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Made-in-USA lawsuit fired in caulking gun category

BY Ken Clark

Jessup, Md.-based Newborn Bros. Co. filed a lawsuit May 24 in federal district court in Camden, N.J., against its competitor, Albion Engineering Co. of Moorestown, N.J.

Newborn alleges that Albion has violated the federal Lanham Act and New Jersey law, misleading distributors and customers for years using false claims that Albion’s products are “Made in USA.” Newborn further alleges that Albion sells products imported from Taiwan.

Newborn is seeking an injunction to stop Albion’s deceptive sales, recall and destroy false advertising materials and mislabeled product, and award payment of damages resulting from the unfair competition.

Newborn’s complaint alleges that import reports show Albion buying complete caulking guns and handle assemblies from Taiwanese manufacturers for Albion’s Deluxe, Special Deluxe and B-Line products. The Federal Trade Commission restricts the use of “Made in USA” marking to products that are virtually all made in the United States. Newborn alleges in its complaint that Albion’s products should be advertised and marked “Made in Taiwan.”

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Fifty winning retailers, state by state

BY HBSDEALER Staff

It takes a little more to be an all-star on the 2012 Home Channel News Hardware Store All-Star list. For the second year in a row, HCN has compiled a state-by-state list of high performers, innovative retailers and classic stores.

The alphabetical listing of Hardware Store All-Stars, one from each of the 50 U.S. states, continues below with Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana:

Kansas
Williams Ace Hardware
Wichita, Kan.
“If we don’t have it, you don’t need it,” co-owner Nick Dondlinger is fond of saying. Customers come here seeking unusual hardware items or very small quantities. “What we lack in quantity we make up for in variety,” he said. By the store’s estimates, it has given away hundreds of pounds of nails over the years to customers who need a handful for small projects, but don’t need an entire box.

Kentucky
Chevy Chase Hardware
Lexington, Ky.
A quarter-century as the trusted local hardware store almost went poof for Bill and Carol Edwards when Home Depot and Lowe’s opened home centers four traffic lights down the road in a manner of months. “We could have handled one, but not both,” Bill Edwards said. “So we moved.” Twelve years later, Chevy Chase is flourishing in its new digs. One customer blogged: “No finer neighborhood hardware store can — nor will ever — be found than Chevy Chase Hardware.”

Louisiana
Stine Lumber
Sulphur, La.
With six sons to help run the business, the Stine Lumber Co. never worried about succession issues. But the 12-unit chain of home centers — “everything for your home and yard” — still had to face warehouse competition in many of its markets. Its solution: build big. Its average store is 60,000 sq. ft., and the newest location is 80,000 sq. ft., with an attached 40,000-sq.-ft. lumberyard and 20,000-sq.-ft. garden center.

For the complete list of 50 winning retailers, state-by-state, register or log in to Homechannelnews.com

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Lowe’s reaps more than $350,000 in N.M. job training funds

BY Brae Canlen

Lowe’s is one of three companies chosen by the New Mexico Department of Economic Development to receive cash incentives to create nonretail service or manufacturing jobs, according to an article in the New Mexico Business Weekly.

The Job Training Incentive Program board approved $357,918 for the Lowe’s  customer support center in Albuquerque to help the company train 150 new employees. Ultimately, Lowe’s said it plans to staff the center with 600 employees. So far, it has hired approximately half that number.

The Job Training program also approved $40,104 for two jobs at JackRabbit Systems in Santa Fe and $14,400 for two jobs at Plenish Inc. in Taos.

JackRabbit Systems is an Internet-booking engine that allows users to access hotel inventory through city and state tourism websites. According to the news report, JackRabbit has served 47 clients in the past seven months.

Plenish Inc., a skincare and cosmetics designer and producer located in Taos, N.M., also does private-label manufacturing.

The state’s Jobs Training program reimburses new and expanding companies for a portion of training costs if they qualify under certain criteria, which include creating new jobs that either make a product or provide a nonretail service in New Mexico with half of the company’s customer and revenue base located outside the state.

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