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Great Northern Lumber makes acquisition

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Great Northern Lumber, a wood products wholesaler and manufacturer, has acquired the assets of Service Lumber, an industrial hardwood distributor operating in northwest Indiana. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Headquartered in Chicago, Great Northern distributes lumber, panels, decking, flooring and other products. The company will continue to distribute Service Lumber’s hardwood products throughout the upper Midwest.

“We see [this acquisition] as a great opportunity to expand in the industrial market with softwood and remanufacturing capacity,” said Jeff Currier, president of Great Northern Lumber, in a prepared statement.

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Canfor will take $256 million hit

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Canadian forest products company Canfor has announced pre-tax write-downs of about $256 million, another sign of the difficulty faced in lumber markets of the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

The Vancouver-based company said the charges included $90 million related to its lumber segment, $141 million related to wood panels and $25 million to corporate and other related segments.

In December, the forest products company opted to close a Chetwynd, B.C.-based sawmill, laying off 188 employees. Canfor attributed the closure to poor lumber markets and the impact of a high Canadian dollar. Additionally, Canfor earlier laid off 300 workers at four sawmills in British Columbia.

Canfor will release fourth-quarter and fiscal 2007 results on Feb. 22.

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National Retail Federation holds convention in NYC

BY HBSDEALER Staff

New York The National Retail Federation (NRF) held its annual convention and expo this week in New York, with a variety of educational programs and numerous vendors focused on store design, logistics, HR management and other retail-related fields.

The event included a “Design Studio,” focused on store design and merchandising concepts. Guest speakers included Home Depot’s Jason Feldman, who discussed new store designs at the retailer, and Melissa Hertel of Lightolier, who spoke on sustainable lighting in a retail setting.

Hertel outlined tax deduction incentives for retailers who participate and use green lighting, as well as strategies to use environmentally friendly lighting fixtures in overall merchandising concepts, with the goal of using “sustainable lighting [that] meets users’ needs with the least consumption of energy and other resources.”

Further education sessions focused on supply chain and logistics, in-store marketing and “big ideas” in retailing. The latter included guests from Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and SAS.

The NRF event will be held through today at the Javits Center in New York.

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