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June 19, 2014

A manufacturer of home organization products is promoting the idea that investments in hidden areas of the home can lead to a surprising increase to a home’s value.

A highly overlooked area, according to ShelfGenie, is inside their cabinets. Companies specializing in pull-out shelving are reporting a boom in requests for custom-designed shelving solutions that address pain points associated with disorganization and limited access to items in kitchens, bathrooms and other spaces in the home, according to the manufacturer.

June 16, 2014

Beginning in July, Samsung intends to make a splash in retail stores with a high-tech appliance display called CenterStage. The new concept showcases Samsung’s portfolio of appliances in what it calls “an ultra-realistic and life-size display with an intuitive touch-screen interface.”

June 12, 2014

Jane Blain Gilbertson assumed the role of CEO and sole owner of Blain Supply and Blain’s Farm and Fleet, taking over from her brother Robert Blain who will retire June 25. 

Janesville, Wisconsin-based Blain’s Farm and Fleet was founded in 1955 and operates 35 farm and ranch locations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. The company employs about 4,000.

May 29, 2014

Jack T. Jahntz, one of the original co-founders of the Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association when it formed in 1977 and the group’s first president, died at the age of 85.

Jahntz was a partner, former president and CEO of L.W. Meyer & Son of Wisconsin. He retired from Meyer in 1996.

May 14, 2014

Cemex CEO Lorenzo Zambrano, who is credited with turning his family's business into Mexico's first sprawling multinational company, has died unexpectedly at age 70.

Zambrano was on a business trip in Madrid and was said to have died of natural causes on Monday, according to multiple media reports.

Zambrano is famous for his role in globalizing the company and putting Mexico on the map as a competitive force, drawing both admirers of his ambition and critics of his competition-squashing tactics.

May 8, 2014

New York City-based General Tools & Instruments is beginning a new chapter in its colorful (black and yellow) history.

The company was acquired by New York City-based investment firm Highroad Capital Partners in February. Terms of the deal were not released. But in an interview with HCN at the National Hardware Show, principals from Highroad Capital said they liked what they saw in the tool company, and vice versa. 

May 2, 2014

Continuing its hot acquisition streak, Green Bay, Wisconsin-based US LBM launched a West Coast operation, expanding its number of LBM divisions to 12.

US LBM, the 2013 HCN Pro Dealer of the Year, announced today the acquisition of Desert Lumber & Truss and Desert Fasteners & Supply of Las Vegas, and Integrity Truss of Cedar City, Utah. 

April 29, 2014

Ferguson, the largest wholesale plumbing distributor in the U.S., acquired Factory Direct Appliances.

Factory Direct Appliance is a seven-location appliance dealer with five showrooms in Kansas City, Mo., and two outlying locations in Des Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, Neb. 

The deal marks the second big acquisition of the year for Ferguson, which acquired Karl’s Appliance in February. Karl’s operates six showrooms in northern New Jersey. 

April 25, 2014

US LBM’s flurry of expansion announcements continued yesterday, with the addition of Coastal Roofing Supply to the US LBM family of companies.

Founded in 2009 by Tony Mila, Coastal Roofing Supply provides commercial and residential roofing materials to central Florida through its Clearwater and Rockledge locations. 

April 23, 2014

Garden Grove, Calif.-based Earth Friendly Products, the manufacturer of ECOS laundry detergent and other all-natural cleaning products, is increasing its minimum wage to $17 per hour in honor of Earth Day this year.

Additionally, the company will continue providing a bonus worth one week's pay for both Earth Day and Labor Day to all employees.

The move backs the company's ideal of a sustainable, fair and responsible work environment, first established by founder Van Vlahakis in 1967.

April 22, 2014

Bill Adams, founder and chairman of Adams Manufacturing, has been honored with the 2014 Inventor of the Year Award from the Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Law Association (PIPLA).

Adams took home the top honor this year due to his innovations in the design of suction cups, outdoor resin furniture, holiday accessories and other consumer products. It's also a nod to the significant economic impact he has made on the western Pennsylvania region and American manufacturing as a whole.

April 16, 2014

Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based Hines Supply, which announced two expansions in the last week, has announced another.

Mike’s Deck Centers in Montgomery and St. Charles, Ill will join Hines, a division of U.S. LBM.

