Larry Stone enters Home Channel Hall of Fame
With a stirring introduction from his longtime Lowe’s colleague Greg Bridgeford, Larry Stone entered the Home Channel Hall of Fame during the National Hardware Show Wednesday.
The Hall of Fame induction of Stone, a 43-year Lowe’s veteran, was one of the highlights of the 27th annual Golden Hammer Awards, a Home Channel News event.
In his introductory remarks, Lowe’s executive VP Greg Bridgeford explained how Stone always led by example, trying to be the best he could at any position he was assigned. He called him “the soul of Lowe’s” who rose from the mailroom to the presidency of the company.
Stone had about 20 jobs during his career at Lowe’s.
"Whatever job Larry took you always saw two predominant behaviors, first an obsession to understand the challenge of the position and what he needed to learn to succeed," Bridgeford said. "The second is an incredible drive to be the best at whatever challenge he took on."
Stone listed the five traits he considered essential to leadership:
• Authenticity. “Never try to be someone you’re not. Let people see the true you every day."
• Treat people the way you want to be treated. “Know what’s important to your people.”
• Passion. “As a leader, you cast a big shadow. Be passionate about your company.”
• Be a team player. “Give your support and leadership to your team.”
• Integrity. “Your integrity will last long after you’re gone.”
“I didn’t start in the mailroom and think, ‘Well, someday I could be president.’ But I did set goals,” said Stone, who also described his career as an adventure. "I hope I had a positive impact on the industry, because the industry and Lowe’s have had a tremendous impact on me," he said.
Some 150 retailers and other industry leaders attended the breakfast event held in conjunction with the National Hardware Show.
In kicking off the induction ceremony, John Shields of MSA Safety Works, the event sponsor, described Stone as an extremely worthy inductee. "For his amazing rise through the ranks, and for his tremendous success at Lowe’s, and for the impact he has had on the people he’s worked with, and the industry as a whole, Larry Stone deserves a place in the Home Channel Hall of Fame," Shields said.
Sears considers moving out of Illinois
Sears Holdings Corp. is researching a possible move of its headquarters and 6,200 jobs out of Illinois, a company spokesman said Monday.
The retailer has had preliminary discussions with the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, where it is located, and has commissioned an economic impact study, according to spokesman Chris Brathwaite.
Among the states the chain is researching are: Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Georgia and New Jersey, according to reports Sunday in the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald of suburban Chicago.
State and local incentives that Sears receives will expire in 2012, Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod said. The town and company have been talking for about a year, he said, and Hoffman Estates hopes to extend the tax breaks for another 15 years and keep the largest local employer in town.
"It’s very important for everyone to understand that we have made no decisions at this point," Brathwaite said in a statement. "We do owe it to our associates and shareholders to consider options and alternatives and intend to be very thoughtful and thorough in our deliberations."
Sears, Roebuck & Co. moved to Hoffman Estates in the mid-1990s from its former headquarters in downtown Chicago. That company merged with Kmart to form Sears Holding in 2004.
RONA posts Q1 net loss
Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA posted a first-quarter net loss of C$16.8 million, down C$19.8 million from the same period last year.
First-quarter revenues totaled C$918.2 million, down 4.0% from the year-ago period. Same-store sales were down 12.6%. The company cited a 6.2% decrease in Retail and Commercial segment revenues, offset by a 1.7% increase in Distribution segment revenues as the reason for the decrease.
“Very unfavorable weather conditions, fragile consumer confidence, and a lack of tax-credit-driven market stimulation, items outside of our control, were all factors that significantly impacted our first-quarter results,” said Robert Dutton, president and CEO of RONA.
However, the company’s strong performance in its commercial and professional division and recruitment of new dealers and expansion projects completed by its affiliated dealers partially mitigated the negative effects of these elements. Other mitigating factors include the RONAdvantages program and its private-brand and controlled-brand products.