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Leviton acquires Birchwood Lighting

BY HBSDealer Staff

Melville, New York-based Leviton acquired Birchwood Lighting, a southern California-based designer and manufacturer of light fixtures with expertise in linear lighting. Birchwood Lighting will be the latest addition to Leviton’s newly consolidated Leviton Lighting Business Unit.

Daryoush Larizadeh, president and chief operating officer of Leviton, describes the two companies as a great fit. “Birchwood Lighting’s focus on providing customized solutions for architects, designers and specifiers, paired with their excellence in customer service, makes them the ideal partner to expand our Leviton Lighting Business Unit, and we could not be more excited to welcome them into the Leviton family,” Larizadeh said.

Birchwood Lighting joins JCC, ConTech Lighting and Intense Lighting as the fourth acquisition in the new Leviton Lighting Business Unit.

Under the leadership of John Ranshaw, vice president and general manager of the newly integrated business unit, Leviton will focus on continuing to expand its lighting product offering, sales footprint and continuous effort to deliver the broadest portfolio of innovative, high-performance and sustainable lighting solutions and fixtures in the industry.

“Since Birchwood Lighting’s inception over two decades ago, we have prided ourselves on our commitment to product development and to being a partner and resource to our customers,” said Darrin Weedon, president and chief visionary officer of Birchwood Lighting. “We’re pleased to be joining another family company that shares the same values and will help to expand our resources for customers.”

Following the acquisition, Leviton will continue to maintain their separate agent networks and distribution channels and both companies will immediately begin to build on each other’s strengths, resources and product offerings, the company said.
 

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Readers Respond: Bad looks on Canadian lumber deal

BY HBSDealer Staff

Last week, the Commerce Department followed up on a trade dispute that's been up in the air since the U.S. and Canada's Softwood Lumber Agreement expired in October 2015 with a plan to collect an average of about 20% on lumber entering the country from Canada.

The moved generated a wide range of reaction in the industry, but we wanted to hear from our readers, too.

In a poll earlier this week, we asked whether it was conducive (or counterproductive) of the Department of Commerce to slap tariffs on Canadian lumber.

The largest share of respondents — 48% — said "bad move: Bad for the consumer, and bad for the housing market." Another 23% said "don't know: It's a complicated ecosystem, and only time will tell."

For those who embraced the move with more certainty: 29% answered "good move: Good for U.S. mills, and good for future negotiations."

What do you think? Take our poll here.

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Best Buy to launch smart home service

BY Marianne Wilson

Best Buy is extending its reaching into the fast-growing smart home market by teaming up with a company that makes and installs smart devices.
   
The retailer and Vivint Smart Home announced a partnership, called Best Buy Smart Home powered by Vivint, whereby experts from Vivint will be placed in Best Buy stores to give shoppers advice about smart home devices and installation. The program will start rolling out this summer.

This is not Best Buy’s first foray into the smart home arena. In 2014, the company debuted “Connected Home” departments in some 400 of its stores. Under the new partnership, Vivint products — and smart home experts — will be added to the departments. Customers will be able select from an assortment of  leading smart home products from Vivint and other partners –— including smart locks, lights, cameras, thermostats and more — and also receive Vivint’s professional installation and monitoring, often within 24 hours. 

Accompanying service plans include 24/7 professional monitoring with emergency response, always-on cellular connection, 30-day video storage, online and phone support, in-home service and equipment protection.

Customers also have the option to select a no-contract service plan. Vivint’s smart home platform works with voice assistants, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, enabling consumers to control their smart home devices with their voice.

“Best Buy is all about helping customers pursue their passions and enrich their lives with the help of technology,” said Asheesh Saksena, chief strategic growth officer at Best Buy. “To deliver on that promise, we work with industry leading partners to curate the best products, services and solutions that address the everyday needs of our customers. Our partnership with Vivint is a perfect example of that strategy.”

Vivint Smart Home has more than 1 million customers and has installed more than 15 million smart home devices in North American homes. 

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