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U.S. Home Systems, Home Depot decking agreement to end

BY HBSDEALER Staff

U.S. Home Systems, a manufacturer of custom home improvement products for Home Depot, has said it is no longer supplying decking products to the retailer in markets including the Midwest, Boston, Connecticut, Virginia Beach and Atlanta. The company noted that revenues from those markets were approximately $6 million in 2007.

U.S. Home Systems will continue to sell and install decking to Home Depot on a “non-exclusive basis” until Aug. 31 in northeastern and mid-Atlantic markets, including northern Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York.

“U.S. Home Systems will also begin offering its deck products in these markets under its Designer Deck brand concurrently with the phasing out of (Home Depot) markets,” the manufacturer said in a statement. “The company will continue to manufacture wood deck component parts and related accessories at its Woodbridge, Va., facility to serve these markets.”

U.S. Home Systems said it will continue to offer kitchen and bath cabinet refacing products with Home Depot in several markets, the company noted.

“We will continue to build our presence in (Home Depot) markets and will strive to be a world class provider,” said Murray Gross, chairman and CEO of U.S. Home Systems, in a statement.

U.S. Home Systems is based in Lewisville, Texas.

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Sandell Construction Solutions makes acquisition

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Schenectady, N.Y.-based building products manufacturer Sandell Construction Solutions recently acquired Diedrich Technologies, a supplier of professional masonry detergent products for restoring and maintaining old and new buildings.

Diedrich, based out of Oak Creek, Wis., is a producer of products used for historic homes, particularly for buildings that appear on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Sandell offers solutions to support and extend a building’s life over the long term. With the acquisition of Diedrich Technologies, Sandell now encompasses all of the masonry market’s needs, from initial construction to maintenance of the building,” the company said in a release.

Sandell’s products include masonry products; copper, mechanical, PVC, metal and rubber flashings; mastics; weep and drainage devices; sill plate seal and shingle starter strips; and flashing termination bars.

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Sears fourth-quarter income sinks 47 percent

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings reported net income and sales down for the fourth quarter and year ended Feb. 1.

For the quarter, the company reported net income of $426 million, down 47.5 percent from $811 million in the prior-year quarter. Net sales were $15.1 billion, down 6.8 percent from $16.1 billion in the previous year.

Net income for the year was $826 million, down 44.6 percent from $1.5 billion in the same quarter last year. Sales for the year were $50.7 billion, down 4.3 percent from $53 billion from last year.

Domestic comparable-store sales declined 4.5 percent for the quarter, with Sears Domestic declining 4 percent and Kmart declining 5.2 percent. For the year, domestic comparable-stores sales declined 4.3 percent, with Sears Domestic declining 4 percent and Kmart declining 4.7 percent. The company also reported a more pronounced decline in comparable-store sales in the month of January.

“Our fourth-quarter and full year results continued to be negatively impacted by the worsening economic conditions faced by both our customers and competitors, as well as increased markdowns taken to clear excess inventory,” said W. Bruce Johnson, Sears Holdings’ interim CEO and president. “Given the challenging retail environment, we will work to improve and tighten our management of costs and inventory levels in 2008.

“Further, we believe that our recently announced restructuring will position us to navigate the difficult conditions that lie ahead and operate our businesses more efficiently and effectively,” he added.

The company also stated that the results were partially offset by improved operating results at Sears Canada.

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