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Handy Hardware Set to Launch ‘New Face’ in 2014

Moving forward into 2014, Handy Hardware plans to launch a retailer initiative and business improvement program called “Profit Plus, the NEW face of Handy” leading up to its Spring Market, to be held Feb. 13-15 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Part of that plan includes shifts in management personnel. Mickey Schulte, formerly vice president of merchandising, has moved to the newly created role of senior vice president of sales and key accounts, where he will oversee all the company’s sales efforts. Ken Harvey, vice president of dealer services, will report to Schulte.

Craig Cowart has also joined the company as EVP of merchandising & marketing. Cowart was most recently the General Manager of Your Other Warehouse, the wholesale division of The Home Depot. Cowart will spearhead Handy’s drive to improve its merchandising assortment, vendor relations and dealer programs in support of the “Profits Plus” initiative.

Handy Hardware emerged from a Chapter 11 filing in August 2013 after being purchased by Hardware Holdings, part of the Littlejohn & Company group. The company’s structure changed from a member-owned co-op to an independent wholesaler and distributor.

Hardware Holdings recently named Donald Devine as President and CEO. Prior to joining Hardware Holdings, Devine was President & CEO of Custom Building Products, President & CEO of American Standard Brands and President & COO of Jacuzzi Brands.

“We are operating Handy Hardware and HBC as independent companies focused on serving their customers in their respective markets,” Devine said. “The common ownership structure should enhance Handy Hardware’s ability to provide their dealers with profit-enhancing sourced products from HBC’s extensive catalogue of hardware and building products which are available to dealers and retailers across the country.”

The new management teams will be at the upcoming Handy Hardware Spring Market. Both Devine and Handy Hardware CEO Doug Miller plan to speak with retailers and vendors attending the market Feb. 14 and 15 before the show opens.

“We want as many of our dealers and vendors as possible to hear our vision of Handy Hardware, and we want them to share our excitement about Handy’s growth prospects with our loyal dealer base,” Miller said.

About Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell was an assistant editor of Hardware Retailing and NRHA. Amanda regularly visited with home improvement retailers across the country and attended industry events and seminars. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Ball State University and has received honors for her work for Hardware Retailing from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

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