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Sears names a new Hardlines president

BY HBSDealer Staff

Sears Holdings has appointed Lynn Pendergrass to the newly created position of hardlines president.

In her new role, Pendergrass will be responsible for member relationships across the Kenmore, Craftsman & DieHard business unit as well as its hardlines partners — including Home Appliances, Lawn & Garden, Tools, and Sears Auto Centers.

Pendergrass was most recently working for Johnson & Johnson, where she directed an approximately $14 billion business segment with 23,000 employees in 80 countries as worldwide chairman, consumer.

She has also worked for Hewlett-Packard and General Electric, where she led the consumer businesses for over 20 years.

"Lynn is a proven executive with deep expertise driving cross-functional alignment, growing market share and delivering on key objectives," said chairman and CEO Edward Lampert. "Her range and depth of consumer and product experiences, coupled with her track record of achieving results through diverse teams makes her a strong fit for Sears Holdings as we pursue our member-focused transformation."

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Ron Beal on the box

BY HBSDealer Staff

When Orgill brings its Fall Market to New Orleans Aug. 27-29, most dealers will need to adjust to the music, the food and the French. Amid the market excitement, there will be at least one familiar tradition: Ron Beal will be shaking hands and talking shop on the market floor. Orgill’s president and CEO (and 2014 Home Channel Hall of Fame inductee), Beal, spoke with HBSDealer about the changes, challenges and future of hardware retailing.

HBSDealer: Which of the three is the biggest threat to the independent home improvement retailer: Amazon.com, Home Depot or Walmart?

Beal: All of the above, these and others. There are plenty of successful retail companies out there that compete with independents, and that’s always been true. Thirty years ago, this list would have been different, but we still would have had a list. And probably 10 years form now, I have no doubt the list will be different still.

HBSDealer: How confident are you in the future of the independent dealer?

Beal: I’m very confident. And the good news is this: A well-run independent hardware store can not only survive, but grow and prosper. And there are thousands of successful entrepreneurial home improvement retailers out there, and they have found ways to creatively and effectively service their local markets.

HBSDealer: We’ll see some new ideas in New Orleans at your model stores. Where do the ideas come from?

Beal: They literally come from all over. We get a lot of them from customers, we get some from suppliers, and we do a great deal of market research — walking stores is a big part of that. We also have a 250,000-sq.-ft. retail concept center that is located not far from our home office that we use to develop these ideas into a final format. And we use it all the time, because it’s very effective in helping us go from the idea stage to the finished product in developing a lot of these formats.

HBSDealer: And what about the challenges simply moving merchandise from point A to B, with fuel prices, labor shortage regulations and other challenges?

Beal: Well, it’s never been easy. It certainly isn’t getting any less challenging.

Another thing is the condition of our highway infrastructure. Over capacity as well as poor maintenance create delays every day, and unfortunately this is the norm in many parts of our country. There is a real need for us as a country to address these issues. And any of us involved in transportation and distribution has a real concern about it.

HBSDealer: We see you in urban areas, rural areas and internationally. What’s your next frontier?

Beal: All of the above. We view ourselves as being in the business of supporting the home improvement industry, and all of these are very viable segments of the industry. We’re committed to responding to the needs of our customers, however, whenever and wherever the home improvement industry and retailing in general evolve.

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AWC releases deck guide in Spanish

BY HBSDealer Staff

The American Wood Council (AWC) has released a Spanish translation of the Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide: DCA 6 – 2012 IRC Version.

“We’ve always encouraged anyone in the United States contemplating a deck design to refer to this document because it’s so important to safety,” said John “Buddy” Showalter, AWC VP technology transfer. “There is a large market for information on good deck design in other countries as well, so we’re expanding its availability to Central and South America and the Caribbean basin."

He added that offering the DCA 6 in Spanish here in the U.S. will make it even more widely accessible, as many in U.S. design and construction speak English as a second language.”

DCA 6 was specifically developed to promote good, code-compliant deck design and construction for safe outdoor structures.

Click here for the free download.

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