C-SUITE

Westlake Ace Hardware promotes two execs

BY HBSDealer Staff

Westlake Ace Hardware has announced two executive promotions.

The company promoted current COO Joe Jeffries to president and COO, continuing to support CEO Tom Knox. In addition, Andrew Schmitt will be promoted to the position of VP of operations for Westlake Ace Hardware. Schmitt currently holds the position of director of retail operations – Western Division, for Ace Hardware Corporation.

“I am pleased to announce the promotion of Joe Jeffries to the role of president and COO of Westlake Ace Hardware,” said Tom Knox, CEO, Westlake Ace Hardware. “Joe is a proven leader with an outstanding vision for operations, merchandising and new store development, as well as growth strategy design and implementation.” Knox went on to say, “I’m also excited to welcome Andy Schmitt to the Westlake Ace Hardware team. I worked with Andy extensively during our time at the Ace Hardware corporate headquarters – he will be an exceptional addition to our leadership team.”

Westlake Ace Hardware is the popular name of Ace Retail Holdings, the subsidiary of Oak Brook, Illinois-based Ace Hardware Corp.

Jeffries joined Westlake Ace Hardware in 2014 as the COO. Prior to joining Westlake Ace Hardware, Jeffries was CEO and COO at A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Inc., a regional chain of arts and crafts retail stores. Before that, Jeffries spent eight years with Office Depot where he held several executive positions that oversaw retail store operations, space planning and visual presentation. He also spent 13 years with Home Quarters Warehouse, where he started his career.

Schmitt joined Ace Hardware in 2010 as Senior Finance Manager. In 2011, he transitioned to the Retail Operations department where he held various positions including Director of Retail Operations – Western Division, Regional Manager (Texas), and Corporate Manager of Retail Operations. Prior to joining Ace Hardware, Schmitt was Director of Finance for Factory Card and Party Outlet, a division of Party City. He also held various financial and procurement roles with Allstate Insurance Company. Schmitt holds a bachelor of science degree in Finance from Illinois State University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University.

In June 2017, Westlake Ace Hardware announced the acquisition of two new neighborhood hardware stores, bringing the chain’s total store count to 100 locations.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

GameStop does an about-face on Thanksgiving

BY Marianne Wilson

It's only July, but GameStop has jumped into the ongoing debate about whether stores should be open on Thanksgiving Day.

After keeping its stores closed on Thanksgiving for the past three years, the retailer has told its employees that stores will be open for this year's holiday. The change was first reported by gaming website Kotaku.

“Many of our store associates and guests have asked for this," the company said in a statement released to Kotaku. “We have heard their requests and are making an adjustment to our previous position on this topic.”

Storefronts will be open for a "limited time" during the holiday, the company added.

GameStop's U.S. stores have closed on Thanksgiving Day since 2014, when the company told political blog Think Progress it would shutter them "out of respect" for employees and their families, the report said.

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REAL ESTATE

Levin hired to pump life into Meadowlands center

BY Al Urbanski

The Plaza at Harmon Meadow in Secaucus, New Jersey, has a new managing agent charged with revitalizing the 192,000-sq.-ft. property.

Levin Management Corporation has taken over day-to-day operations at the center, which is located in a busy entertainment, transportation, and business corridor in the New Jersey Meadowlands. It is directly accessible off the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 3 and minutes from routes 17 and 46, I-80, the George Washington Bridge, and the Lincoln Tunnel.

“Our initial focus here will be to renovate common areas and maximize overall curb appeal. We will also be completing several large-scale capital projects already started by our client, including a parking deck refurbishment and a courtyard renovation,” said LMC executive VP Robert Carson.

Current tenants at The Plaza at Harmon Meadow — jointly owned by Carlton Strategic Ventures and New Valley Realty — include a Kerasotes ShowPlace 14 Theater complex, Pier 1 Imports, Chipotle, Starbucks, Houlihan’s, Red Lobster, and Cosi.


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