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Stanley to cut 2,000 jobs

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Stanley Works, one of the industry’s leading makers of tools and other home-improvement products, has announced plans to cut 10 percent of its work force, or approximately 2,000 workers, to prepare for the possibility of “a prolonged and deeper downturn.” The New Britain, Conn., manufacturer will also shut down three manufacturing plants and eliminate “certain layers of management,” the company said in a prepared statement. No further details were given on the closed facilities or the management cuts.

These actions, which will be initiated in December, are the results of “rapidly deteriorating business conditions” in Stanley’s construction, DIY and industrial sectors during the first quarter, the company said. The recent strengthening of the U.S. dollar against major currencies has exerted downward pressure on fourth-quarter earnings. The depth of the decline has outpaced previous recessions, Stanley said.

“The company’s physical unit volume shipments have never declined by 7 percent or greater for two consecutive quarters,” the company noted.

The cost-saving initiatives announced on Dec. 11 are expected to produce a  pre-tax earnings benefit of approximately $115 million in 2009, according to Stanley’s announcement. Further overhead reduction measures not related to employment levels will result in an additional $55 million in pre-tax earnings next year, Stanley reported.

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Scotts Miracle-Gro names new senior vps

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Scotts Miracle-Gro has promoted Jeff Garascia, Ph.D., and Pete Supron to senior vp positions.

As senior vp-global research and development, Garascia will oversee the company’s research and development organization, with responsibilities for global portfolio management and global quality assurance. He joined the company in 2005 and has held positions with Smith & Hawken and Supply Chain Strategy integration. Previously, he was with Booz Allen Hamilton and General Motors.

Supron will direct purchasing for the entire Scotts Miracle-Gro organization as senior vp-global purchasing. He joined the company in 1998 and has served in planning and corporate development and finance. Previously, Supron was with Cooper Industries in strategic planning.

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Ace launches online greeting card tool

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ace Hardware has launched, “Ace Your Face,” a marketing campaign that allows consumers to create and send holiday greetings online — against an Ace backdrop.

Available on www.aceyourface.acehardware.com, this online tool allows individuals to upload photos and create customized holiday scenes. The eight settings feature group shots with matching snowman sweaters, winter sports adventures and Santa visits.  “Ace Your Face” can be shared via e-mail, social media sites and blog links. 

The marketing and advertising promotions for the campaign include direct e-mails to corporate employees and to members of Ace Rewards, Ace’s one-to-one customer loyalty program. Promotions can also be found on banner ads on social media sites like Facebook, as well as AOL and Yahoo!, and paid search initiatives.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said “Ace Your Face” site has attracted nearly 60,000 visitors, and more than 12,000 of them have created cards and sent them on to an average of two people each. During its first week, “Ace Your Face” ranked in the top spot in Google’s natural search results and has been seen in more than 120 countries around the world, the company said.

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