Odorless propane sparks recall
Most propane is treated with an ingredient that smells like spoiled eggs when the tank leaks. This safety measure helps consumers detect leaks. But some of the propane in about 700 rail cars of propane gas sold in portable cylinders from Morris Ill.-based Aux Sable Liquid Products do not have sufficient levels of the odorant.
As a result, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Aux Sable Liquid Products announced a voluntary recall of the propane cylinders.
Failure to detect leaking gas can present fire, explosion and thermal burn hazards to consumers.
A special alert Web site has been established at www.propanegasalert.com.
The product was sold at propane retailers in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia from Feb. 25, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2010.
Consumers in the affected states whose most recent propane gas purchase or delivery was between Feb. 25, 2010 and September 30, 2010 should immediately contact Aux Sable to arrange for a free inspection. If there is insufficient odorant, additional odorized propane or a replacement portable propane cylinder will be provided free of charge.
No injuries have been reported.
Home Depot consolidates stores in China
Home Depot has shut down five of its 12 stores in China, according to a report in the Chinese media, but has no intention of withdrawing from the market.
The Comtex News Network reported on Jan. 26 that the first store shuttered by the Atlanta retailer was in Qingdao in June 2009; since then four others, including the Beijing location, have been closed.
However, Home Depot’s stores in Tianjin, Xi’an and Zhengzhou are all doing well, the article said. “People close to the matter” told the news service that some of the underperforming stores have suffered losses of more than CNY $10 million (US$1.5 million) annually.
In the Home Depot’s annual investors and analyst meeting on Dec. 13, president and CEO Frank Blake described the company retail presence in China as “problematic, as we concentrate our geographic presence to a few key cities.” When asked about the number of stores in China, Blake gave no exact count, but said that the company has no immediate growth plans.
“China has been a journey,” Blake added. “I don’t think we’re alone in having it take some time to figure out how to build a profitable business model. We’ve said from the start that we’re not there to drive square-footage growth. We’re there to figure out a profitable business model and then move.”
Toro acquires outdoor lighting company
The Toro Co. has acquired Escondido, Calif.-based outdoor lighting manufacturer Unique Lighting Systems, according to the Press Enterprise.
Toro will move the newly acquired company to its Toro Irrigation Systems headquarters in Riverside, Calif.
According to the article, many of the contractors that install sprinkler systems also install outdoor lighting, and the company sees this as a chance to streamline the supply chain.
A separate article by North County Times said that Toro will retain 30 of Unique’s employees, who will be moved to the Riverside location over the course of the next 18 months. The company will also retain owners Nate Mullen and Randy Weisser, as well as a team of designers from Unique Lighting.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.