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Hurricane Isaac plows ahead in the Gulf

BY Ken Clark

A slow-moving Hurricane Isaac is bad news for the people of the Gulf Coast, according to Thursday morning weather reports. 

By one estimate, Isaac could cause as much as $1.5 billion in insured losses. Nearly 650,000 people in the area are without power in the Gulf region and Arkansas.

Retail companies and distributors have mobilized.

At Shreveport, La.-based distributor HDW, emergency procedures were implemented that included pre-event deliveries into storm areas earlier this week. 

“Truckloads of generators were delivered to our customers as late as 2 a.m. Wednesday morning,” said Kenny Beauvais. “They all had customers in line to purchase units as they were being unloaded.”

Yesterday the distributor was preparing special deliveries for retailers that were expecting to reopen.

Yesterday, a Lowe’s spokeswoman told Home Channel News that 22 stores had been closed in southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi. “These stores will re-open as conditions improve and it is safe for employees to re-enter our stores,” the spokeswoman said. 

Lowe’s has moved more than 500 truckloads of products to support areas from southern Florida to Louisiana.

The Home Depot also adjusted hours — shortening some stores and extending others — as a result of the storm. The company set up an Isaac Operations Update page.

The page says: “While it is our goal to remain open to serve the needs of impacted communities, we operate with the safety of our customers and associates first.”

An evacuation order remained in place for the location in La Place, La., according to the update page.

"We’ve dealt with this storm from our stores in USVI, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and our response plan ran very smoothly," said a Home Depot spokesman. 

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Chamberlain Group names new executives

BY Ken Clark

The Chamberlain Group, a specialist and leader in garage-door openers, appointed Robert Markwart to president, LiftMaster, Americas and Gary Scott to president, Chamberlain and HeathCo, Americas.

“Continued new product innovation, coupled with breakthrough marketing and thoughtful expansion into new businesses will propel our company to new levels,” said James Roberts, CEO, The Chamberlain Group. “We are putting one of our strongest executives into the LiftMaster role and bringing on an industry leader to serve Chamberlain and HeathCo. I am confident these two individuals will continue to strengthen our capabilities.”

Robert Markwart is a veteran executive who has consistently driven excellent results during his 30-plus year tenure with The Chamberlain Group, the company said. Most recently, Markwart served as executive VPsales and marketing, where he demonstrated leadership ability to drive growth while building solid brands.

Gary Scott, joining The Chamberlain Group as president, Chamberlain and HeathCo, Americas, most recently served as VP and general manager – Consumer Products, Europe, Middle East and Asia at Newell Rubbermaid. Prior to that, Scott held several senior management positions in North America with leading durable goods companies. Scott has more than 20 years of general management, business strategy and global new product development success with such brands as Stanley, Rubbermaid, Irwin and Graco. He holds a mechanical engineering degree and an executive MBA from Sheffield University in the United Kingdom. 

The Chamberlain Group manufactures and markets access control products including residential garage door openers, commercial door operators, residential and commercial gate operators, telephone entry systems and related access control products.

 

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Power tool aisle revs up

BY HBSDealer Staff

Makita 18V LXT Series
In 2005, Makita created its 18V Lithium-Ion lineup with the 18V LXT Series. Makita 18V LXT delivers more power and less weight in a more compact size, with an 18V battery that reaches a full charge in 30 minutes. In 2006, the company designed the 18V Compact Lithium-Ion battery for a select group of new 18V compact cordless tools. The latest additions to the line are: 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Impact Driver, 18V Compact Lithium-Ion Impact Driver, 18V LXT Lithium-Ion ½-in. Hammer Driver-Drill, 18V LXT Lithium-Ion ½-in. Hammer Driver-Drill. (makita.com)

Metabo Cordless Magnetic Drill Press
Metabo has introduced its cordless magnetic drill press. The new MAG 28 LTX uses a 25.2 V Li-Ion battery to power the tool. A permanent rare earth magnet, requiring no energy from the battery, allows the use of the drill in remote and previously inaccessible environments. The earth magnet offers up to 2,500 lbs. of holding force, which can be adjusted for precise positioning when drilling on vertical, horizontal and sloped surfaces. The drill has a prism-shaped magnetic base that enables users to work on pipe as well. (metabo.us

Black & Decker MATRIX Modular Tool System
Black & Decker has launched the new MATRIX Quick Connect System tool, a modular tool system built around three different base power units and changeable attachments to drill, cut, sand and more. The MATRIX modular tool system is offered in 12V MAX, 20V MAX and 4.0 Amp AC base power units, each of which will be sold with the drill/driver attachment. (blackanddecker.com)

