Lowe’s promotes Paul Ramsay to CIO
Lowe’s and Paul Ramsay have made it official. Having served his time as acting CIO since March, Ramsay is now officially enjoying the title of chief information officer, effective immediately.
"During his tenure at Lowe’s, and particularly during the months as acting CIO, Paul has demonstrated consistent, strong leadership that is making a difference with the IT team," said chairman, president and CEO Robert Niblock. "Because IT is an integral part of the strategy and capabilities of an omni-channel retailer, having the function report to Richard will continue to ensure we meet consumers’ future needs."
In his new official role, he will report to Orchard Supply president Richard Maltsbarger, who has also been named chief development officer with responsibility for IT, strategy, consumer insights and business development.
Ramsay will oversee the day-to-day business of the IT department, which encompasses store operations, Lowe’s distribution network, its e-commerce platforms and future business technology needs.
Ramsay has been with the company since 2011 and has more than 25 years of experience in IT. Previously, he served as SVP IT infrastructure and operations and SVP information technology.
Lowe’s sees pro momentum
Lowe’s says its pro business generates about 30% of its business, that’s up from previous estimates of about 25%.
Rick Damron, chief operating officer of Lowe’s, said the first quarter comp-store sales for the pro was about three times the comp number for the company.
The company’s first quarter comps were up 0.9%.
“I think we’re getting some credit for the continued progress of the initiative when you look at the pros,” Damron said. “They’re reacting very strongly to our structure that we implemented last year of in-store specialists to really manage and handle the customers when they come inside the stores.”
A new king in the mattress business
Houston-based Mattress Firm Holding Corp., retailer of mattresses and accessories in the United States, announced the completion of its acquisition of the mattress specialty retail assets and operations of Mattress Liquidators, Inc., which operates Mattress King retail stores in Colorado and BedMart retail stores in Arizona.
This acquisition will add approximately 75 specialty retail stores to the Mattress Firm company-operated store base in markets where the Company currently operates, primarily Denver, Colorado, Phoenix, Arizona and Tucson, Arizona, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $35 million, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. The purchase price was funded by cash reserves and revolver borrowings, as well as a $3.5 million seller note that is payable in quarterly installments over two years.
Mattress Firm expects to rebrand and transition Mattress King and BedMart stores into Mattress Firm stores and has begun the process of outfitting the newly acquired stores with Mattress Firm’s “Comfort by Color” merchandising approach, product offerings, point of sale systems and sales programs.
“Consistent with our core relative market share strategy, this acquisition adds stores in markets where Mattress Firm has company-operated stores,” said Steve Stagner, Mattress Firm president & chief executive officer. “Once rebranded, the added locations are expected to drive advertising efficiency and improved market-level profitability in those markets, which builds long-term value creation for our shareholders.”
Mattress Firm has more than 1,500 company-operated and franchised stores across 36 states, the largest geographic footprint in the United States among multi-brand mattress specialty retailers. Mattress Firm offers customers comfortable store environments, guarantees on price, comfort and service, and highly trained sales professionals.