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Home centers rank high in gift card survey

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s ranked seventh and Home Depot tied for 10th in the recent Gift Card Performance Index released by the Global Prepaid Exchange.

Seventy-five retailers were evaluated in the study based on 2,300 American adults for gift cards received in the past holiday season.

The top 10 on the survey are:

1. Bath & Body Works 2. Red Lobster 3. iTunes 4. Amazon 5. Nordstrom 6. TGI Fridays 7. Lowe’s 8. Walgreens 9. Olive Garden 10. (tie) Home Depot 10. (tie) Outback Steak House

“If a gift card giver really thinks about the kind of store that a recipient likes, they will certainly make the experience more rewarding,” said Professor Dan Horne of Providence College in Rhode Island, who led the study. “Gift cards tend to be effective gifts because they show thought about the type of stores that recipients like, while still promoting a sense of autonomy and choice.”

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Stock makes bid for National Home Center

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Stock Building Supply has made a bid to purchase National Home Center, the Springdale, Ark.-based pro dealer that filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Dec. 8, 2009. Under the agreement made with National, Stock will act as a “stalking horse” bidder for the purchase of substantially all of the assets of National Home Center.

The deal must still gain the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Arkansas. In a press release, Stock said it intends to complete the transaction through a wholly-owned subsidiary no later than April 5.

Stock recently hired Matthew Spain, a former M&A director with investment bank UBS, as its new director of business development. Spain has been charged with the task of looking for strategic acquisitions to round out Stock’s footprint, which now covers 19 markets in the United States. The Raleigh, N.C.-based company is an affiliate of The Gores Group, a private equity firm headquartered in Los Angeles.

With $145 million in sales in 2008, National Home Center ranked in 41st place on the Home Channel News Top 350 Pro Dealer Scoreboard. Sales in 2007 were $190 million, according to HCN data.

Founded in 1972, the 10-unit chain serves builders and homeowners in Arkansas, northeast Oklahoma, southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri. All of its locations, including two flooring superstores, are within the state of Arkansas.

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Lowe’s announces two promotions

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s has announced the appointment of Ronnie Damron to the position of SVP store planning and environment. Damron has served since 2006 as VP new store set-up and remerchandising. He joined Lowe’s in 1979 in the Pikeville, Ky., store and has served as store manager, district manager and regional VP.

Damron replaces longtime merchandising and store planning executive R. Vaughn Hayes, who will retire on March 5 after nearly 39 years with the company.

Lowe’s has also promoted Cedric Coco to the position of SVP learning and organizational development. Coco has served in that role as VP since joining the company in 2008 from Microsoft. He is responsible for enterprise-wide leadership development, talent acquisition, talent management and learning strategies, as well as the company’s diversity efforts.

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