PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Oak Brook, III.-based Ace Hardware tapped John Sommers Jr. as its new VP of merchandising, effective July 10. Sommers is a 23-year veteran of The Home Depot and has held various roles in merchandising, store environment and new-store development. He replaces Frank Carroll, who left Ace to take the CEO spot at Broan-NuTone in May. Most recently, he was VP of merchandising for The Home Depot and was directly responsible for the flooring division.
McCoy’s Building Supply promoted a “homegrown” manager to the role of corporate controller: Joshua Whitley, a 17-year McCoy’s veteran, began as an accounts payable clerk while attending Texas State University.
The Window and Door Manufacturers Association presented two industry veterans with the James C. Krahn Lifetime Achievement Award at the Technical and Manufacturing Conference. Steve Johnson, retired codes and regulatory manager for Andersen Corp., and Jeff Lowinski, WDMA VP of technical activities, were honored with the award. Mills Fleet Farm has ended its hunt for a CEO. The Midwest retailer announced the appointment of Derick Prelle as president and CEO, succeeding Wayne Sales, who has been serving as interim chief since January. Sales was given the position following the departure of Duncan Mac Naughton, who left to become president and COO of Family Dollar. Prelle joins Mills Fleet Farm from KKR Capstone, which acquired the formerly family-owned Mills Fleet in January 2016. He has worked closely with Mills Fleet in his role working with KKR’s portfolio companies.
YouthUp: True Value’s program for the kids
True Value Foundation introduced YouthUp, a matching gift program designed to help kids succeed.
Under the program, when a True Value member donates to various youth-focused not-for-profit organizations in the retailer’s community, True Value will match the donations, up to $1,000.
YouthUp was unveiled here at the 2017 True Value Spring Reunion.
To be eligible for matching funds, not-for-profits must be 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charities with missions such as leadership development, entrepreneurship and business, job and school readiness, community service, social skills, nutrition, arts and culture.
The co-op has set aside $100,000 for the program, and requests for matching funds will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
In rolling out the program, the foundation pointed to some of its youth charity success stories:
- Co-op associates in Chicago have clocked more than 2,500 hours since 2015 as mentors, volunteers and fundraisers for the True Value Boys & Girls Club.
- Some 1,200 retailers are engaged in some way of giving back to Boys & Girls Clubs.
- Since 2009, retailers have donated some 25,000 gallons of paint for schools and clubs through Painting a Brighter Future.
- True Value suppliers have donated more than $4 million in products to Habitat for Humanity since 2010.
A home improvement scorecard
J.D. Power has released its customer satisfaction rankings once more, and it has a short list of home improvement winners.
The category as a whole has seen movement in customer satisfaction. According to the J.D. Power 2017 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study, overall customer satisfaction increased to 816, up from 795 in 2016 (on a 1,000-point scale).
“Even in a large market like home improvement, it’s the attention to detail that can affect customer satisfaction,” said Greg Truex, senior director of the at-home practice at J.D. Power. “Home improvement retailers understand that customers with higher levels of satisfaction are more likely to repurchase and more likely to recommend to their friends and family.”
And for the 11th consecutive year, Ace Hardware took home first place, with an 835. Menards came in close second at 824, and Lowe’s was in third at 817.
The rankings were determined by a number of factors, most notably: number of times received sale/promotional flyers/brochures (received more than once in past 12 months); quality of merchandise (above expected); and length of time waited for greeting (waited less than 5 minutes).
The February–March 2017 is based on responses from 2,751 customers who purchased home improvement-related products from a home improvement retailer within the previous 12 months.