Ferguson opens new Tennessee showroom
Ferguson, one of the leading plumbing and HVAC distributors in North America, has announced the opening of a new branch in Jackson, Tenn. The 4,500-square-foot showroom will sell plumbing fixtures, lighting and appliances.
Ferguson’s parent company, U.K.-based Wolseley, recently announced that it reduced Ferguson’s headcount by 1,110 workers and closed 50 branches during the past quarter, which ended on Oct. 31, 2008. These actions were taken in preparation for expected declines in commercial and industrial construction in the early 2009, the company said.
Long-time E.C. Barton employee retires
Harold Bouland, vp-retail purchasing and wholesale operations of E.C. Barton & Company, has retired from the company after 43 years.
E.C. Barton, a hardware store chain with 11 locations in Arkansas and nine in Missouri, is a member of the Do it Best co-op. Joe Corah, division manager of commodities for Do it Best, and Tom Nolen, a retail development specialist with the company, were on hand at Bouland’s retirement celebration to present him with plaques commemorating his long-term support of E.C. Barton’s relationship with the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op.
Bouland began working at E.C. Barton after graduating from Arkansas State College (now Arkansas State University) in 1965. With a degree in accounting, Bouland initially managed the company’s books and handled sales. He was soon promoted to assistant manager, a position he held for 11 years, before being named a district manager, a position he held for 20 years. Bouland later served as vp-special projects. He will remain on the company’s board of directors.
“Harold Bouland has served E.C. Barton & Company with uncompromising honor and loyalty,” said Niel Crowson, president and CEO of the company. “We are grateful for his 43 years of service and the many contributions he has made to our success.”
Cutbacks at Harbor Freight
The discount tool retailer has reduced staff in several divisions, including real estate, according to press reports.
Harbor Freight, the Camarillo, Calif.-based tool retailer, has trimmed its workforce in reaction to current economic conditions, according to the Ventura County Star. The privately held company has eliminated approximately 20 positions over the past three months due to “performance, a mismatch of skills, and … changed processes or implementation of automated tools,” the newspaper reported.
Two employees in the real estate division, which locates new store sites, were laid off because of a lack of business, according to the article.