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LP to close OSB mills in Georgia, Quebec

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Nashville, Tenn.-based building products supplier Louisiana-Pacific will curtail operations at two oriented strand board (OSB) mills in the fourth quarter this year.

The company will indefinitely shutter mills in Chambord, Quebec, and Athens, Ga.

OSB executive vp Jeff Wagner issued a statement on the issue, saying the company expected to improve operating efficiencies with the closures.

“We are faced with one of the weakest housing markets in decades, which has substantially reduced the demand for OSB. In these conditions, we simply cannot justify running these mills,” he said.

Annual OSB product capacities at Athens and Chambord are 375 million and 440 million square feet, respectively, according to the company.

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Lowe’s ‘command center’ prepares for further storms

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s will continue the use of its Gulf Coast hurricane “command center,” following landfall of hurricane Gustav and continuing as tropical storms Hanna, Ike and Josephine affect the south and southeastern regions.

The retailer earlier announced that 30 of its stores in the Gulf Coast region had closed — they have since reopened — while a further 70 stores were under “command center watch” to help distribute goods to any residents affected by the storms. Lowe’s works with vendors to quickly ship essential hurricane preparation and relief products to stores and regional distribution centers.

“Lowe’s command center is in full activation, and we are expediting as much emergency product into affected communities to help customers recover when they return home,” said Larry D. Stone, Lowe’s president and COO, in a statement.

Certain Lowe’s employees in the southeast, members of the retailer’s Storm Recovery Teams, are on standby throughout the region, Stone added.

Additionally, the company has set up hurricane relief donation sites at stores nationwide, part of the company’s ongoing partnership with the Red Cross.

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Ace to participate in Mid-South real estate event

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware is one of more than 250 retailers, developers, vendors and retail real estate brokers scheduled to attend the second annual Mid-South Fall Retailer Kickoff at Harrah’s Tunica in Tunica, Miss., Sept. 10 and 11.

Last year, more than 300 local, regional and national retailers, developers, brokers and public officials attended the regional networking event, according to the Kickoff Web site.

Ace Hardware confirmed recently that Memphis is one of several areas the co-op is looking to penetrate. In fact, Germantown, Tenn.-based Trezevant Realty, one of the sponsors of the Kickoff, has announced plans to open 15 new Ace stores in the greater Memphis area in the next 18 to 24 months.

“That’s a real conservative estimate. It could be within a year,” said Barry Maynard, an affiliate broker with Trezevant.

Maynard said Ace is trying to establish a presence from northeast Arkansas to western Tennessee, one of the only areas left in the United States without an Ace footprint.

“You’ve got 40 to 50 submarkets outside Memphis and going toward Nashville,” he said. “None of them have huge populations, but they draw from large areas, and there’s a demand and a need for hardware stores.”

The new Ace stores would range from around 11,500 square feet to 70, 000 square feet, with some of the larger ones being established in former Kroger and Winn Dixie supermarket spaces, Maynard said.

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