Fire at Madison, Wis., hardware store
A fire caused $500,000 worth of damage to Hilldale Ace Hardware store in Madison, Wis., according to a City of Madison press release.
The Oct. 17 blaze was first discovered at about 10 p.m. when an alarm for the store on North Midvale Boulevard alerted the fire department.
According to the city: Firefighters “walked through the building and gained access to the warehouse area through a doorway and started to extinguish the flames. The large warehouse garage door was forced open by another fire crew from the outside, in order to help ventilate and assist in extinguishment. Firefighters found a forklift in the warehouse area and sprayed water on the gas tank in order to keep it cool. Black smoke and flames were seen after crews cut a ventilation hole in the roof of the building, but was quickly extinguished. No injuries were reported. Damage is estimated around $500,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”
Cutting costs, Masco posts sales decline in third quarter
Masco Corp. reported that net sales from continuing operations for the quarter ended Sept. 30 declined 6% to $2 billion. North American sales and International sales each decreased 6%.
The Taylor, Mich.-based company posted a third-quarter net loss of $5 million, compared with earnings of $28 million in the year-ago quarter.
During the company’s earnings presentation, CEO Tim Wadhams explained the third quarter was a tough one, particularly for sales related to residential construction and remodeling, specifically bigger-ticket items.
Masco anticipates 2010 housing starts to finish in the range of 575,00 to 625,000. Last year’s total of 554,000 was the lowest recorded since the government began keeping track in 1959.
The company expects repair and remodeling activity to be “a little bit stronger than new-home construction,” Wadhams added.
“Consumer confidence, unemployment and uncertainty, whether it’s the political climate, foreclosures, home prices, continue to impact our markets,” Wadhams said.
Masco is looking to take $500 million of fixed costs out of its businesses, during the period extending back to the beginning of the downturn.
‘We will continue to focus on what we can control to improve our execution and strengthen our brands. That includes driving the Masco Business System across our enterprise, continuing to emphasize innovation and continuing to aggressively manage our fixed costs.”
In a prepared statement, Wadhams said: “The slowing economic activity related to our markets, particularly consumer spending and new home construction in North America that we experienced late in the second quarter, continued into the third quarter of 2010. Four of our five product segments had sales declines compared with the third quarter of 2009. Our plumbing products segment was up modestly in sales, principally due to continued strong international results, as Hansgrohe continues to expand globally. Given the decline in sales, we were pleased with our performance from a profitability standpoint, as cost reductions partially offset the impact of volume declines and a less favorable relationship between selling prices and commodity costs compared with third quarter 2009.”
Also this week, Masco division Arrow Fastener introduced its new T50 R.E.D. professional manual staple gun and 1-in. brand nail gun.
Ace opens first store in Jordan
Present for the Oct. 17 ribbon cutting at the Mecca Mall was Secretary General of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Eng. Maha Ali.
Commenting on Ace-Jordan’s launch into the Jordanian market, Shukri Salfiti, CEO of Ace-Jordan, said: “We are enthusiastic about expanding our operations in the Jordanian market and dedicating our long-established retail expertise to meeting Jordanian citizens’ needs by providing the highest quality of products possible. Our work teams, which comprise over 50 employees, strive to deliver a unique shopping experience in order to build a long-term relationship based on trust and customer satisfaction.”