Mike Miazga And John McNally 2013-04-04 17:13:34
Cregger Co. Transfers two Illinois branches Cregger Co. Recently transferred assets for two of its Illinois branches to St. Louis, Mo.-based Plumbers Supply Co. The Cregger branches in Belleville, Ill., and Mount Vernon, Ill., now operate as part of the Plumbers Supply network. Customers are serviced by the current branch management and workforce with support from Plumbers Supply’s central distribution center and extensive local resources. Financial terms were not disclosed. The transfer allows Boone, N.C.-based Cregger Co. To invest more heavily in core markets across Georgia, the Carolinas and along the Eastern seaboard. “The decision to exit the Illinois market was difficult,” Cregger Co. CEO Morris Cregger said. “We had built a loyal customer base and our associates in this market were an integral part of the Cregger family and played a significant role in the success of our company. We are confident the transfer of these operations to Plumbers Supply is in the best interest of our customers and associates. They are positioned to service the market geographically and as a financially strong, family-owned independent distributor. Their values are very similar to ours.” Report: HD Supply plans for IPO According to a Yahoo! News report, private equity owners will take HD Supply public nearly six years after buying the industrial distribution company out of Home Depot Inc. for $8.5 billion. An HD Supply spokesperson declined comment to Supply House Times on the report. Optimism, new programs highlight Forte conference The recent Forte 2013 Conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas brought together more than 150 principals operating in excess of 250 showrooms across North America, as well as 65 preferred vendors. The news for Forte principals was positive. According to Forte, volume in the decorative plumbing and hardware buying group’s channel increased by 10% in 2012, while same-store sales increased by a comparable percentage. Forte welcomed five new preferred vendors who attended their first Forte conference in Dallas. New Forte programs include a peer-to-peer network that debuted in Dallas. Forte shareholders now have a permanent group of peers with similar business models outside their market territories to discuss challenges, opportunities and trends at the annual conference and summer meeting. Additionally, the buying group has compiled a large electronic library of manufacturer catalogs and price lists. Every Forte shareholder can download the most up-to-date Forte Preferred Vendor catalogs and price lists. “People get a lot of camaraderie here and get a lot of ideas from our seminars, both our self-learning seminars and our group seminars. Networking is very valuable for everybody,” Forte 2013 President Jeff Burton (The Bath + Beyond) said in a video interview with Supply House Times at the conference. “On top of that, we have product, special deals, vendors coming together and we’ve put together good partnerships with all the manufacturers.” Forte also presented its seventh-annual awards ceremony that honors outstanding achievement, professionalism and commitment to advancing the interests of Forte, its shareholders and preferred vendors. Victoria + Albert Baths was named Forte 2012 vendor of the year. Douglas Hermance (Westheimer Plumbing & Hardware) was the recipient of the Forte 2012 President’s Award. Cantu Bathrooms & Hardware (Vancouver, B.C.) was named 2012 showroom of the year. David Yowell (Hollywood Builders Hardware), Allison Trimble (Ginger’s Bath Centre), Bruce Whiteleather (B & C Custom Hardware) and Rebecca Whiteleather (B & C Custom Hardware) all were honored with distinguished service awards. The Forte summer shareholder meeting is June 16-17 in Chicago and the Forte 2014 Conference is Feb. 20-22 in Miami. Video interviews from the conference are available at www.supplyht.com. — Mike Miazga
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