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AZEK acquires railing systems company

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Scranton, Pa.-based AZEK Building Products announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Toronto-based Composatron Manufacturing, maker of residential railing systems under the Premier and Trademark brands.

“These railings have set a new standard of quality and aesthetics, becoming one of the fastest growing in the industry,” said Ralph Bruno, president of AZEK Building Products. “… It reinforces the leadership of the AZEK brand in the premium, low-maintenance exterior category.”

Composatron railings, which are co-extruded with a wood composite core and vinyl capstock, will continue to be manufactured at Composatron’s facilities in the Toronto area.

“The addition of the railing was something our channel partners strongly requested,” Bruno said.

AZEK exterior products are available at more than 3,000 dealers in North America.

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Housewares giant warns on sales

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lifetime Brands, one of North America’s largest makers of housewares, has said it expects lower sales in the fourth quarter than previously forecast, to $490 million to $495 million, downwardly revised from $500 million to $515 million.

The company expects to release its fourth-quarter and year-end 2007 results in early March.

The company did not cite a specific reason for the lower sales, but Jeffrey Siegel, chairman, president and CEO of Lifetime Brands, characterized the current retail environment as “challenging.”

“We continue to make progress in our long-term strategic objectives. We expect continued strong product placement in 2008,” he added.

Garden City, N.Y.-based Lifetime Brands makes and markets products under a number of banners, including the Martha Stewart Collection, KitchenAid, Farberware and Pfaltzgraff.

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Design Within Reach to open in Canada

BY HBSDEALER Staff

San Francisco-based specialty retailer Design Within Reach (DWR) will open its first location outside the United States, a 4,700-square-foot studio in Toronto.

The store is slated to open on Feb. 23, and a grand opening celebration is planned for March 13. According to the company, it will showcase a selection of outdoor furniture, bedroom and workspace designs, seating, lighting, rugs and “other modern items for the home or office.”

DWR CEO Ray Brunner explained, “Strong demand from Canadian residents and international tourists for well-designed products made Toronto the logical choice for DWR’s first international location.”

DWR’s studio stores are located in major metropolitan areas, including New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In all, the company has 67 retail studios in the United States and Canada.

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