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HD Supply White Cap enters Minneapolis market

BY HBSDEALER Staff

HD Supply White Cap, the specialty hardware and tools distributor, has announced its entrance into the Minneapolis/St. Paul market with a 6,000-square-foot warehouse.

The new location will serve White Cap’s national industrial, commercial and residential customers and will warehouse and distribute tools, fasteners, accessories, abrasives, anchors, firestops, safety products and consumables.

“HD Supply White Cap selected the Minneapolis market because it enables the company to service many of its national customers with Midwest footprints faster and more efficiently,” the company said in a statement.

“Increasing our national footprint in important geographic regions like Minneapolis/St. Paul allows us to better partner with our customers to provide them with the products and services they need to be successful,” said Tom Lazzaro, president of HD Supply White Cap. 

Other recent expansions for the distributor include the Chicago and Kansas City markets.

The company said it will continue to evaluate additional growth in the Midwest as part of its long-term growth strategy.

White Cap is a division of Atlanta-based HD Supply.

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Weyerhaeuser counts a loss in the first quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s largest forest products companies, reported a net loss of $148 million for the first quarter of 2008, a large drop from the $720 million in earnings recorded in the same period last year.

Net sales for the first quarter were $3.4 billion, down 24.4 percent from $4.5 billion last year.

“Business conditions are extremely challenging,” said Daniel Fulton, president and CEO. “The number of single-family housing starts is now below the previous lows of 1979-82. Since many of our products are dependent upon single-family housing starts, we’ve experienced record low product prices when adjusted for inflation.”

The company has reduced its capacity for oriented strand board (OSB) and softwood lumber, Fulton said, and the company “will continue to take action as necessary to balance production to demand.”

The company is putting stock, however, in selling assets to maintain a “focus on our long-term strategic direction,” he added. One example has been the sale of Weyerhaeuser’s containerboard packaging and recycling assets to International Paper for $6 billion.

Declining prices and rising costs have hit the company, with prices for OSB and engineered wood products on the decline. Log costs, fuel costs and costs related to silviculture (replanting forests) have all risen, causing further strain, the company said.

Based in Federal Way, Wash., Weyerhaeuser had 2007 sales of $16.3 billion.

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IKEA plans first Latin American location

BY HBSDEALER Staff

According to a press release from the government of the Dominican Republic, IKEA has set its sights on that country for its first Latin American store, to be opened in early 2009.

The retailer plans to invest about $65 million on a store location near the country’s capitol of Santo Domingo, according to a report in Dominican Today.

The Dominican Republic has been one Latin American country targeted by international retailers in recent years because of its entry into trade agreements with the United States and the European Union.

Wal-Mart is one retailer that has reportedly had interest in the Dominican Republic — the world’s largest retailer has eyed a number of Central American locations. Rumors of the impending appearance of Home Depot, Sears, JC Penney and other retailers have persisted in media outlets and message boards catering to residents of the Dominican Republic. The IKEA announcement, however, has been the only entry officially confirmed by the country.

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