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HD eyes big expansion in Mexico

BY Brae Canlen

Home Depot will invest $157 million (MXN $2 billion) to enlarge its presence in Mexico in 2013, according to a news report in Economista. Part of the funds will be used to buy land for new stores, which will total 100 by the end of 2012.

Home Depot Mexico chairman Ricardo Saldivar told Economista that the Atlanta-based retailer hopes to double its current number of units in the future, which sets its goal at 200 stores.

During its 11 years in Mexico, Home Depot has seen an average growth rate of 34%, according to the article.

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Former Lowe’s exec speaks out on gun control

BY Brae Canlen

The shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn., has prompted a call for stricter gun control laws, and Larry Stone, former president and chief operating officer at Lowe’s, weighed in on the debate in a Dec. 19 interview with the Wall Street Journal. 

“We have to get control of this,” said Stone, who sits on the board of Dick’s Sporting Goods. On Dec. 18, Dick’s suspended sales of semiautomatic rifles at its 480 stores. “I hope others follow suit,” Stone said.

The former Lowe’s executive, who retired in 2011 after a 42-year career with the home improvement retailer, joined the board of Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2007. He also serves on the board of General Parts International, a private company in the auto parts retail and distribution business, according to his bio on Dick’s website.

Stone entered the Home Channel Hall of Fame during the 2011 Golden Hammer Awards ceremony at the National Hardware Show. During his acceptance speech, he pointed to “five traits of leadership."

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CNRG acquires Habersham Hardware

BY Ken Clark

Natchez, Miss.-based Central Network Retail Group (CNRG) added to its growing list of acquisitions with Habersham Hardware and Home Center in Cornelia and Clarkesville, Ga. 

CNRG operates 39 home center and hardware stores in seven Southern states. At Habersham, Brentt Cody, the grandson of the retailer’s founder Paul Reeves, will serve as district manager for CNRG’s newly formed Georgia District. Both Habersham stores sell hardware, plumbing, appliances, tools, paint, lumberand building supplies. 

“We are excited about the addition of the Habersham Hardware and Home Center to our company,” said Jimmy Smith, chairman of CNRG. “Habersham will serve as a foundation for us to grow a new district in Georgia.” 

The transaction is expected to close Dec. 28, bringing Habersham into the CNRG fold with other brands, including Home Hardware Center, Morrison Terrebonne Lumber Center, NFL Home Center, Elliott’s Hardware and Town & Country Hardware. 

“We are excited about this step forward in our growth and look forward to more to come,” said Boyden Moore, president of CNRG.

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