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Guardian Building Products acquired by investment firm

BY HBSDealer Staff

Guardian Building Products, Inc., has been acquired by Pacific Avenue Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment firm based in Los Angeles.

According to Guardian, Pacific has a “deep expertise in the building products sector and an emphasis on driving growth.”

In a letter sent to customers, Guardian COO Jim Becker said, “The value in the GBP business is created through the support and partnership of customers like you, and I am pleased to say that Pacific Avenue recognizes this value. We are confident that the change in ownership better positions GBP to support your business more effectively with existing and new products, product expertise, training and on-time deliveries without constraints.”

Becker also told customers, “it is important to highlight that you will experience no difference with GBP’s performance or service level. Although GBP will now be a standalone business, you will experience continuity in service and can expect to speak to the same salespeople, be provided all of the same products, and remain with the same account services team.”

Based in Greer, S.C., Guardian provides building products through 30 locations to more than 5,000 LBM customers. Guardian’s catalog includes products from leading building product manufacturers including American Gypsum, Armstrong, CertainTeed, Dow, Fiberon, National Gypsum, Tamko, and ThermaTru, among dozens more.

Prior to the acquisition, Guardian was a subsidiary of Guardian Industries, which was fully-acquired by Koch Industries in 2017.

 

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Eye on Retail: Amazon pioneers unusual delivery option — inside your car — with Amazon Key In-Car
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Eye on Retail: Amazon pioneers unusual delivery option — inside your car

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is upping the delivery wars yet again by betting that its Prime members will allow the online giant access to their cars.

Expanding on the functionality of Amazon Key, which enables keyless access for in-home deliveries, Amazon is launching a new service that gives customers the option to receive deliveries inside their vehicles. Called Amazon Key In-Car, the service enables Prime members with compatible vehicles to have packages delivered to the trunks and back seats of their cars when parked at home or a publicly accessed area.

To participate, customers must have a compatible 2015 or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicles with an active OnStar account. Customers with a 2015 or newer Volvo vehicle with an active Volvo On Call account are also eligible for the service.

The service, which is free for Prime members, is available in 37 cities across the country, with more cities and additional vehicle brands and models to be added over time. It has been beta tested in California and Washington State for the past six months, as reported by The Verge.

Here’s how it works: Customers download the Amazon Key app and link their Amazon account with their connected car service account. Once setup is complete and the delivery location has been registered, customers can shop on Amazon and select the “In-Car” delivery option at checkout. Delivery is available on “tens of millions” of items sold on Amazon, and members can choose from Prime’s same-day, two-day or standard shipping options, according to the company.

On delivery day, customers park outside of one of the delivery addresses registered in their Amazon address book. Couriers use a GPS to match the location and license plate number, as well as an image of the car, then drop the order right inside of the customer’s vehicle.

Amazon is also using multiple layers of verification to secure its in-car deliveries. Each time a delivery driver requests access to a customer’s vehicle, an encrypted authentication process verifies that an authorized driver is at the right location with the right package. Once this process is successfully completed, the car is then unlocked.

The Amazon Key app also shares notifications with users throughout the four-hour delivery time window, including when the delivery is on its way, and when the package has been delivered. The app’s activity feed also reveals when the car was unlocked and relocked in, and enables users to rate their in-car delivery.

“In-car delivery gives customers that same peace of mind and allows them to take the Amazon experience with them,” said Peter Larsen, VP of delivery technology for Amazon. “And, with no additional hardware or devices required, customers can start ordering in-car delivery today.”

The service expands on Amazon’s Key program, a lock-and-camera service that enables Prime members to receive packages directly inside of their homes.

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Private equity firm buying SRS Distribution

BY HBSDealer Staff

Leonard Green and Partners LP, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, has signed an agreement to purchase SRS Distribution, according to a report by Reuters.

In an estimated $3 billion deal that has yet to be officially announced, Leonard Green and Partners is buying SRS from its owner, Boston-based Berkshire Partners. The deal would also include the assumption of debt with Berkshire maintaining an interest in the company.

Based in McKinney, Texas, SRS operates 216 roofing and building products distribution outlets in 41 states.

The company had sales of more than $2.3 billion in 2017 and has been on an acquisition and expansion spree in recent months with new locations in California, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas.

Reports say the deal will close by June of this year.

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