PRO Group expands membership
Sterling, Mass.-based hardware products distributor Rafferty Wholesale joined the PRO Group organization. The announcement follows on the heels of PRO Group’s formation of an alliance with distributor Val-Test.
Rafferty Wholesale serves hardware stores, retail lumber yards, mason yards and hardscape yards throughout New England, New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. The company operates a distribution center in Sterling, and deals in a wide range of products – including tools, fasteners, plumbing, adhesives and lawn and garden.
“Rafferty Wholesale adds immediate volume to dozens of PRO Hardware Key Supplier programs and brings a fresh perspective to PRO Group as a new member,” said Shari Kalbach, VP at Denver-based PRO Group.
At last count, PRO Group included 75 distributor members in its network. In early March, PRO Group announced a partnership with Val-Test, and its 45 member distributors.
Rafferty Wholesale President Sean Lorden said, “We are pleased to join the PRO Group organization and look forward to networking with member distributors and suppliers at future PRO events.”
ABC Supply partners with Lee Greenwood
One of ABC Supply’s seven “core values” — along with beliefs in family, giving back to the community and respect for co-workers and customers — is “American Pride.”
ABC Supply has now entered into a multiyear agreement with Lee Greenwood and will sponsor the country singer’s tour bus as it traverses the nation. ABC said Greenwood and his signature song “God Bless the U.S.A.” are a strong fit for company values.
Greenwood was invited to sing the song at the 2017 ABC Supply National Managers Meeting.
“It became apparent that he and ABC Supply embraced the same principles of liberty, community and pride in being an American,” the company said in a statement regarding the partnership.
Today the song “continues to guide the more than 13,000 associates within the company” and is played at the end of every company gathering, ABC Supply said.
“As I stated in my song, ‘God Bless the U.S.A.’ — ‘There ain’t no doubt I love this land,’” Greenwood said. “My love of the land came from being raised on a farm in California and singing for USO shows while I was still in high school. I felt that same sense of pride from everyone I met who works within the framework of ABC.”
Greenwood added that after meeting ABC executives, including company co-founder Diane Hendricks, “it was obvious that the love of America was not manufactured. So as I travel across this country in my bus, truckers, fans and people I meet will become aware that Lee Greenwood and ABC Supply share the common belief that America is still the greatest country on Earth.”
“Lee represents the same Core Values that are at the heart of our company, and we are excited to welcome him into the ABC family,” said Rozolis, ABC Supply’s president and CEO.
Based in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply is one of the nation’s largest distributors of roofing along with exterior and interior building products. The company operates more than 700 locations nationwide.
Hardware distributors form alliance
PRO Group and Val-Test Group formed an alliance designed to leverage both groups’ strengths to deliver superior value to member wholesale distributors and suppliers and the retailers they serve.
The move comes after Val-Test ended its membership in the Distribution America assoiation of distributors, a separation that took effect Feb. 28.
In the press release announcing the PRO Group-Val-Test partnership, the companies said channel consolidation over much of the past 30 years made the alliance practical to both groups. They also pointed to common areas of distribution: hardware, marine, farm, lawn & garden, pet, flooring and paint sundries industries. The alliance is already in effect, the companies said.
PRO Group’s 75 member distributors and Val-Test’s 45 member distributors represent combined annual wholesale sales to retailers of more than $6 billion.
According to the distributors, the groups will work collaboratively to streamline promotional and advertising efforts, combining printing efficiencies and digital media efficiencies to reach a larger consumer audience for the benefit of everyone in the PRO Group and Val-Test network. Additionally, plans call for merchandising collaboration and trade show consolidations.
Both groups plan to maintain independent operations while working together in areas that make economic and practical sense for the groups’ customer bases.