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Orgill and Do it Best make exec moves

Two announcements within minutes of each other bring promotions and shifts at the top of two major industry players.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Orgill, Inc. announced Monday that members of its veteran executive team will have new responsibilities beginning January 2019.  A few minutes later came the announcement from Do it Best with details about the promotion of one of its senior leaders and the transition of another manager into an executive leadership role.

At Orgill, a highlight is the elevation of Boyden Moore, who currently serves as Orgill’s general manager of retail, as well as president of the company’s subsidiary, Tyndale Advisors, to the position of Orgill president. Ron Beal, Orgill’s long-time chairman, president and CEO, will drop the president title, but will remain the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Read about the Orgill executive moves here.

At Do it Best Corp., VP of Merchandising Steve Markley will serve as the company’s new executive VP of operations, while William “Dent” Johnson, previously a divisional merchandise manager, will advance into the role of VP of merchandising.

Read more on the Do it Best announcement here.

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Drexel inspires “Rock Star” thinking

The 2018 HBSDealer ProDealer of the Year accepts an award for 'Team Blue.'

BY Andy Carlo

Chicago – While accepting the 2018 Pro Dealer of the Year Award at the Pro Dealer Industry Summit, Drexel Building Supply President Joel Fleischman delivered a passionate message about the future of the industry — “Dream bigger.” The idea referred especially to attracting the next generation of leaders, and also about confronting head-on  the labor shortage impacting much of the lumber and building material industry.

Surrounded by about a dozen “unsung heroes” of Drexel Building Supply — employees from a variety of departments who were  each selected to attend the Chicago summit by their co-workers back in Wisconsin, Fleischman urged LBM executives in the audience to consider new ideas, new people, new methods of serving customers and helping employees.

The ProDealer of the Year recognizes a lumberyard company that shows high performance combined with the willingness to adapt and embrace the best practices and best values of the LBM industry. The selection is the combined responsibility of HBSDealer and the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association.

In his acceptance speech in Chicago, Fleischman challenged the industry to step up its game when it comes to finding new talent.  “The next rock stars are your barista on Saturday night, the guy who serves you your coffee,” Fleischman said.

One of the hot topics at this year’s Pro Dealer Industry Summit was employee recruiting and retention. And one of the conflicts the industry is facing is the ability to pay a competing wage to potential employees who might choose another industry over a career in the LBM world.

“Pay them more!,” Fleischman told the audience. “I challenge you guys to pay tomorrow’s rock stars like they ought to be paid.”

Drexel Building Supply is based in Campbellsport, Wis., and operates seven locations in the state. The company’s slogan is “Supplied. Happiness,” and Drexel Building Supply is among a new generation of pro dealers who maintain a strong focus on company culture. Quality service, materials, and expertise start from the inside, according to the company’s philosophy.

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Sears files for Chapter 11; Lampert resigns as CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Sears Holding Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday morning, hours before a $134 million debt payment came due.

As part of the bankruptcy, the 125-year-old company, which was once the nation’s largest retailer, will close 142 stores near the end of the year, with liquidation sales to begin soon. (This is in addition to the previously announced closure of 46 unprofitable stores by November 2018.) Sears, which has shuttered thousands of locations during the past several years, currently operates a total of about 700 Sears and Kmart stores.

Also, Eddie Lampert, Sears’ chairman, CEO and its biggest shareholder, is stepping down as CEO, effective immediately. He remains chairman. The company has appointed restructuring expert Mohsin Meghji, managing partner of M-III Partners, as its chief restructuring officer.

Lampert, who purchased Sears, Roebuck & Co. and brought it together with Kmart in an $11 billion deal in 2005, is Sears’ biggest creditor through his hedge fund ESL Investments. He has been helping to keep the company afloat for years, primarily with billions of dollars of short-term loans. And he still is. Sears said ESL is negotiating a $300 million debtor-in-possession loan to support it through bankruptcy. (Sears has also secured commitments for $300 million in senior priming debtor-in-possession financing from its senior secured asset-based revolving lenders.)

In addition, ESL is also exploring a stalking-horse bid to buy “a large portion” of the company’s stores in the bankruptcy process.

“Over the last several years, we have worked hard to transform our business and unlock the value of our assets,” said Lampert. “While we have made progress, the plan has yet to deliver the results we have desired, and addressing the company’s immediate liquidity needs has impacted our efforts to become a profitable and more competitive retailer. The Chapter 11 process will give Holdings the flexibility to strengthen its balance sheet, enabling the company to accelerate its strategic transformation, continue right sizing its operating model, and return to profitability.”

Sears said it has created an “office of the CEO,” which will be responsible for managing the company’s day-to-day operations during the bankruptcy restructuring process. It will be composed of Robert A. Riecker, CFO; Leena Munjal, chief digital officer, customer experience and integrated retail; and Gregory Ladley, president of apparel and footwear.

Sears said it intends to continue payment of employee wages and benefits, honor member programs, and pay vendors and suppliers in the ordinary course for all goods and services provided on or after the filing date. Sears and Kmart stores, and its online and mobile platforms, are open and continue to offer a full range of products and services to customers.

“As we look toward the holiday season, Sears and Kmart stores remain open for business and our dedicated associates look forward to serving our members and customers,” Lampert stated. “We thank our vendors for their continuing support through the upcoming season and beyond.”

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