New-home sales sputter in February
Sales of new single-family homes in February fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The February stat is the lowest since the government began keeping track in 1963.
New-home sales for the month are 16.9% below the revised January rate of 301,000 and 28.0% below the estimate from February 2010.
Also, the report estimated the median sales price of new homes sold in February was $202,100, the lowest since December 2003.
Do it Best names three new merchants
Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best Corp. announced the appointment of new merchandise managers to replace three retiring managers, effective April 1, 2011.
The co-op appointed Gary Loosle for lawn and garden – green goods, Josh Meyer for paint and sundries, and Chris Steinlicht for rental and store supplies.
In their new positions, Loosle, Meyer and Steinlicht will lead the hardware and lumber buying cooperative’s efforts to improve member profitability in their respective areas through Do it Best Corp. retail service centers (RSCs) and drop-ship programs. Responsibilities include vendor selection, negotiations, new product introductions and planogram development.
Loosle replaces Randy Kipfer who is retiring after a 35-year career with Do it Best Corp. Loosle joined the co-op in 2005 as a merchandise manager in the electrical department. He most recently was merchandise manger in the fastener, pet, farm and ranch department.
Prior to joining Do it Best Corp., Loosle worked in the hardware industry on a corporate level and in his family’s hardware stores in Utah. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Weber State University and a master’s in logistics management from Michigan State University.
Meyer succeeds Dick Wise, who is retiring after 33 years with the hardware and lumber co-op. Meyer began his career with Do it Best Corp. in 2002. He has been an associate merchandise manager in both the paint and plumbing departments.
Meyer worked in the banking industry and as a professional painter before joining Do it Best Corp. He graduated from Anderson University with a bachelor’s degree in finance.
Steinlicht fills the position of the retiring John Augsburger, who worked for Do it Best Corp. for 31 years. He came to the co-op in 2008 as associate merchandise manager for hand tools. Steinlicht was in management for a national electronics chain and the banking industry prior to joining Do it Best Corp. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Indiana Tech.
“We thank Dick, John and Randy for their nearly 100 years of combined service to our members and for their contributions to the company,” said Steve Markley, VP merchandising for Do it Best Corp. “I know Gary, Josh and Chris are excited about their new roles as they work to continue to strengthen our vendor programs and offerings. Their experience, skills and industry knowledge will serve our members well."
Hillman Group acquires TagWorks
The Hillman Group has announced the acquisition of TagWorks, a pet ID tag program, for $40 million in cash plus an additional consideration of $12.5 million on Oct. 31, 2011. TagWorks is responsible for paying $18.5 million in outstanding debt and transaction fees from the proceeds. The deal closed on March 16.
Founded in 2007 by George Hagen, TagWorks provides its patent-pending program to Petsmart. In conjunction with the agreement, The Hillman Group is entering into a 17-year agreement with KeyWorks-KeyExpress LLC, a company affiliated with TagWorks, to assign its retail key program technology to The Hillman Group.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, The Hillman Group, an affiliate of the Hillman Companies, distributes more than 60,000 SKUs of fasteners, key duplication systems, engraved tags and related hardware to over 20,000 retail customers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America and Australia.