LUXURY PRODUCTS GROUP CONTINUES EXPANSION Another year and another expansion of the Luxury Products Group. The luxury bath and kitchen products buying group arm of Omni Corporate Services reported another increase in membership at its recent annual meeting held at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio. “This was our biggest meeting ever,” LPG Executive Director Linda Hoff told Supply House Times. Hoff said this year’s meeting featured 70 vendor booths and attracted more than 325 people. The group welcomed nine new members and 11 new vendors to this year’s meeting. “It used to be a lot of our membership was made up of Omni members with showrooms,” she explained. “Now, 17% of our membership comes from independent showrooms that have nothing to do with Omni. That’s going to continue to be our focus.We have the Omni members with showrooms that joined the group and now we’re trying to build on those independent showrooms.” LPG has expanded its product reach into the lighting and agingin- place/ADA categories. “Those are areas that are very important,” Hoff said. “We’ve brought in some home and health vendors and we’re offering continuing education classes. We feel the lighting category is going to be huge and we’re going to build on that in future years. We think it can be as profitable as traditional plumbing products. With the kitchen and bath space, lighting is a natural.” Hoff is proud of where LPG has risen to in the seven short years it’s been in existence. “It’s taken a little while to get the word out,” she said. “Now, everybody wants to be involved. They see the value of belonging to the group not just for the rebates, but building into the Omni and LPG families and how they can learn from each other.” During the meeting it was announced LPG raised funds for the purchase of two police K-9 bulletproof vests for a pair of police dogs near Omni-LPG headquarters in Ohio. One vest is earmarked to the Mantua, Ohio police department and the other to the Garrettsville, Ohio police department. This initiative was in response to Hoff, a dog enthusiast, reading about a police dog being shot to death in Cleveland because it had inadequate body armor. LPG worked with the Vested Interest in K9s organization (www.vik9s.org) in securing the vests. FERGUSON ACQUIRES NORTHEAST DISTRIBUTOR Ferguson announced the acquisition of P.V. Sullivan Supply Co., in an asset transaction completed Feb. 13. P.V. Sullivan Supply is a supplier to the commercial market in the Northeast region. Founded in 1968 as a plumbing and heating supplier serving Boston and eastern Massachusetts, P. V. Sullivan Supply serves New England’s largest contractors and plumbing professionals, Ferguson explained. “P.V. Sullivan shares a core value with Ferguson – providing world-class customer service, and we are pleased to welcome them to the Ferguson family,” Ferguson CEO Frank Roach said. “Additionally, its stores complement our existing bricks-and-mortar Ferguson locations in the area – allowing us to better serve residential trade and commercial customers in the Northeast.”P. V. Sullivan’s home office is located in Quincy, Mass. It employs 46 associates in Quincy, Norwell and Chicopee, Mass. Ferguson will continue to operate the company as P.V. Sullivan Supply. BROTHERS PLUMBING AND HEATING SUPPLY SUPPORTS BREAST CANCER INITIATIVE Elmsford, N.Y.-based Brothers Plumbing and Heating Supply Co. Co-owner Brian Schwartz and his wife, Ania, walked last fall in the AVON 39, a 39.3-mile walk for breast cancer awareness in New York City. “39.3 miles seems like a long distance to walk, but it’s really nothing compared to what breast cancer patients go through every day while fighting this disease,” Brian Schwartz said. Brian and Ania Schwartz walked in honor of a friend that lost her battle with the disease. “We trained for several months and tried to log about 13-15 miles each weekend in order to prepare our bodies for the trek,” Schwartz said. Thus far, Brothers has raised more than $5,000 for the cause, with contributions from family, friends and business associates. “We expected family and friends to donate, but were truly moved by the donations given from vendors such as Bradford White, Jones Stephens, Legend, Oatey, Sloan Valve and Watts Regulator,” Schwartz said. “When I mentioned my wife and I were participating in the walk, these manufacturers were quick to send generous donations since they all have known someone touched by the disease. Those two days of walking were grueling, but we are very proud to be part of such an uplifting and unifying event that raised a lot of money for an important cause.” AD REPORTS RECORD SALES The AD buying group reported sales for all AD members across all seven divisions and three countries grew