Milwaukee M12 FUEL line
Milwaukee Tool has introduced its M12 FUEL line of extreme-performance cordless power tools within the M12 System, available this winter. The line will include six drilling and fastening tools that all integrate Milwaukee’s PowerState brushless motor, RedLink Plus intelligence and RedLithium 2.0 battery pack. M12 Fuel Drills will include a 2-Speed Screwdriver, Drill/Driver, and Hammer Drill/Driver. The M12 FUEL Impact offering will include a ¼-in. Hex Impact Driver, ¼-in. Square Impact Wrench, and 3/8-in. Square Impact Wrench. (milwaukeetool.com)

Ryobi 18-Volt One+ ProTip Handheld Paint Sprayer
Ryobi’s cordless consumer sprayer, the ProTip, uses a reversible spray tip. The design allows the user to rotate the tip 180 degrees to clear clogs quickly and rotate back 180 degrees to continue spraying. The 1.5-qt. quick-lock container locks into place to help prevent spills and allows longer time between re-fills. ProTip can be used for painting or staining decks, fences, garage doors and more. (ryobitools.com)

Bosch CM12 Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw
The new Bosch CM12 12-in. Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw is a one-handed portable miter saw. The CM12 offers enhanced cutting capacity and boasts a strategically located side bevel lock lever for quick, easy adjustment and integrated expanding material support for cutting versatility. It is lightweight and compact and allows the user to achieve accurate, efficient cuts at any angle. (bosch.com)

Ingersoll Rand Air Impactool
From the Ingersoll Rand Edge Series, the 2132G Air Impactool 1/2-in. drive air-powered tool packages a powerful 6-vane motor and promises 600 foot-pounds of maximum reverse torque. Convenience features include a one-handed push button forward-reverse control system, a variable-speed trigger and an ergonomic grip. The air-powered tool works quietly, with the IR Quiet Technology system inside. (ingersollrandproducts.com)

SKIL MAG77-75 Worm Drive SKILSAW
To celebrate Worm Drive SKILSAW’s 75th anniversary, SKIL has unveiled a limited-edition anniversary saw that has the features of the MAG77 SKILSAW plus a custom black fleck powder coat finish, chrome aluminum foot plate, commemorative name plate and 75th anniversary saw blade. The saw features a powerful 15-amp motor, a light magnesium housing (2 lbs. lighter) to reduce user fatigue, an “Impact Resistant” Carbide Blade, a push-button spindle lock for easy blade changes, an anti-snag lower guard to reduce snags when making narrow cut-offs, an oil indicator level and relief bellows for long life, and a 22-amp switch and heavy gauge cord. The kit contents include MAG77-75 7-1/4-in. magnesium Worm Drive SKILSAW, 7-1/4-in. 24-tooth “Impact Resistant” Carbide Blade and blade wrench. (skiltools.com)

Hitachi 18V Brushless Lithium-Ion
Hitachi Power Tools has launched its new 18V Brushless Motor Lithium Ion cordless products at Lowe’s. As of May, Lowe’s has offered an 18V Lithium Ion Brushless Hammer Drill and an 18V Lithium Ion Brushless Impact Driver. Hitachi’s brushless motor technology delivers more power to the motor by minimizing energy loss through friction and heat. Managed by a micro-processor chip that delivers current flow to the motor, brushless tools experience up to 50% longer run time between charges, increased power and extended durability. Hitachi’s ergonomic design for the tool bodies makes them well balanced and comfortable. (hitachipowertools.com)

Porter-Cable 18-Volt Oscillating Multi-Tool
Porter-Cable has announced the launch of a new 18-Volt Oscillating Multi-Tool as a kit and bare model. These models are built with the company’s Tool Free System blade-change technology, which allows for quick accessory changes without bolts or wrenches. The tool also offers double the runtime per charge compared with Porter-Cable’s 12V MAX† oscillating multi-tool. The tool is compatible with the company’s 18V Lithium Ion and NiCD battery platforms. The tool’s variable-speed unit features an oscillating angle of 2.8 degrees, allowing control when making cuts on finished surfaces and delivers 7,500 to 15,000 oscillations per minute (OPM). Weighing 2.8 lbs. with the battery, the tool is compact, comfortable and includes an oversized, easy-to-reach switch and an ergonomic handle with an over-molded, non-slip grip. (portercable.com)

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