HARDWARE STORES

An $86,000 shoplifting spree

BY HBSDealer Staff

An alleged shoplifting scheme that began in 2012 and racked up $86,000 in stolen Home Depot merchandise has led to the arrest of a suspect.

According to a report in the Arizona Republic, Antoine Elkik of Gilbert, Ariz., was arrested after trying to return stolen items to a Chandler store. According to the report, the suspect used a variation of the double-dip return method of shoplifting – a method that takes advantage of a retailer’s return policies.

Allegedly, the suspect would legitimately purchase an item and leave the store. He would quickly return for the same item and brazenly walk out with it – carrying the receipt from the legitimate purchase to confuse store employees.

In a case involving 402 purchases since 2012, the suspect is alleged to have returned the stolen items for refunds.

Elkik was arrested by Chandler, Ariz., police on March 27. It’s not clear if the retail scheme expanded beyond Home Depot. The description of the suspect’s activity comes from the police department’s probably cause statement to the court.

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Westlake Ace names new CEO

BY HBSDealer Staff

Westlake Ace Hardware announced today that Joe Jeffries has been named president and CEO. Jeffries succeeds Tom Knox, who retired as CEO on March 30.

Knox joined Westlake in 2014, shortly after Ace Hardware Corporation acquired the company in 2013. Prior to joining Westlake, Knox held several leadership roles during his 22-year career with Ace Hardware, and made significant contributions to the company as a primary architect of 20/20 Vision, Ace’s long-term growth strategy.

“Tom is a high caliber executive who brought tremendous value to Ace over the course of his career, and I want to thank him for his servant hearted leadership and unwavering integrity,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO of Ace Hardware Corporation. “While Tom will certainly be missed, we are excited about the future of Westlake Ace, and confident in the leadership of Joe Jeffries as he assumes the role of CEO.”

Jeffries was previously president and chief operating officer of Westlake. Prior to joining Westlake in 2014, he was CEO of A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, an arts, crafts and floral merchandise retailer. He has also held management positions with Office Depot and Home Quarters Warehouse.

Joe Jeffries

“It’s an honor to be selected as the new CEO for Westlake Ace,” said Joe Jeffries, president and CEO of Westlake Ace Hardware. “It has been a pleasure working with Tom over the past four years, and I look forward to leading the company as we work together to grow the business and strive to meet the needs of our customers.”

Jeffries becomes CEO during what the company describes as a key growth period in Westlake’s 113-year history. Westlake pointed to the following recent developments::

• On March 26, Westlake finalized its purchase of The Dennis Company, a five-store retail hardware chain in coastal southwest Washington.
• In February, the company formally acquired Seaboard Ace Hardware in Raleigh, N.C.
• In January, the company finalized its acquisition of the seven-store Buikema’s Ace Hardware in the Chicagoland area.

Combined, all three acquisitions have expanded Westlake’s national footprint to 121 stores in 10 states.

Andrew Schmitt has assumed the role of vice president and chief operating officer. Schmitt joined Westlake in 2017 as vice president of operations. Prior to that, he was a director of Retail Operations – Western Division for Ace Hardware. Before joining Ace in 2010, he held finance and procurement positions with Factory Card and Party Outlet and Allstate Insurance Company.

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Sears gets loyalty members ‘moving’ with a new perk

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Sears’ new Shop Your Way partner is earning loyalty members more points when they move.

Sears is partnering with truck-sharing platform Truxx. As Shop Your Way members utilize the platform for their large-item moving needs, they will receive Cashback Shop Your Way points that can be used on “millions of items” from Shop Your Way partners, such as Sears, Kmart, Lands’ End and at ShopYourWay.com, according to Sears.

Here’s how the program works: Users download the free Truxx app from the App Store or Google Play Store. Once they have the app, users can enter a request for a pick-up truck or van.

Standard Truxx service is $39 for the first half hour, and then $25 each additional half hour if the user loads and unloads items themselves. The fee jumps to $35 per additional half hour if the driver needs to help members load and unload. The app provides users with driver location, in-app messaging and driver background checks.

Customers are eligible for $40 in Cashback points for their first paid move, and $10 in Cashback points for all subsequent paid moves. All points are valid for 90 days.

“Transporting a dresser, couch or rug locally is now easier and more rewarding with Shop Your Way’s new partnership with Truxx,” said Robert Naedele, chief commercial officer, Shop Your Way. “Shop Your Way continues to establish partnerships with innovative services as we help our members get more done, with everyday value and money-saving benefits.”

Sears is also extending benefits to Truxx’s drivers. All Truxx drivers who visit Sears Auto Centers can receive 40% off the cost of oil changes, including parts/labor (up to five quarts of oil). They can also receive 30% Cashback in points on all other paid Sears Auto Centers maintenance services. Truxx drivers must be a Shop Your Way member, and have completed at least one move to be eligible for the offers at Sears Auto Center, according to the retailer.

Other partners on Sears’ Shop Your Way program include Uber, fuboTV and Meredith Corp. (formerly Time Inc./Synapse).

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