Sunbelt Rentals closes 50 locations at Lowe’s
Sunbelt Rentals, the Fort Mills, S.C., equipment and tool rental company, has closed 50 of its “underperforming” facilities at Lowe’s stores, according to an article in Rental Equipment Register. The company has agreed to extend the leases on 40 remaining locations until October 2012.
Sunbelt Rentals became partners with Lowe’s when it acquired rival company NationsRent in September 2006 in a deal valued at more than $1 billion. At the time, NationsRent operated 100 rental centers at Lowe’s stores nationwide.
Lowe’s began testing NationsRent centers in six stores in May 2000. By February 2002, that number was extended to 42 locations in eight states.
Lumber dealer runs for state office
Jeff Brandes, director of real estate holdings for Tibbetts Lumber, is running as a Republican against a Democrat incumbent in a swing district that was Republican six years ago, according to the FBMA newsletter. Brandes, the grandson of company founder Linton Tibbetts, hopes to become the next state representative for House District 52 in St. Petersburg.
Brandes served as an officer in the Army and was deployed to Iraq. Before launching his campaign, Brandes oversaw land issues for Tibbetts Holdings domestically and in the Cayman Islands, where the company also has a location.
Home Depot execs hit the aisles
Home Depot is sending its executives into the stores on a regular basis to experience life in the field and figure out ways to improve operations, according to an article in the Atlantic Journal Constitution .
Approximately 170 employees from the company’s Atlanta headquarters were divided into teams of 10 and deployed to different stores this past summer, working one day a week in various departments. The 13-week program, called “Summer in the Stores,” will be followed by “Fall in the Field” and “Winter in the Warehouse” as other executives take their turn.
Cara Kinzey, senior VP information technology, told the newspaper that her stint in the paint department will save the retailer approximately $20 million a year in “oops” paint (wrong colors). Two changes — scanning base paint barcodes before mixing the paint and putting scanners next to every computer — will dramatically cut down on mistakes, Kinzey said.