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Back in business: Lowe’s will reopen Sept. 8 in Sanford

BY HBSDealer Staff

A Lowe’s store destroyed by a tornado on April 16 will reopen this fall, a week ahead of schedule. The Sanford, N.C., location, which has roughly 160 employees, was expected to reopen on Sept. 15, officials said at a city meeting last week. However, company officials announced Tuesday evening that the store would instead reopen on Sept. 8.

According to the Sanford Herald, the store plans to host a celebratory brunch on the day of its reopening. Employees played a large role in planning the brunch, and will enjoy food and entertainment in the parking lot throughout the morning with city officials, as well as an expected announcement about charitable and education foundations.

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Real Flame gets proactive about fire safety

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Real Flame, a Wisconsin-based company that includes gel fuels among its products, is placing greater emphasis on fire safety for its consumers.

The company’s increased efforts toward safety awareness follow a series of severe accidents reported this past June. Accidents involving gel fuels were reported across the country, often with decorative fire pots. As a result, a number of fuel gel products were recalled, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission initiated an ongoing investigation of the incidents. Napa Home and Garden was one company to issue a voluntary recall of its fuel gel products. In other cases, retailers made the decision to pull certain fuel gel products from the shelves, pending the conclusion of the CPSC investigation.

Real Flame’s products were not involved in any of the accidents, nor were any Real Flame products recalled. Real Flame reports that its gel fuel products are made with a special formulation exclusive to the company, and have never resulted in any injuries or safety-related incidents in the company’s 27 years of producing gel fuels.

Nevertheless, the company is taking steps to warn consumers to read and follow all labels and instructions when using Real Flame products. Additionally, Real Flame is working in cooperation with Fire Safety Solutions, a fire safety company based in Atlanta. John Ridgeway, VP sales and marketing at Real Flame, said that after an inspection by Fire Safety Solutions, Real Flame was commended on its commitment to fire safety.

“We are responding to recent events, but our emphasis has always been on safety,” Ridgeway said. “Safety should be paramount in our industry.”

Ridgeway said that it is important for the industry that consumers understand that these products should not do harm if they are made and used correctly. He stressed that it is equally important for companies to ensure the safety of their products.

“Our objective should be to vigorously test products and make sure they are safe for consumers,” he said. 

A prominent banner on Real Flame’s website links consumers to information about safety testing and properties of the company’s gel fuel products, as well as a list of safety warnings for using gel fuels. 

Real Flame will remain committed to keeping consumers informed about fire safety. “It’s a matter of communication, and it’s a matter of attention to detail,” Ridgeway said.

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Irwin Tools and Edison Nation search for the next big tape rule

BY HBSDealer Staff

Charlotte, N.C.-based Irwin Tools joined forces with Edison Nation in a search to find new innovations in tape measuring devices that will ease and enhance the experience of professional tradesmen and home users.

“We’ve identified a gap within the marking and layout tools category,” said Ross Porter, president of Irwin Tools. “Our Live Product Search challenges everyday consumers to help us bridge that gap by taking the standard tape measuring device to a new level.”

Edison Nation, an idea-to-shelf developer that frequently partners with major retailers and manufacturers to find innovations through its social community of inventors, is hosting Irwin Tools’ Live Product Search on its secure online platform now through Sept. 12. It costs $25 to submit an idea for consideration. 

The companies recommend submitted ideas should be "durable, user-friendly and high-quality, while remaining within the targeted price point of $15 to $25."

Chosen ideas will receive a $2,500 advance and may be selected to receive a percentage of future sales.

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