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Lowe’s opens three stores in Canada

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s held grand opening celebrations at three Canadian stores, marking the company’s entry into that country.

The second largest home improvement retailer in the United States opened stores in South Brampton, Brantford and Hamilton, Ontario – all suburbs of Toronto. The company will open three additional stores on Feb. 1, with a seventh location planned to open shortly thereafter. Fifteen further sites are in the works in Canada.

Don Stallings, president of Lowe’s Canada, said the stores aim to “meet the unique home improvement needs of Canadians.”

“Today is about delivering on the promise we’ve made to Canadian customers,” he said in a statement. Lowe’s plans as many as 100 stores in Canada over time, with an average investment per store of more than $18.7 million Canadian dollars ($18.5 million USD). The company opened its Canadian headquarters in Toronto in 2006 and now has more than 700 Canadian employees in the office and its stores, the company said.

Lowe’s has stores in 49 U.S. states, with 2006 sales of $46.9 billion.

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Canfor to close another sawmill

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Canfor Corp., one of North America’s largest lumber producers, is closing another West Coast sawmill, in Chetwynd, B.C., which will result in 188 employees being laid off.

Vancouver-based Canfor attributed the closure to poor lumber markets and the impact of a high Canadian dollar. Additionally, Canfor cited those same problems in laying off 300 workers at four sawmills in British Columbia for an indefinite period late last month.

The Chetwynd sawmill has a capacity of 244 million board feet of production annually. It will close after log supplies are used up and finished products shipped, the company said, by late January or early February.

Canfor CEO Jim Shepard said the closure “is in keeping with the company’s decision to restructure its production schedules to reflect the demands of the marketplace.”

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Toro acquires lawn technology business

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bloomington, Minn.-based Toro announced it has acquired Turf Guard, the wireless lawn monitoring technology business of JLH Labs.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Toro said the wireless technology is used to measure moisture in soil, salinity and temperature through buried sensors that transmit data to a Web-based system.

The company said that the purchase will add to its irrigation products and will continue to be sold under the Turf Guard name.

JLH Labs chief executive Jason Hill will become part of Toro’s irrigation team.

Toro is a worldwide manufacturer of outdoor maintenance and beautification products for home, recreation and commercial landscapes.

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