HomeFront Home Improvement Center has been purchased by a major Memphis-based retailer that operates hardware stores, home centers and lumber yards in 16 states.
The sale of the Greenwood and Winona stores to Central Network Retail Group LLC closed Monday for an undisclosed price, the companies announced.
“We’re really happy to have them as part of our team,” said John Sieggreen, president of CNRG. “It seems like a great group of employees and an excellent market. We’re excited to be expanding into these areas.”
HomeFront has 32 employees between its two locations. All “absolutely” will be retained, Sieggreen said.
HomeFront has been owned by Brian Waldrop, Ron “Rut” Ussery, Richie Fulgham and Fred Carl Jr. Fulgham, who has handled the day-to-day management of the stores, will continue in that role with the new company.
CNRG is a subsidiary of Orgill, a 175-year-old hardware distributor based in Memphis. Founded in 2011, CNRG has grown, mostly through acquisitions, to encompass 141 locations operating under 18 brands.
HomeFront will be rebranded and operate as part of CNRG’s Home Hardware Center brand. Home Hardware Center, which is headquartered in Natchez, now operates 23 stores in four states.
“Home Hardware Center is our oldest and one of our top-performing brands, and we look forward to bringing the experience and dedication of our HHC team to these new stores,” Sieggreen said.
Fulgham said he was excited about the new ownership and the future of the business.
“Home Hardware Center and HomeFront are a great fit,” he said. “We both have the same ideas and standards when it comes to how we treat our employees and customers. I am comfortable knowing this business will continue to successfully support the community for many more years, and I am personally very excited about continuing to work in the business going forward.”
Waldrop said that being purchased by a much larger company portends well for the stores.
“Orgill is like a $3.5 billion company,” he said. “They’re going to continue to invest in the business. It will be good for Greenwood and Winona. We wouldn’t have sold it if we didn’t think so.”
HomeFront started in Greenwood as Upchurch Building Supply in 1995, an offshoot of Upchurch Plumbing Co. The building supply company was sold in 2003 to a local ownership group that included Waldrop and Ussery. Carl and Fulgham later came on as partners. Carl is the founder and former CEO of Viking Range, and Waldrop and Ussery were two of the manufacturer’s top executives. Fulgham started at HomeFront as a manager following the 2003 purchase.
The store’s name was changed to HomeFront Home Improvement in 2004, and with the change came an expansion of its U.S. 82 location and the products it carried. It added the Winona location in 2013. A store in Carthage was added in 2015, but it closed in 2020.
The Greenwood and Winona stores offer a full assortment of building materials, hardware, plumbing and electrical supplies, and paint as well as drive-through lumber yards.
“HomeFront has built a great business with an outstanding team. We are proud to have the opportunity to welcome this location and all of the team members in both stores to Home Hardware,” said Raymond White, CNRG senior vice president of operations.
Sieggreen said the acquisition should be good for the stores and their customers.
“We have a strong history of taking businesses in their local markets and making them even more successful than they’ve already been. We’re looking forward to being part of this market.”
– Contact Tim Kalich at 662-581-7243 or [email protected]