DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

CEO resigns at HDW

Kenny Beauvais leaves Texas-based Hardware Distribution Warehouses Inc.

BY Ken Clark

Marshall, Texas-based HDW Inc. President and CEO Kenny Beauvais is leaving the company.

The move was confirmed by the company and comes more than a year after it combined the operations of its distribution centers in Shreveport, La., and Houston, Texas into a single facility in Marshall, Texas, where it set up its headquarters.

HDW took on the Houston facility when it acquired the distributor formerly known as Handy Hardware in 2016.

HDW also operates a distribution center in Greenwood, Mississippi.

In a press release from September, Beauvais pointed to strong sales at the company’s Fall Market, which benefited from 60 new dealer attendees.

Kenny Beauvais

According to Jimmy Horne, VP of corporate communications, a decision on who will become the new CEO has not been made yet. HDW, which stands for Hardware Distribution Warehouses, plans to provide more information shortly.

HDW is a product of multiple mergers in the hardware distribution industry. It was formed in 1994 with the combination of three companies: South States, Inc. of Shreveport, La.; Henderson & Baird Company, Greenwood, Miss.; and Higginbotham-Pearlstone Hardware Company, Dallas, Texas. That combined entity took on the name of “South States,” and later changed to HDW.

The company’s web site says the distributor today serves more than 2,000 lumberyards hardware stores and other retailers in 11 southern states.

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Huttig pleased with Q3 growth

Building products distributor sees double-digit revenue gains.

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pointing to growth that outpaced the LBM market, St. Louis-based Huttig Building Products reported third quarter sales of $220.0 million, up 11.2% over the prior year.

Net income declined slightly to $1.2 million, compared to $1.4 million in the third quarter of 2017.

Residential construction activity was cited as one reason for sales gains. Another factor, according to the company, was the execution of its strategic growth initiatives.

“Our sales performance in the quarter clearly demonstrates that our growth and diversification strategy is working,” said Jon Vrabely, Huttig’s president and CEO.  “While our total growth in the quarter far outpaced that of the market, of which a considerable amount was derived from outside our traditional customer segments, we need to continue to improve our margin and operating leverage to achieve our working capital targets. As such, we are taking measures to right-size our inventory and expense structure to be more aligned with our current and future projected growth.”

The company’s growth initiatives included an emphasis on building products, which saw the biggest percent gains in Q3. Huttig’s sales by category were reported like this:

  • Building products sales increased 17.3% in the third quarter of 2018 to $96.9 million, compared to $82.6 million in the third quarter of 2017;
  • Millwork product sales increased 7.4% in the third quarter of 2018 to $104.8 million, compared to $97.6 million in the third quarter of 2017; and
  • Wood product sales increased 4.6% in the third quarter of 2018 to $20.3 million, compared to $19.4 million in the third quarter of 2017.

For the nine-month period, net sales were $643.4 million, which was $69.4 million, or 12.1%, higher than 2017.  Here again, the company cited an increase in residential construction activity as compared to 2017 levels and organic growth derived from the execution of strategic growth initiatives.

Operating expenses increased $2.9 million to $41.1 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared to $38.2 million in the third quarter of 2017.  Personnel costs increased approximately $1.5 million, primarily as a result of wage increases, increased variable compensation, higher healthcare costs, and hiring additional sales and warehouse personnel related to the execution of our strategic growth initiatives.

Non-personnel costs increased approximately $1.4 million, primarily as a result of higher fuel prices, increased contract hauling costs, and higher facilities costs.

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Promotions at Do it Best Corp.

Executive moves include the promotion of Steve Markley to executive VP of operations.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best Corp. promoted one of its senior leaders while also transitioning another manager into an executive leadership role. Vice President 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.

The moves are effective immediately.

Markley has built on more than 30 years of industry experience, beginning his career in what was the company’s original distribution center in Fort Wayne. He came back to the company in the mid-80s, and then moved on to work in the vendor community and also served as a manufacturer’s representative. In 1998 he returned to develop the company’s global sourcing capabilities and vendor export programs. He assumed additional responsibilities as the divisional merchandise manager for electrical, hardware, industrial/commercial, global sourcing and export before advancing to the role of VP of merchandising in 2007.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Steve’s caliber and extensive abilities ready to lead our teams forward as we drive growth for our member-owners through our supply chain excellence,” said Do it Best CEO Dan Starr.

“I’m both humbled and excited to have the opportunity to work with our very talented and strong teams in IT, LBM, logistics, marketing, merchandising, and sales,” said Markley. “Our combined members-first mentality continues to deliver outstanding results and we look forward to driving additional value to Do it Best members across the country and around the world.”

With Markley’s promotion, Johnson moves into the open role of vice president where he will now oversee hardware products purchasing, global sourcing, inventory control, category management, content management, Alliance partner activities, and pricing teams. He joined Do it Best in March 2018 where he worked with numerous product category teams on strategic program development, vendor negotiations, promotional opportunities and supply chain enhancements. He previously served for more than 20 years in senior roles with Michelin Tire Corporation, both in the United States and abroad. Most recently, he was the site manager for Michelin’s BFGoodrich factory, overseeing all facets of operations for the 1,700-employee tire manufacturing facility.

“Already in my time at Do it Best I’ve been very impressed by the intense commitment our team has to serve our member-owners,” said Johnson. “I’m honored to carry on the great work already underway as we further our initiatives to ensure that Do it Best is the first and best choice for independent home improvement businesses.”

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