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Do it Best holds winter conference

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The 2008 Do it Best Winter Conference & Expo was held Jan. 16 to 18 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort & Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.

The Winter Conference & Expo benefits hardware, home center and lumber members, offering them education seminars presented by national experts, special purchasing opportunities and networking activities.

Six education sessions were held during the three-day event, focusing on future trends in the retail industry, consumer behavior and learning how to be ready for change. Keynote presenters included Dan Stanek and James Russo from TNS Retail Forward, a world leader in market information and retail strategies; Patrick Rodmell, president and CEO of Watt International; and futurists Jim Carroll and James Canton.

The Expo floor also featured new products and specials from nearly 300 hardware and lumber/building materials vendors, including 15 “Christmas in January” exhibits.

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Lowe’s: now in 50 states

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s officially opened the doors yesterday of its first Vermont store,in the city of Burlington, marking the retailer’s entry into all 50 U.S. states.

Spokeswoman Maureen Rich told the local newspaper Burlington Free Press that the retailer planned to hold off on a proper grand opening celebration until the spring, because of winter weather. “We’re very excited with this expansion. This is a milestone for Lowe’s,” she told the newspaper. Calls to Lowe’s for a follow-up comment were not immediately returned.

Preceding the formal opening, the store held a soft opening for commercial customers only. The Lowe’s store had been in the works for several years, having been delayed by stormwater runoff concerns and other permit issues, according to news reports.

The Burlington store will not remain the only Lowe’s store in the state for long. The retailer is seeking permits for further stores in Essex, Vt., and St. Albans Town, Vt.

Home Depot has a larger presence in Vermont — currently, the retailer has four locations in the state.

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s operates more than 1,450 stores in the United States and Canada.

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Rust-Oleum acquires fire protection business

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Rust-Oleum has announced that its subsidiary, Tor Coatings, has acquired certain assets of Bollom, a maker of fire retardant coatings and varnishes. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Bollom business includes brand names Fireshield, Intusteel, Fireguard, Flamebar and Intuclear. The products are primarily sold in the United Kingdom.

“The Bollom fire protection brands are an excellent fit with our current business,” said Colin Carter, CEO of Tor Coatings. “In addition to expanding our technology offering to existing customers, these added brands will take Tor to new markets and applications.”

Vernon Hills, Ill.-based Rust-Oleum acquired Tor Coatings in March 2007. Rust-Oleum’s other brands include Painter’s Touch, American Accents, EpoxyShield and Varathane.

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