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Job cuts at Newell Rubbermaid

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In a revised fourth-quarter outlook, Newell Rubbermaid has announced several measures to cut costs and maximize cash, positioning the company for “a prolonged downturn.”

Among these actions are a wage freeze and an 8 to 10 percent reduction of salaried work force which began in 2008 and will continue next year. Newell Rubbermaid is also implementing temporary shutdowns at a number of manufacturing plants. The company said it would give further information on the locations of these facilities at its fourth quarter earnings announcement on Jan. 29, 2009.

“We are seeing extraordinary volatility, weaker than expected demand, and customer inventory reductions across virtually all geographies and market segments, with trends worsening as we near the end of our fourth quarter,” said Mark Ketchum, Newell Rubbermaid’s president and CEO. “The unprecedented rapidity of the economy’s decline makes it difficult to anticipate an economic rebound any time soon. Our expectations are for a more challenging business environment in 2009 than any we’ve seen to date.”

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After Christmas, Lowe’s gets busy

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s is planning a barrage of day-after-Christmas store openings that will bring more than 700,000 square feet of new retailing space to the nation’s second largest home improvement retailer.

On Dec. 26, Lowe’s will open in the following seven locations: Oak Grove Village, Mo. (94,000 square feet); Derby, Conn. (102,000 square feet); South Lebanon, Ohio (117,000 square feet); League City, Texas (117,000 square feet); East San Jose, Calif. (117,000 square feet); Tarboro, N.C. (66,000 square feet); and Pineville, La. (94,000 square feet).

And the end of its most recent quarter, Lowe’s operated 1,616 stores. The company expects to open approximately 120 stores in 2008, scaling back to 75 to 85 new store openings in 2009.

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HD Supply White Cap expands in Texas

BY HBSDEALER Staff

HD Supply White Cap celebrated the grand opening of its 44,000-square-foot distribution center and regional offices located at 400 International Parkway in Arlington, Texas.

The facility is designed to improve inventory availability throughout the South Central markets by consolidating all purchasing, receiving and distribution activities for more than 300 vendors.  The new distribution center is the final phase of HD Supply White Cap facility consolidation efforts taking place in the South Central region since 2006.

“HD Supply White Cap is committed to strategic growth that enables us to serve our customers more efficiently and build value,” said Tom Lazzaro, president of HD Supply White Cap. 

HD Supply White Cap offers products including concrete and masonry tools and accessories, wood and plastics, all trade hand and layout tools, tilt-up hardware and brace rentals, brand name power tools, stormwater pollution prevention products, welding supplies, lightweight construction equipment and job site and personal safety equipment.

The company, which describes itself as a leading distributor of specialty hardware, tools and materials for large and medium-sized professional contractors, is a division of HD Supply.

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