Aaron’s announces operational promotions
Atlanta — Aaron’s announced Thursday that David L. Buck and Tristan J. Montanero have each been promoted to SVP operations, effective Jan. 1.
Buck was previously VP southwestern operations, and Montanero was VP central operations.
NRF weighs in on fiscal cliff
WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation welcomed the House vote on legislation intended to avoid middle-class tax increases in the fiscal cliff, saying progress on the issue is critically important.
“Although this may not be the perfect solution to the fiscal crisis, what’s important is that Congress provide certainty going into the new year on tax issues that will impact every American,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Worries over the economy have already affected consumers during the holiday season. Worries coupled with actual tax hikes and spending cuts add up to a disaster our economy cannot afford.”
The House voted on “Plan B” legislation backed by Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. NRF has not taken a position on specific details of the legislation, but believes passage will help assure the public that lawmakers are addressing the issue. The vote will also move Congress forward in the legislative process as the December 31 deadline for action approaches.
Retail sales in 2013 are expected to increase between 2% and 2.5% if the fiscal cliff is avoided, according to an analysis conducted by NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz working with the economics firm Macroeconomic Advisors. If not, sales would be flat for the year, with negative growth during the first half of the year, the analysis said. A White House report released last month said consumer spending could take a hit of nearly $200 billion next year if middle-class tax cuts affected by the fiscal cliff are allowed to expire.
Shay said Congress needs to do more than just avoid the fiscal cliff.
“There are a number of issues facing the economy, retailers and consumers that require a commitment beyond the fiscal cliff,” Shay said. “We need to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, but Congress and the White House also need to develop long-term plans that will restore consumer confidence so that the business world can go back to investing capital and creating jobs.”
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Valspar edges out Benjamin Moore
Valspar will become the new paint supplier for Ace Hardware, according to Retailing Today sister publication Home Channel News.
Said to be in the final stages of inking the deal, Valspar would replace Ace Hardware’s signature brand Benjamin Moore.
“We can confirm that we signed an agreement with Ace, [and] we expect the transaction to close by the end of the calendar year,” said Mark Goldman, VP corporate communications for Valspar. Because the deal is not final, Goldman said he could not comment on the details of the program, including whether Ace’s two paint manufacturing plants are part of the negotiations.
“We cannot disclose any information since we have not closed on the agreement yet,” said Kate Kirkpatrick, a spokeswoman for Ace, when contacted by HCN.
One person was free to talk about proposed change, however. Edward Klein, senior VP strategy and retailing for Benjamin Moore, told HCN that his company wanted to stay with its “selective distribution” business model. Ace, on the other hand, “[wanted] a national brand that they could sell in all their stores.”
“We’re committed to retailers who are committed to paint,” explained Klein, who helped set up the initial program with Ace in 2005. Klein estimated that Benjamin Moore currently supplies 1,400 to 1,500 of Ace’s dealers, which number approximately 4,000.
These Ace/Ben Moore dealers received a Dec. 7 letter signed by Klein and three other company executives pledging to continue the program.
“We are more than prepared to work with these retailers on a direct basis,” Klein said. “We’re evaluating ways to supply them and handle shipping to smaller stores.”
Benjamin Moore also recently struck a deal to supply paint to San Jose, Calif.-based Orchard Supply Hardware. And at the recent True Value Fall Market, Benjamin Moore had a booth where it promoted a billing arrangement with True Value retailers.
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