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Pergo, Uniboard up for sale

BY Brae Canlen

The German parent company of laminate flooring maker Pergo has put its North American operations on the block, according to an article in the Triangle Business Journal of Raleigh/Durham North Carolina. 

Although no buyer has been identified yet, a company spokesperson for Pfleiderer AG, which also owns fiberboard producer Uniboard, said the parent company hopes to conclude the sales process for its North American operations by mid-2012.

Pergo employs approximately 165 people at its flooring manufacturing plant and distribution facility in Garner, N.C., according to the article. Uniboard opened a $160 million expansion of its wood-paneling plant in Moncure, N.C., in early 2010 and employs about 250 people in Chatham County. The Moncure plant is Uniboard’s largest and most technically advanced fiberboard plant in North America. The company has four other plants in Canada.

Pfleiderer underwent a financial restructuring earlier this year, and as part of its deal with creditors, the company needs to reduce hundreds of millions in debt, according to the article. 

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KraftMaid lays off workers

BY Brae Canlen

KraftMaid, the industry’s largest cabinet manufacturer, has laid off 175 hourly workers at factories in Orwell and Middlefield, Ohio, according to an article in the Warren Tribune Chronicle.

A spokeswoman for parent company Masco told the newspaper that, "Prolonged economic conditions have severely impacted the housing market, whether new construction or remodeling. The current climate remains challenging."

Masco’s president and CEO, Tim Wadhams, also addressed the effect of the housing and remodeling slump on cabinet sales at the Robert W. Baird & Co. analysts conference on Nov. 8.

“The marketplace has been very difficult,” Wadhams said. “Cabinets are certainly an example of that for us. We have seen in addition to the slowdown in new home construction, certainly a decline in larger repair remodel activity — a lot of promotional dynamic in this particular segment, particularly at retail in terms of big box and dealers.”

KraftMaid supplies both Home Depot and Lowe’s with KraftMaid kitchen and bath cabinets.  

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Walmart filling big-box holes

BY Brae Canlen

An article in the Washington Post reported how Lowe’s, Home Depot and other big-box retailers are either pulling out or reconsidering their plans to open stores in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area — leaving plenty of opportunity for future Walmarts.

The Bentonville, Ark., retailer has moved “aggressively” to open four new stores in the Washington area, according to the newspaper, in some cases taking over spots that had been planned for other retailers, including Home Depot and Target. Walmart is also moving into a Washington, D.C., shopping plaza where Lowe’s plans are still up in the air, the article reported.

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