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True Value kicks off regional growth conferences

BY HBSDEALER Staff

True Value has kicked off its 2008 Regional Member Growth Conferences, which provide an opportunity for True Value store owners to network with each other and allow members of the management team and regional staff to share information, ideas and successful business strategies.

The Chicago-based co-op held its first four one-day conferences in July — in Naperville, Ill.; Overland Park, Kan.; Austin, Texas; and Warwick, R.I. There will be three events in August, five in September and one in October. The total of 13 conferences is the most True Value has ever held.

Each conference offers an extended session with president and CEO Lyle Heidemann, as well as three breakout sessions on topics that help store owners grow their businesses. Each regional conference is specifically designed to address the issues and needs of that particular region.

Almost 100 member stores attended the Naperville, Ill., conference, the company said.

“We initiated these regional growth conferences to give True Value retailers an opportunity to exchange ideas and share concerns with fellow co-op members and True Value management,” Heidemann said. “The conferences are a great way to elicit the necessary member feedback that will ultimately have a direct impact on how we plan our strategies and initiatives.”

At the Baltimore conference on Aug. 5, for example, Deb Johnson, director of retail systems for True Value, will discuss inventory productivity and managing margins. She will also look at high-level economic trends and what it takes for store owners to keep retail fresh.

Other themes being addressed at the conferences include the following: Price Change Management; Financial Management; Human Resources Toolkit; Inventory Productivity; POS Market Basket; 2009 Marketing Planning and Preparing for a Productive Market.

The remaining conference cities and dates are Charlotte, N.C. (Aug. 7); Warrensville Heights, Ohio (Aug. 12); Minnetonka, Minn. (Sept. 9); Las Vegas (Sept. 11); Sacramento, Calif. (Sept. 16); Seattle (Sept. 18); Atlantic City, N.J. (Sept. 23); and Denver (Oct. 2).

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Boozer Lumber goes out of business

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Boozer Lumber, a two-unit dealer founded in 1946, closed its doors last week after six decades in the lumber business. The Columbia, S.C.-base dealer, which operated a home center and lumberyard, along with a showroom and component manufacturing facility, served South Carolina and parts of North Carolina and Georgia. The business generated $46 million in revenues in 2006, according to the Home Channel News Top 350 Pro Dealer list.

The decision to shut down Boozer Lumber was made last month when owner Dale Boozer, whose father founded the company, could not find a buyer, according to an article in The State, a local newspaper. The pro dealer spent approximately $4 million on expansions and upgrades in 2005 and 2006, according to the newspaper.

The business continued to ship its final orders but has been selling off inventory, equipment and property over the past few weeks. Approximately 160 people lost their jobs as a result of the closure, which became official on July 25.

Atelephone recording at Boozer’s headquarters now says that the company is “regrettably no longer open for business.”

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HD Supply reopens Ft. Myers location

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Specialty tools distributor HD Supply White Cap has reopened a newly renovated warehouse facility in Ft. Myers, Fla.

The 38,000-square-foot location features a merchandise showroom and an open warehouse format, catering to White Cap’s base of large- and medium-sized professional contractors.

“The open warehouse format has enhanced our ability to offer a broader array of products to professional contractors in southwest Florida,” said HD Supply White Cap Florida area director Mikel Valett, in a statement.

Among the assortment of around 2,000 items are numerous specialty tools and accessories, as well as tilt-up hardware and brace rentals, power tools, stormwater pollution prevention products, welding supplies, lightweight construction equipment and job site and personal safety equipment.

The specialty distributor plans a grand reopening event on July 31, which will include facility tours and new product displays.

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