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Executive conference scheduled for composites industry

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The 4th Annual Wood Plastic Composites (WPC) Conference, scheduled for Oct. 8 to 9 in Baltimore this year, comes at an auspicious time for the composite decking and fencing industry. Recent acquisitions and partnerships among major manufacturers have shifted alliances. Demand for exterior building products with recycled content is growing. Fencing made of vinyl and composite materials is also gaining popularity.

Hosted by Principia Partners, the WPC conference will gather industry leaders to discuss these and other topics at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront Hotel. Speakers include Ralph Bruno, president of AZEK; Doug Mancosh, president of Fiber Composites; and Jim Daniels, president of PPW. Representatives from Trex and other vinyl and composite manufacturers will also be present.

From the pro dealer side of the business, the conference will host a panel discussion with Tom Masson, director of purchasing for Stock Building Supply; Rob Baskin, specialty products manager for Bradco Supply; Darin Hildreth, vp-supply chain for Pro-Build; and Brett Miller, special wood products and decking buyer for LMC.

Asession on “Working with the Independent Pro-Oriented Lumber Dealer” will be given by Russell Kennedy, president and CEO of ENAP.

Based in Exton, Pa., Principia Partners is a consulting firm focused on the building products industry. For more information about the conference, visit www.principiaconferences.com.

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Restoration Hardware lowers outlook

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Restoration Hardware has lowered its fiscal 2007 earnings guidance, due to a challenging, competitive environment in the home furnishings market and weakness in the home-building sector.

The company says it now expects a loss-per-share of between $0.21 and $0.19, “reflecting below-plan revenues and a higher-than-anticipated mix of promotional selling.”

“The company has several new growth vehicles in place that we expect will drive revenue growth in the second half of the year, including the recent introduction of Restoration Hardware Trade [and] the continued rollout of the Restoration Hardware Bed & Bath Catalog,” said Gary Friedman, president and CEO.

The company also has announced a redesigned Web site that will launch in the fall.

Additionally, the company said it has signed a 15-year lease for a new distribution center in West Jefferson, Ohio. The company said construction would begin this fall on the 800,000-square-foot facility.

The facility will be used to stock the company’s East Coast retail stores and its non-furniture, direct-to-consumer business.

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Lowe’s plans distribution center in Mississippi

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s is planning to build an approximately $15 million distribution center in Mississippi, according to the Hattiesburg American newspaper.

Construction for the 130,000-square-foot facility is planned for October in Purvis Industrial Park, in Purvis, Miss. The facility is expected to employ 35 people, according to the newspaper.

In a May conference call with investors, Lowe’s COO Larry Stone discussed the company’s longstanding plans to expand distribution capabilities. Lowe’s most recently opened a new distribution center in Rockford, Ill., part of a company goal to grow inventory at 75 percent of sales growth. Another new distribution center has been planned for Lebanon, Ore.

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