by 9% in 2016 to a record $34.4 billion. The group noted this growth includes ongoing members, new members and losses due to consolidation.On a same-store basis, AD members grew 3%. By country, AD-member U.S. same-store sales were up 2%; AD Canada was up 5% and AD Mexico grew 25%.By industry, electrical was up 1%; PHCP (plumbing, PVF and HVAC) was up 3%; Industrial was down 4%; Bearings and power transmission was flat, and building materials was up 16%. “Despite headwinds in industrial and energy markets, and price deflation within certain large product categories, member purchases from AD suppliers grew by 9% and net distributions to AD members grew by 15%,” AD Chairman and CEO Bill Weisberg said. “We also had huge advancements in eCommerce, HR and Procurement Services. For instance, we created more than 1 million enhanced, normalized and attributed SKUs and are playing a support role to help our members refine their digital strategy and launch their webstores. Our role is to help our members compete and win, now and in the future.” FARNSWORTH, FORTILINE OPERATING IN SAME ARIZONA LOCATIONS Farnsworth Wholesale Co., and Fortiline Waterworks now are operating under one roof in Mesa and Peoria, Ariz.The new locations will be Fortiline’s first entry into the Arizona market, continuing its westward expansion. Fortiline, the second-largest Americanowned wholesale-distributor of underground water, sewer and storm utility products, was acquired by MORSCO last October. “Our acquisition of Fortiline in October 2016 demonstrated our commitment to the waterworks industry and being a leader in the markets we serve,” MORSCO CEO Chip Hornsby said. “Operating Fortiline out of Farnsworth’s Mesa and Peoria branches ensures we are a leader in the market and it allows customers to benefit from both companies’ solid relationships with their vendors and manufacturers.” In other Fortiline news, the company opened a location in Helotes, Texas, replacing the Morrison Supply Co.’s waterworks branch at 10850 Leslie Rd., in Helotes .NAVIEN DOUBLES SIZE OF FACILITY To support the company’s growth, Navien announced its New Jersey Training Academy and tech call center has doubled in size with a move to a new larger conveniently located space in Moorestown. “We had outgrown our previous facility in Cherry Hill. With this new location we will be able to seat 40 visitors and train them in a separate hands-on room with even greater capabilities, including displaying our complete product line and accessories in live-fire applications,” New Jersey Training Academy Lead Trainer Ian Monaghan said.“Additionally, this new facility allows us to expand our tech call center staff and gives us space to store and ship parts for all the East Coast to insure rapid delivery and local pick up if needed.” Navien will continue to offer both one-day and two-day training classes, many of which already are filled for the month of March when the facility will officially begin hosting events. BRADFORD WHITE ACQUIRES GEA PRODUCTION ASSETS Ambler, Pa.-based Bradford White Water Heaters, provider of the AeroTherm series heat-pump water heater, completed an agreement to acquire production assets from the heat-pump water heater operations of GE Appliances, a Haier company. This agreement will allow Bradford White to continue providing its customers with best-in-class heat-pump water heaters, the company explained. Bradford White plans to relocate the acquired heat-pump water heater manufacturing equipment to its Middleville, Mich., factory. While the process of decommissioning, moving and recommissioning the equipment is expected to take several months, Bradford White will continue to fill customer orders for its 50- and 80-gallon AeroTherm series products from its enhanced inventory position. “GE Appliances has been an outstanding supplier to Bradford White for several years and we believe they built the best heat-pump water heater products available in the industry. They met our quality and performance standards and like all our other tank water heaters, they were built in the U.S.,” said Bruce Carnevale, Bradford White Executive VP and COO. “With GE Appliances’ announcement that they were exiting the business for this product, we saw the opportunity to acquire the assets and continue to be able to provide our customers with best-in-class heat-pump water heaters and still build them in America.” As part of the agreement, Bradford White said it will extend its 24/7 customer support services to existing GeoSpring water-heater owners. Bradford White has manufacturing facilities in Middleville and Niles, Mich., and Rochester N.H., and its Canadian sales and distribution operations in Mississauga, Ontario.
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