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True Value emphasizes merchandise moves

BY Ken Clark

Mike Clark is already looking ahead to Christmas. 

During Chicago-based True Value’s 2012 Spring Market general session last month, Clark, the co-op’s senior VP and chief merchandising officer, told member retailers: "We know you’re looking ahead to fall and winter and thinking about what’s going to help you drive your sales."

LED lights are taking center stage in holiday lighting, he said, as the technology represents 35% of unit sales and 50% of dollar sales in the category. True Value also organized 4-, 8- and 12-ft. assortments for the Halloween season. Clark added that 56% of consumers say home improvement stores are their primary destination for holiday decor. 

During his presentation in Orlando, Fla., Clark also said it was no accident that member retailers saw improvements in core categories. "The key is to maintain properly planogramed and updated assortments."

Bulbs were up 9% in the fourth quarter, cleaning chemicals were up 7%, and water heaters and accessories increased 3%. 

Multiple assortment sizes are available in the co-op’s Master Mechanic portable power tool offering, which has been picked up by about 1,100 dealers. Stores with the new assortment are running up 5% in sales, he said.

Plumbing assortments are also getting attention, where the merchandise team has built 75 unique fittings planograms.

An expanded farm and ranch business was also on display in Orlando. The co-op has 1,000 farm and ranch SKUs from 90 top vendors, he said. And they are now available in all 12 of True Value’s distribution centers.

"We are committed to supporting farm and ranch retailers, no matter where they are located," said Clark, who pointed to the creation of a farm-and-ranch retailer council to provide guidance. "We are serious about this business."

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Founder’s granddaughter takes helm at Elliott’s

BY Ken Clark

Elliott’s Hardware has seen some changes over the last six decades. The coming weeks and months will bring several more. 

The Texas-based three-store hardware chain with locations in Plano, Dallas and Mesquite is under new ownership in the form of the Central Network Retail Group (CNRG). In addition to a shift from Do it Best to Orgill as a primary distributor, the move will bring Andrea Spencer — granddaughter of Elliot’s founder Jerre Elliott — to head the business.

"It’s about enhancing and expanding our brand," Spencer told Home Channel News. "Joining CNRG ensures a bright future for Elliott’s Hardware. Once our operations are fully integrated into CNRG, we’ll be looking for growth opportunities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area."

Elliott’s former president and CEO Kyle Walters is no longer with the company. More noticeable to the customer will be physical changes, including a major overhaul of the flagship Plano location, expected to be completed in mid-March.

"We’re expanding almost every department, and re-entering categories we’d dropped over the years. Grills, outdoor living, and ‘Hardware Plus’ — our custom hardware and plumbing showroom — are getting major facelifts," Spencer said. "Our team is excited about the changes."

Elliott’s was a national media story in 2009, when President George Bush responded to a store advertisement directed at him and visited the store after his term in the Oval Office ended.

CNRG currently operates 24 home center and hardware stores in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas. The group said it is creating a multi-format, multi-brand operating company through strategic partnerships and acquisitions. The brands include Home Hardware Center, Morrison Terrebonne Lumber Center, NFL Home Center and now Elliott’s.

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s.lelejaleaja says:
May-20-2012 09:24 am

This is a well written
This is a well written article on this subject. I have been looking at starting a new business and this is valuable information to help me in my decision. Thank you. Steve

E.Kamaka says:
Feb-29-2012 06:56 pm

I think Spencer will do a
I think Spencer will do a great job expanding the brand!

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Changes at the top at Canadian Tire

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Canadian Tire Corp. (CTR) has announced the appointment of Marco Marrone as its new chief operating officer of the company’s core retail business. Marrone will have oversight of all of CTR’s operations, including merchandising, marketing, supply chain, and store operations, including dealer relations.

Following several years as president and the head of operations at Canadian Tire Financial Services, Marrone joined CTC in 2009 as executive VP and CFO.  He is credited with major projects such as adopting International Financial Reporting Standards at CTC and the company’s recently launched loyalty trial and digital strategy.

Mike Arnett has been appointed executive VP, corporate development, after serving as president of Canadian Tire Retail. Arnett will develop new platforms for growth and assist with the oversight of global sourcing activities for the enterprise, as well as assist with the execution of Marrone’s strategic plan. His experience at CTR includes the successful acquisition of the former Forzani Group in 2011.

Dean McCann has been appointed as the company’s CFO and executive VP, finance, replacing Marco Marrone. McCann will be responsible for the financial and investor relations functions of the corporation and will guide the company’s efforts to achieve its stated financial aspirations of top line growth, total return to shareholders, return on invested capital, and return on receivables. 

In his most recent role as president of Canadian Tire Financial Services and Canadian Tire Bank, McCann led strong, profitable growth in the business unit through a period of significant global economic uncertainty. McCann held  successive financial roles with the company, including corporate  comptroller for CTC and chief financial officer of CTFS and Canadian Tire Bank. 

Mary Turner takes on the roles of chief operating officer of Canadian Tire  Financial Services and president of Canadian Tire  Bank, replacing Dean McCann. Turner will pursue growth opportunities and closely managing operational costs and credit risk. 

Financial services is playing an increasingly important role in providing services to CTC business units, including in-store financing programs and the recent launch of a "home services" business. 

A 20-year veteran of Canadian Tire and former chief operating officer of  Canadian Tire Bank, Turner has held positions of increasing responsibility in finance, customer service, credit risk management, and call center operations. 

Harry Taylor has been appointed chief operating officer at Mark’s, replacing Paul Wilson, who has decided to leave the company. Mark’s is a Canadian Tire retail chain that sells men’s, women’s, and work apparel.

Taylor joined Canadian Tire in 2010 to lead the Performance Management group for the family of CTC companies. Taylor previous experience includes working for Home Depot Canada, where he served as senior VP operations. He also served as VP customer strategy for PepsiCo Inc. as well as in senior positions with Frito Lay and McKinsey & Co.

"Canadian Tire posted excellent results in 2011 and we have entered 2012 on a very strong footing,” said Stephen Wetmore, president and CEO, Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC).  “I believe we have the right strategy and we are making the right investments, our priority must now be exceptional execution in concert with our Canadian Tire Dealers," said "It’s all about people. This announcement continues our plan to select our best leadership talent, and ask them to take on new challenges in order to keep us on offense in this competitive retail environment." 

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