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Wal-Mart vice chairman to retire

BY HBSDEALER Staff

John Menzer, vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, has announced he will retire from the company effective March 1. Menzer, 56, was with Wal-Mart for 12 years.

Menzer began his Wal-Mart career in 1995 as the company’s chief financial officer and was promoted to president and CEO of Wal-Mart International in 1999. There he had full responsibility for the company’s operations in 15 countries. His current position will be assumed by other leaders in the company, Wal-Mart said.

“John has had a tremendously successful career at Wal-Mart, and I have seen firsthand the difference he has made,” said Lee Scott, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores. “He is probably best known for transforming Wal-Mart International into a well-organized, fast-growing and profitable business.”

Menzer was named “Retailer of the Year” on behalf of Wal-Mart International in 2004 by Retailing Today. He also received the 1999 CFO Excellence Award from CFO Magazine. He has been a frequent keynote speaker at industry conferences and has served on the 21st Century Economic Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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Lowe’s: now in 50 states

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s officially opened the doors yesterday of its first Vermont store,in the city of Burlington, marking the retailer’s entry into all 50 U.S. states.

Spokeswoman Maureen Rich told the local newspaper Burlington Free Press that the retailer planned to hold off on a proper grand opening celebration until the spring, because of winter weather. “We’re very excited with this expansion. This is a milestone for Lowe’s,” she told the newspaper. Calls to Lowe’s for a follow-up comment were not immediately returned.

Preceding the formal opening, the store held a soft opening for commercial customers only. The Lowe’s store had been in the works for several years, having been delayed by stormwater runoff concerns and other permit issues, according to news reports.

The Burlington store will not remain the only Lowe’s store in the state for long. The retailer is seeking permits for further stores in Essex, Vt., and St. Albans Town, Vt.

Home Depot has a larger presence in Vermont — currently, the retailer has four locations in the state.

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s operates more than 1,450 stores in the United States and Canada.

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Rust-Oleum acquires fire protection business

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Rust-Oleum has announced that its subsidiary, Tor Coatings, has acquired certain assets of Bollom, a maker of fire retardant coatings and varnishes. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Bollom business includes brand names Fireshield, Intusteel, Fireguard, Flamebar and Intuclear. The products are primarily sold in the United Kingdom.

“The Bollom fire protection brands are an excellent fit with our current business,” said Colin Carter, CEO of Tor Coatings. “In addition to expanding our technology offering to existing customers, these added brands will take Tor to new markets and applications.”

Vernon Hills, Ill.-based Rust-Oleum acquired Tor Coatings in March 2007. Rust-Oleum’s other brands include Painter’s Touch, American Accents, EpoxyShield and Varathane.

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