Obituary: Manny Franquinha, Crest Hardware founder
Manny Franquinha, founder of Crest Hardware & Urban Garden Center in Brooklyn, has died at the age of 89.
He passed on Sunday, July 9, according to a post on the retailer's Facebook page. Crest Hardware also announced plans to close this Friday, July 14 to honor his legacy, as well as observe his funeral.
"We've lost a legend," wrote current owner, Joseph Franquinha, in a Facebook post. "My father, community pillar and founder of Crest Hardware & Urban Garden Center, Manny Franquinha has passed on at the age of 89. He was a gentleman and a true businessman throughout his entire career. Kind and civic minded through to his final days."
"Long live Manny, and may we carry the torch even half as far as he did and with as much enthusiasm for life, work and family," he added.
Crest Hardware was the recent subject of a profile in HBSDealer, which highlighted Manny's early influence on the store, as well as his tendency to unite the disparate elements in his community. In the 90s, the store became ground zero for a community art show that featured the work of local artists.
“My dad always joked that the only way you could tell the difference between hardware and art was the price tag,” said Joseph. “And this was his way of establishing a relationship with the new wave of residents. You had the contractor and electrician right beside the art history major appreciating art in Aisle 2, and Crest became common ground for that.”
Is True Value about to be bought out?
Are the rumors true? A Bloomberg report on Monday had the industry talking, raising the prospect of a sale for True Value Company.
According to sources who spoke to Bloomberg and asked not to be identified, the co-op is currently in talks with an investment bank and is, for lack of better terms, exploring its options. And it may be considering a sale that would value the company at $800 million.
The sources also said that private equity firms are likely to get involved, but that there's no final decision yet.
True Value responded to a request for comment this morning with the following statement:
"We were not contacted for comment by Bloomberg but what I can tell you is there is no company out there that is more focused on the independent hardware retailer," said VP communications Jean Niemi. "True Value remains committed to our long-term strategic plan, and as part of that, we are continuously assessing and evaluating many opportunities in an effort to create maximum value for all of our retailers."
Guardian Building Products makes a move
Guardian Building Products is moving its Waterville, Maine, distribution facility to a new branch location in the same town.
The new (and larger) location is located at 977 West River Road and will have a service radius of more than 200 miles. It will continue to serve customers west to Kingfield, Maine; east to Calais, Maine; south to Jaffery, New Hampshire; and north to Fort Kent, Maine.
The new location will officially open its doors on July 17. Its 50,000 sq. ft. will have nearly double the inside storage capacity, plus an added fence that offers nearly 2 acres of outdoor storage.
The company has also added a new racking system and all new furnishings and fixtures, in addition to an inside sales representative to maintain customer service quality throughout the moving process.
"The move will be great for our customers," said Branch Manager Bruce Arnold. "Upgrading our facility will only help our ability to serve them more efficiently. We are excited to be adding additional product lines to our warehouse, and increasing our capacity to serve. Plus, we are located at the brand new Trafton Road Interchange on I-95, which makes it very accessible."