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Lennox Financing Agreement Helps Customers Upgrade Equipment

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas Dallas — Commercial Lennox contractors now have more to offer businesses that want to control energy consumption while lowering their maintenance costs. Lennox and CIT Group Inc., a leading global commercial finance company, announced a vendor financing agreement to serve commercial customers of Lennox’ North American commercial contractors.

CIT Vendor Finance will provide financing to qualified commercial customers to help them upgrade their existing, less-efficient HVAC systems to more energy-efficient Lennox models. Designed to help businesses replace aging HVAC equipment nearing the end of its projected life span, the financing program will also provide Lennox clients with a streamlined application process and enhanced customer-service plan.

Lennox Industries Inc. has been selected four times as an ENERGY STAR Manufacturing Partner of the Year for its outstanding contributions to developing, manufacturing and promoting energy-efficient products; consumer education; and industry outreach efforts. This designation is made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Lennox is the only heating, ventilation and air conditioning manufacturer ever chosen for this award.

For more information about Lennox products and services, please contact Lennox at 1-800-9-LENNOX or visit www.lennox.com.

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Pep Boys posts 4Q sales loss

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA The Pep Boys announced that sales for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2 were $517.6 million, as compared to the $578 million recorded for the fourth quarter ended February 3, 2007. Excluding the 14th week of fourth quarter 2006, comparable-merchandise sales decreased 4.4% and comparable-service revenue decreased 1%.

The company reported a fourth quarter net loss of $18.5 million, or 36 cents per share – basic and diluted, from net earning of $7.9 million, or 15 cents per share – basic and diluted, for the same period last year. According to Pep Boys, the net loss included $8.5 million of margin reductions related to the exiting of non-core merchandise, $6.2 million in store closure costs and $6 million in debt pre-payment costs.

Sales for the fiscal year ended Feb. 2 were $2.14 billion as compared to the $2.24 billion recorded last year. Excluding the 53rd week of 2006, comparable-merchandise sales decreased 4.2% and comparable-service revenue increased 1.8%.

Net loss increased from $7.07 million, or 13 cents per share – basic and diluted, to  $37.4 million, or 72 cents per share – basic and diluted. 

President and ceo Jeff Rachor commented, “While the difficult economic backdrop created sales challenges during the fourth quarter, we are pleased to confirm that our progress to date leaves us well positioned to complete this first important step in our strategic plan by the beginning of the second quarter of this year.

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ALDI launches ‘smart’ ad campaign

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK ALDI has launched a new television campaign in the United States.

The four commercials center on the themes of “musical,” “soccer mom,” “extended family” and “dinner party.” Each one presents a different scenario, i.e. shopping for a big family, or putting together the perfect dinner party, and ties into the ALDI motto of “shopping smart.”

The commercials can be viewed on ALDI’s Web site.

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