News

Ply Gem to shutter plants

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ply Gem Industries, a manufacturer of exterior building materials, has announced its intention to close two window and door manufacturing plants. They are located in Hammonton, N.J. and Phoenix. Approximately 306 employees will be affected.

In a prepared statement, Gary Robinette, Ply Gem’s president and CEO, attributed the decision to market conditions. The Hammonton and Phoenix locations were chosen because of their proximity to other Ply Gem facilities, according to the company.

On Nov. 10, Ply Gem reported third quarter net sales of $342.8 million, a 7.3 percent decrease from the previous year. Net loss before unusual items for the third quarter was $4.1 million, compared to net income of $11.6 million for the third quarter of 2007. Net loss for the past quarter including goodwill impairment, net of taxes was $190.8 million.

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Long-time E.C. Barton employee retires

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Harold Bouland, vp-retail purchasing and wholesale operations of E.C. Barton & Company, has retired from the company after 43 years.

E.C. Barton, a hardware store chain with 11 locations in Arkansas and nine in Missouri, is a member of the Do it Best co-op. Joe Corah, division manager of commodities for Do it Best, and Tom Nolen, a retail development specialist with the company, were on hand at Bouland’s retirement celebration to present him with plaques commemorating his long-term support of E.C. Barton’s relationship with the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op.

Bouland began working at E.C. Barton after graduating from Arkansas State College (now Arkansas State University) in 1965. With a degree in accounting, Bouland initially managed the company’s books and handled sales. He was soon promoted to assistant manager, a position he held for 11 years, before being named a district manager, a position he held for 20 years. Bouland later served as vp-special projects. He will remain on the company’s board of directors.

“Harold Bouland has served E.C. Barton & Company with uncompromising honor and loyalty,” said Niel Crowson, president and CEO of the company. “We are grateful for his 43 years of service and the many contributions he has made to our success.”

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Cutbacks at Harbor Freight

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The discount tool retailer has reduced staff in several divisions, including real estate, according to press reports.

Harbor Freight, the Camarillo, Calif.-based tool retailer, has trimmed its workforce in reaction to current economic conditions, according to the Ventura County Star. The privately held company has eliminated approximately 20 positions over the past three months due to “performance, a mismatch of skills, and … changed processes or implementation of automated tools,” the newspaper reported.

Two employees in the real estate division, which locates new store sites,  were laid off because of a lack of business, according to the article.

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