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RONA plans Canada-wide CFL recycling

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Boucherville, Quebec-based DIY retailer RONA plans a program to collect and recycle compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) across Canada at RONA, Reno-Depot, Totem and Chester Dawe stores.

The retailer said consumers will be able to take their used CFLs to those store locations, where the bulbs can be collected for “safe recovery.”

“Providing a safe disposal method for compact fluorescent bulbs lets us meet consumer needs, with people increasingly choosing compact fluorescents,” said Pierre Dandoy, RONA’s executive vp-big-box stores.

The retailer noted consumers should follow “certain safety rules” when disposing of compact fluorescents because they contain small quantities of mercury. Consumers will be asked to use a special plastic bag meant to help prevent mercury from the bulbs from leaking.

The used bulbs will then be taken to a recycling facility, where certain components, including the mercury, can be extracted and reused.

RONA currently operates a network of more than 680 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats.

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Lifetime Brands sees a deeper first-quarter loss

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Housewares giant Lifetime Brands reported a first-quarter loss of $6 million, deeper than the $1.3 million loss recorded in the same period last year. Sales fell 5.4 percent to $98.19 million from $103.79 million last year.

The company, which produces housewares under brands including KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Towle and Pfaltzgraff, saw a charge of $2.9 million related to restructuring of the company’s direct-to-consumer business, as well as a $1.5 million charge related to the consolidation of West Coast distribution facilities.

“Most of our wholesale customers experienced lackluster foot traffic during the quarter, as consumers curtailed spending on discretionary items due to continuing uncertainty over the direction of the overall economy,” said Jeffrey Siegel, Lifetime Brands chairman, president and CEO.

Siegel said the sales decline was partially offset by strength in the company’s direct-to-consumer segment, which saw a same-store sales increase of 3.3 percent. The company also saw a 13.5 percent increase in Internet sales.

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Weyerhaeuser could sell shipping assets

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Federal Way, Wash.-based Weyerhaeuser is seeking strategic alternatives for its Westwood Shipping Line, as well as four regional short-line railroads.

The company said it did not have a set timetable for the plan.

Westwood currently serves customers in 20 ports worldwide, including Japan, Korea, China and North America with a fixed-day, weekly sailing schedule. Westwood is a wholly owned subsidiary that operates four ConBulk vessels used by customers to ship forest products and containerized and oversized cargo, according to the company.

The four railroads — DeQueen & Eastern, Columbia & Cowlitz, MSV and Golden Triangle — ship materials to mills in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Washington. Third-party customers also use the lines for transportation needs.

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