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DeWalt sponsors anti-theft summits

BY Bill Addison

The National Equipment Register (NER) and the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (LEEDA) have teamed up to organize Regional Equipment Theft Summits. The summits are an effort to bring law enforcement, company owners and insurance executives together to find strategies to combat heavy equipment theft.

According to the NER, millions of dollars worth of equipment are stolen from job sites every year, and each year sees an approximately 20 percent increase in theft rate.

This year, the summits will be supported by De Walt, which is launching its Mobile-Lock GPS locator and antitheft alarm.

“We are proud to work with FBI-LEEDA and NER to support these seminars to combat this growing problem,” commented Chris Allen, vp/GM of the security business group at DeWalt.

The first summit this year was held in Arlington, Texas, on April 9. Others are scheduled for Los Angeles; Denver; Hartford, Conn.; Atlanta; Miami; Houston; New York; Cincinnati and St. Louis.

Each summit will provide educational sessions from industry experts on theft prevention and recovery.

FBI/ LEEDA describes itself as “an organization devoted to improving administrative and technical practices to meet the needs of law enforcement executives and to promote the exchange of information and training for executives of law enforcement.”

The NER’s mission is to increase the recovery rate of stolen equipment, thus reducing the costs associated with theft for the owners and insurers.”

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Bed Bath & Beyond declines in fourth quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Specialty retailer Bed Bath & Beyond posted weaker fourth-quarter earnings, due in part to an extra week in last year’s fourth quarter. The company saw earnings of $172.9 million, down 16 percent from $205.8 million in the same period last year.

Net sales for the fourth quarter were $1.93 billion, down 3 percent from last year’s fourth quarter. Comparable-store sales for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2007 decreased by 0.4 percent.

For the fiscal year, which again was one week shorter than the previous fiscal year, the company saw earnings decline 5.3 percent to $562.8 million from $594.2 million a year ago.

Net sales for the year were $7.049 billion, an increase of 6.5 percent from last year. Year-over-year, comparable-store sales increased by 1 percent. The company opened 22 new stores in the fourth quarter, including its first location in Canada.

The retailer said it expects comparable-store sales to be relatively flat or negative in 2008. Bed Bath & Beyond also warned investors it expects a per-share percentage decline in 2008 earnings from the low double-digits to mid-teens.

Bed Bath & Beyond operates a total of 971 stores nationwide.

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Canfor reduces production

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Vancouver, B.C.-based Canfor is reducing its production volume to reflect market realities. The company pointed to “falling demand and poor pricing for softwood lumber with no indications of a market recovery in the near future.”

Canfor will be reducing workweeks at a number of its operations. In addition, Canfor’s Prince George Sawmill will move from three shifts to two and its Clear Lake finger joint operation from two shifts to one. This move will reduce Canfor’s annualized lumber production by approximately 600 million board feet.

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