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At Renin, a new VP sales and marketing

BY Ken Clark

David Murray has been named VP sales and marketing for Brampton, Ontario-based Renin Corp. Renin manufactures closet doors, room divider partitions and mirrored wall decor under the Erias Home Designs brand.

Murray has more than two decades of experience with manufacturers of home and commercial building products including well-known brands Masonite and Premdor doors, DRIcore and Barricade subflooring tiles and Ecoglo photoluminescent lighting.

"Dave’s extensive sales and marketing background in the home products sector and strong marketing and e-commerce expertise are welcome additions to our team,” said Kevin Campbell, CEO of Renin. 

Renin Corp.’s product catalog includes mirror, specialty glass and raised-panel sliding, bifold and pocket closet doors, overlay wall-mount doors, room divider partitions, framed and frameless mirror wall décor, and custom-fabricated glass and mirrors sold under the Erias Home Designs, Kingstar and Truporte brands, as well as bifold and sliding door hardware systems sold under the Acme, DSH and Ramtrack brand names.

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True Value gets focused on the farm

BY HBSDEALER Staff

When Mike Clark, True Value’s  senior VP and chief merchandising officer, talks about growth areas, he points to canning, he points to pet food. He points to strength in these warm times, of anything that moves cool air through a house, or moves water around the yard.

But Clark seems most excited about initiatives in farm and ranch. 

Research showed that about 500 to 600 True Value members were involved in one or more of the farm and ranch categories. These categories represented about a third of their businesses, on average. But the members were buying their product somewhere else.

“We have 12 DCs,” Clark said. “These are loyal members. That’s why we believe we can develop warehouse programs to allow them to buy in smaller increments. We can competitively price this product.”

In June 2011, increased its SKU count by 200%. The co-op now has more than 10,000 SKUs available in the key areas of farm ranch, which includes specialty pet and automotive products. 

The plan includes regional education meetings with members and a farm and ranch retail council, to provide guidance and feedback on assortment and planograms.

The co-op’s story in farm ranch will be on full display at the Fall Market in Salt Lake City Sept. 21-23.  

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PPG slapped with $470,000 judgment in vendor rep case

BY Brae Canlen

A PPG Paint rep who claimed overtime for the hours he worked at several Lowe’s stores won $24,400 — double his back pay — in a Washington State court, according to a summary in the Washington Employment Law Letter. Counting the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees, PPG Industries was ordered to pay $470,000 in a case that could reverberate through the aisles of big-box stores across the nation. 

Andrew Fiore, a territory manager for PPG Industries, was responsible for promoting Olympic brand paints and stains in 11 Lowe’s stores (nine were in Washington and two were in Oregon). His responsibilities included stocking shelves, maintaining the displays and paint chip racks, and helping customers. Fiorce was required to visit two stores each day and spend four hours in each store. Each of his 11 stores had to be checked on at least three times a month. A lot of driving time was involved.

Responding to email, voicemail and writing reports put Fiorce way over a 40-hour work week, considered the maximum number of hours without overtime. 

After his discharge from PPG, Fiorce sued for unpaid overtime, which he calculated at $12,000, based on his hourly rate. PPG argued that Fiorce was an administrative employee and therefore exempt. 

The trial court disagreed. Fiorce had been misclassified as an “exempt” employee, it said. Mostly he performed manual labor and had no authority to mark down prices or change promotional materials without the store manager’s approval. Nor did he work with PPG’s financial or budgetary departments. Because the failure to pay overtime was found to be “willful,” the $12,000 was doubled to $24,000 as per state law. 

PPG made an unsuccessful attempt to transfer the case to federal court, upping the legal fees for both parties. It also appealed to the Washington Court of Appeals, where it lost. 

An attempt to reach PPG Industries for comment was unsuccessful.

In its analysis of the case, the Washington Employment Law Letter warned employers that “The administrative exemption is the most difficult of all the overtime exemptions to apply.” And when it comes to relatively modest wage and overtime claims, think about the attorneys’ fees before you rush off to court.  

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