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April 9, 2014

Hines Supply, a subsidiary of US LBM, has opened a full-service building supply center and design showroom in Grayslake, Ill., north of Chicago.

The location, at 939 South Route 83 in Grayslake, is celebrating its grand opening today. It will be managed by 30-year industry veteran Ed Graafsma.

March 28, 2014

Chanute, Kan.-based Cleaver Farm & Home was recognized by Chicago-based True Value Co. as one of 13 “Best Hardware Store in Town” honorees.

Accepting the award at a True Value hosted ceremony were Chris and Jason Cleaver. 

The retailer converted to the co-op’s Destination True Value format in spring 2013, and the owners see continued community support along with opportunities for growth. 

The farm-and-ranch segment has been an area of focus for the wholesaler, which describes the segment as its fastest growing. 

March 6, 2014

Versatex Trimboard hired Chad Domrase to join the regional market development team for Michigan and Chicago.

Domrase will report to regional sales manager Chris Hedlund. Active in the building products industry since 2006, Domrase acquired specialized experience with both 84 Lumber and Wimsatt Building Materials in Lansing, Mich.

Versatex Trimboard products are manufactured by Wolfpac Technologies of Pittsburgh. 


February 25, 2014

Chicago-based True Value Company reported gross billings of $457.3 million for the quarter ending Dec. 28, an increase of 1.3 % from $451.5 million for the prior year quarter.

Revenue was $340.7 million, an increase of 0.2%. The co-op posted quarterly earnings of $12.5 million, down 57% from $29.1 million for the same period a year ago. Last year’s earnings were inflated by a $16.5 million non-recurring gain. Excluding that gain, earnings were down 0.8%.

January 21, 2014

Sears is planning a Chicago-style liquidation this month, as it prepares to shutter its flagship store on North State Street in the heart of the Windy City's Loop. 

The Chicago Tribune quoted a Sears spokesman: "The store has lost millions of dollars since opening and we can no longer continue to support the store's operating losses." The store has operating in the location since 2001. 

Liquidation sales are expected to begin Jan. 26, with a closing in April.

December 5, 2013

IKEA said this week that it is submitting plans for a St. Louis, Mo., store.

The application marks the beginning of the governmental approval process, which is expected to lead to the opening sometime in fall 2015. The closest IKEA stores to the proposal are the Chicago-area stores in Bolingbrook, Ill., and Schaumburg, Ill. Additionally, a Kansas City-area store is under construction and on track to open fall 2014 in Merriam, Kan.

December 2, 2013

True Value Co.’s information technology team earned recognition from the Chicago chapters of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) and the Society for Information Management (SIM)

Chicago-based True Value took home the 2013 CIO’s Most Effective IT Team Award in the large company category.

The program consists of a nomination phase, a qualifying and detailed application process, and a peer panel of judges who score each team.

November 4, 2013

Chicago-based True Value Co., which took on a new CEO in May, announced the arrival of three new executives to the co-op's leadership team.

The restructuring brings Ken Goodgame, a former Ace executive, to True Value as senior VP and chief merchandising officer. He will replace Mike Clark, who announced his retirement. Also, Abhinav Shukla joins True Value as senior VP and COO; and Tim Mills becomes the company's new senior VP of growth.

November 1, 2013

Chicago-based True Value Co. reported gross billings of $455.1 million for the quarter ended Sept. 28, an increase of 1.4%  from $448.9 million for the same period a year ago. 

Revenue was $346.5 million, an increase of 2.0% or $6.9 million from $339.6 million a year ago. Comparable-store sales to core domestic hardware store outlets were up 2.8% at wholesale and 4.5% at retail for the quarter.

October 23, 2013

NAHB Remodelers, the remodeling arm of the National Association of Home Builders, has named Tim Swafford, CGR, CAPS, CGP, of Swafford Construction in Chattanooga, Tenn., the 2013 Remodeler of the Year. The announcement was made at the NAHB Remodelers’ gala on Oct. 17 during the Remodeling Show in Chicago. 

October 18, 2013

True Value Corp. CEO John Hartmann’s first mission was to meet as many dealers as fast as possible. In his first three-and-half-months on the job, he talked to some 450 retailers at 13 roundtable events around the country.

