pfister fixtures simplify bathroom projects

BY Ken Clark

Lake Forest, Calif.-based Pfister is rolling out a product designed to make bathroom fixture upgrades easier for the homeowner.

Pfister has launched the first Universal Tub and Shower product in the faucet category, a tub and shower fixture that is compatible with eight different water valves from three of the leading manufacturers in the plumbing industry — Pfister, Moen and Delta.

“Until now, replacing an outdated tub and shower fixture meant homeowners needed a big budget and professional help for a total renovation, or they were limited to finding a replacement that fit the old valve behind the wall. Unfortunately the second option usually meant limited style choices and basic functionality,” said Trent Harrington, senior brand manager, Pfister. “By introducing Universal Tub and Shower, we are giving consumers multiple style and finish options, which coordinate with any décor and that fit several of the leading manufactures valves.” 

Pfister’s Universal Tub and Shower comes in traditional and transitional architectural styles and provides three different finish options, including Chrome, Brushed Nickel and Tuscan Bronze.

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