April 15, 2014

Acquisition-oriented US LBM is at it again, this time with an expansion in Wisconsin.

Following on the heels of two new Hines openings in Northern Illinois, US LBM’s Wisconsin Building Supply subsidiary announced the opening of two new locations in the Fond du Lac area.

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.

April 9, 2014

Denver-based Kodiak Building Partners has agreed to purchase the assets of Factory Builder Stores, a large independent specialty distributor of appliances and cabinets based in Houston.

April 4, 2014

Albertson, N.Y.-based Marlin Lumber Sales Corp., which offers mill direct sourcing for hardwood flooring, welcomed industry veterans Kevin Kelly and Dave Nickodemus to the Marlin sales team.

"Both Kevin and Dave are key additions to the Marlin sales team," said Jan Schottenfeld, Marlin Lumber president. "We view these appointments as a sign of our commitment to continued leadership in the industry. I'm confident that Kevin and Dave will play key roles in provideing high quality solutions for our customers." 

April 1, 2014

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corporation is hoping to gain a sales and marketing boost from its 90th anniversary.

To commemorate the occasion, Ace is hosting a nationwide promotion April 2-7, during which time customers can get 20% off gallons of Clark+Kensington paint+primer in one, as well as special offers on a variety of lawn, garden and outdoor living items. Some home maintenance products will also be priced at 90 cents in honor of the milestone.

March 14, 2014

American Standard has launched a flagship luxury bathroom and kitchen brand -- called DXV, for "Decade 15" -- in celebration of its 150-year anniversary.

Starting this spring, more than 70 DXV products will be available exclusively in showrooms across the country. These collections will be curated according to the historical period they evoke: Classic (1880-1920), Golden Era (1920 - 1950), Modern (1950 - 1990) and Contemporary (1990 - present). Within each time period, there will be one or two bathroom fixture suites and complementary faucet collections.

March 4, 2014

Hardware Resources and Top Knobs hired Grant Lauterbach as VP of sales. Lauterbach has held several leadership positions during his three-decade career, including over 20 years with Masco Cabinetry and additional tenure with other cabinet makers.

"Grant is known in the industry as a results-focused executive leader," states Greg Gottlieb, president at Hardware Resources and Top Knobs. "We brought Grant on board to help take our two sales forces for Hardware Resources and Top Knobs to the next level in exceeding the expectations of our customers."

January 27, 2014

Cranbury, N.J.-based HBC Home & Hardware Products, the home products distributor formerly known as Howard Berger Co., has acquired the assets of Faucet Queen.

Faucet Queen’s Helping Hand brand of convenience-oriented home hardware is the market leader in serving the food and drug retail trade, the company said. The Faucet Queen business will continue to operate out of the current Vernon Hills, Ill., facility. 

January 22, 2014

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply Co. will open a 19,000-sq.-ft. store in Tucumcari, N.M., in September, according to local press reports. 

The store will be the 12th Tractor Supply location in the state, and one of the 1,245 stores in the nation's largest farm and ranch chain.

In the first three quarters of the company's current fiscal year, Tractor Supply opened 71 new stores and closed two stores. Late last year, the retailer established its first stores in the states of Wyoming and Nevada.

January 8, 2014

ACO Hardware, a 52-store chain described as Michigan’s largest independent home and hardware retailer, will join the Ace Hardware brand. 

Based in Farmington Hills, Mich., ACO will operate the new Ace Hardware stores under the name Great Lakes Ace, a nod to the retailer’s Michigan roots. ACO was originally founded in 1946 as Traskos Brothers Hardware Depot in Dearborn, Mich. All of the company’s stores are in Michigan. 

January 8, 2014

Walmart recently recognized Briggs & Stratton Corporation for its leading contributions to its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal, namely that of its work on the E Series engine.

December 26, 2013

Repeating the new tradition it established last year, Naperville, Ill.-based Opal Enterprises is engaging in a bit of a holiday bake-off for local charities.

The roofing contracting company baked 140 dozen cookies on Dec. 21, which were then giftwrapped for delivery to Childserve in Naperville, Ronald McDonald Family Room at Naperville's Edward Hospital, 360 Youth Services in the Lisle/Naperville area and Family Shelter Services in Downers Grove.

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