October 18, 2013

The mailing address for US LBM Holdings is Green Bay, Wis. But don’t be fooled. The CEO lives in Ohio. The HR chief in Boston. The COO in New Jersey. And the marketing director is in Chicago.

The system of a permanent, floating headquarters is by design. “I don’t want to be handcuffed to a building,” says CEO L.T. Gibson. “One of the ways to avoid a big corporate culture is to avoid a big corporate office.”

October 17, 2013

Chicago -- The difficult task of looking into the future from the vantage point of a Wall Street investor -- and sharing that view with home improvement researchers -- fell upon Joshua Rosenbaum, of UBS.

And the key to the future, he said, is jobs.

October 14, 2013

J. Walker Smith, executive chairman of The Futures Co., will present at the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) event Wednesday in Chicago.

Smith will deliver one of seven statistically charged presentations during the HIRI event Oct. 16 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel and Convention Center.

The conference’s theme is “Changing Home Improvement Attitudes & Behaviors.”

October 2, 2013

As part of a brand image makeover, Chicago-based USG Corp. introduced a new logo with the tagline: "It's Your World. Build It.”

October 1, 2013

As Chicago-based True Value seeks to encourage and support growth among members, the co-op’s six-and-half-year-old Destination True Value (DTV) remodeling program will continue to play a key role under new CEO John Hartmann.

But there may be some tweaks.

September 30, 2013

The upcoming Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI’s) Fall Conference will include a presentation on homeowners' views of home improvement.

George Leon, senior VP of National Analysts Worldwide, will present “Changing Attitudes toward the Home in the First 12 Years of the New Millennium.” The event takes place in Chicago Oct. 16. 

September 23, 2013

Chicago -- During his first general session speech to the assembled body of True Value dealers, CEO John Hartmann expressed a willingness to embrace change.

He started by announcing a symbolic change at the True Value headquarters, which will be known from now on as the "Retail Support Center." 

September 23, 2013

Chicago -- Here is a statistic that is raising optimism within the True Value pet department: 72% of pet owners consider their pet a member of their family. And what's more, 70% of dog owners think their dog understands how they are feeling better than most people do.

It's no secret that home owners love their pets, but the category is attractive to independent hardware stores for more retail-centric reasons, according to panelists on a True Value seminar here at the co-op's 2013 Fall Reunion.

September 20, 2013

Chicago -- True Value Company kicked off its annual fall market here in Chicago with the promise of a "new market experience."

The Sept. 20-22 event is branded as the co-op's "Reunion," with adjustments to the schedule and show floor layout -- and most notably, new leadership. The event will be the first market for new CEO John Hartmann, and dealers will also get to mingle with chairman of the board Brent Burger. 

August 9, 2013

The latest financial release from Chicago-based True Value Co. showed the co-op’s approximate store count down by 100 stores compared to previous recent press releases.

In the boilerplate description of the company at the bottom of the release announcing second-quarter results, the co-op described its footprint as “approximately 4,500 independent retailer locations worldwide.” 

July 31, 2013

The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) has announced its upcoming 2013 HIRI Fall Conference, with this year's theme set to focus on "Changing Home Improvement Attitudes & Behaviors."

Speakers will discuss topics such as forward-looking consumer behaviors, economic trends and the home improvement market, targeting various demographics, the impact of Durables on the home improvement landscape, future housing demand, as well as changing attitudes toward the home and price-driven shopping behavior.

July 29, 2013

Chicago-based True Value Co. Monday night reported gross billings of $543.3 million for the quarter ended June 29, up 1.4% from $536.0 million in the same quarter last year.

Revenue was $411.5 million, up 1.0% in the quarter. The quarterly net margin for the co-op was $23.8 million, up 7.2% from the same period last year. 

July 26, 2013

Chicago-based LBL Lighting hired Jeremy Friedman as Midwest regional sales manager. 

He joins Generation Brands, the parent company of LBL Lighting, with more than 10 years experience in marketing sales and business development.

"We created the incremental role of a third regional sales manager to provide an increasingly focused, concentrated service to our reps, and Jeremy is well qualified to help them with the knowledge and toos to service our mutual customers," siad Steve Hurley, LBL Lighting VP.

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