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Sears Holdings announces 50 job cuts in Dallas

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears Holdings will cut approximately 50 jobs at a Dallas-based National Claims and National Support Center, according to a report in the Dallas Business Journal.

The parent of Sears and Kmart stores issued a letter stating the layoffs would involve primarily administrative positions and would begin next month.

The company noted in the letter that the entire service facility is not closing. The service center is one of six nationwide.

In related news, West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw said yesterday that Sears Holdings subsidiaries agreed to improve customer service operations in the state as a response to claims the retailer failed to comply with consumer protection laws, according to an Associated Press report.

Sears agreed to respond “swiftly” to consumer concerns and pay $20,000 for consumer education. The retailer had been accused of various failures to resolve consumer problems with appliance sales, as well as with installation of roofing, heating and cooling systems.

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Ace cuts back LBM staff

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ace Hardware reduced the size of its LBM division and brought it under the direction of Sean Flynn, a longtime merchandise executive for the Oak Brook, Ill.-based cooperative.

Amy Pellerito, a 19-year Ace veteran and previously LBM manager, is no longer with the company. Ace hired Pellerito as a lumber trader in 1989. When Ace spun off its lumber division in 1999, she continued with Ace in store planning and design. When Ace resumed its LBM efforts with a focused division in 2003, the co-op put Pellerito in charge.

In 2006, Pellerito had four territory managers in her department. Two LBM specialists — Jeff McGuire and Beth Stewart — remain with the LBM division, according to McGuire, who pointed to market conditions as a primary reason for the structural change.

Ace spokesman Christopher Boniface said the change is “more than a reaction to economic issues. From our standpoint, it’s a better alignment of our buying offices.”

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LP issues warning on composite decking

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Louisiana-Pacific has issued a product advisory for its composite decking materials purchased after Jan. 1, 2005, and made at its Meridian, Idaho, facility. Some of the products can prematurely deteriorate and break, posing a risk to consumers, the announcement said, blaming “variations in manufacturing processes.”

The affected products were sold under the WeatherBest name nationwide and under the Veranda and ABTCo brands at Home Depot stores in the western part of the United States.

Only the Veranda decking and railing products made by LP are subject to the advisory. WeatherBest products manufactured after LP’s sale of the Meridian plant in October 2007 are not affected.

Consumers should check their decks for cracks or chipping of the surface layers, the company said. LP will arrange an inspection to determine if decks are affected and will remedy the problem, up to replacement of the entire deck if necessary.

For more information, visit  www.deckingnotice.com .

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