Andersen acquires Quebec-based luxury manufacturer
Andersen Corp., the privately-held window and door manufacturer, has acquired Fenêtres MQ Inc., a luxury window and door manufacturer headquartered in Sainte-Agathe, Quebec, Canada
Founded in 1975, MQ is also a privately-held company that produces products for both residential and commercial segments. The company has locations in Canada and Italy. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of MQ expands Andersen’s product portfolio, increases our manufacturing capabilities and broadens our geographic reach,” said Jay Lund, Andersen Chairman and CEO. “We are pleased that MQ’s founder and president Gilles Morin will continue to lead the business as we grow our presence in North America and Europe.”
Based in Bayport, Minn., Andersen manufactures window and door products under the Andersen, Renewal by Andersen, Silver Line, American Craftsman, EMCO, and Weiland brands. The MQ brand will be retained and added to its portfolio of brands, Andersen said.
Lowe’s is expanding its smart home program
Lowe’s is expanding its “Smart Home powered by b8ta” to 70 stores nationwide.
In partnership with software-powered retailer b8ta, the store-within-a-store program provides smart home devices and solutions along with onsite support from specially trained experts known as “b8ta testers,” Lowe’s said. The program was tested in three locations last fall.
Located near the front of participating Lowe’s stores, the display includes a wide array of items ranging from security systems to thermostats, cameras to lighting, speakers and more from brands including Google, Sonos, GE, Nest, Iris, Samsung, and Ring.
U.S. markets included in the smart program include New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C. Miami, Tampa, Raleigh, and Charlotte.
"Consumers aspire to live a connected life and crave solutions that make this possible," said Ruth Crowley, vice president of customer experience design at Lowe's. "Smart home products simplify life – but the technology can sometimes be confusing or intimidating. So, we developed Smart Home powered by b8ta to emulate a 'lab-like' atmosphere that empowers customers to make informed decisions."
Products will be displayed out of the box while iPads with product-related content and pricing details will be stationed alongside each device. Smart phones are also available for customers to interact with products and supporting apps, the same as they would use them at home, according to Lowe’s.
"b8ta makes shopping for connected home products accessible and easy. Nationwide, consumers will have the opportunity to engage and demo a curated selection of connected products, with knowledgeable product experts on-hand to navigate consumers through their journey," said Phillip Raub, co-founder and chief brand officer of b8ta.
Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s has also rolled out specialized smart home displays featuring products primed for Black Friday and the holiday season at 1,000 of its stores, the retailer said.
Scotts posts a $33 million Q4 loss
Scotts Miracle-Gro, the consumer lawn and garden products manufacturer, reported fourth quarter 2017 net sales of $376.7 million, up 8% from fourth quarter 2016 net sales of $348.7 million. For fiscal 2017, ended Sept. 30, the company reported net sales of $2.64 billion, a 5% increase from 2016 net sales of $2.5 billion.
The Marysville, Ohio-based company noted that sales in the U.S. consumer segment decreased 7% in the fourth quarter to $258.1 million due primarily to lower sales in the mass retail channel. Consumer purchases of Scott’s products at its largest four retail partners declined 1% on a full-year basis.
While the company reported a profit of $218.3 million for 2017, Scotts reported a loss of $33.4 million for the fourth quarter.
The company also reported that its operating cash flow for the year was $354 million compared with $237 million a year earlier.
“Our focus on cash flow throughout the year provided an outstanding result, and cash flow will continue to be a primary focus for Scotts Miracle-Gro in 2018 and beyond,” said Jim Hagedorn, Scott’s chairman and CEO. “The combination of our operating cash flow, a strong balance sheet, proceeds from the recent sale of our Europe and Australia businesses and an $87 million distribution we received from TruGreen gave us the financial fuel we needed in 2017 to invest in higher-growth businesses while also aggressively returning cash to shareholders.”
Scotts received an $87 million dividend payment from TruGreen associated with its minority interest in the lawn service company. In 2016, Scotts Miracle-Gro contributed its Scotts Lawn Service business into a joint venture with TruGreen in exchange for a 30 percent interest in the combined business. As of Aug. 31, 2017, Scotts had received nearly $290 million in cash as a result of its ownership stake.
This past August, Scotts also sold its international consumer businesses to Exponent Private Equity, LLP. The transaction included Scotts Miracle-Gro operations in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom.