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NEWS BRIEFS.

Messermeister Founder Dead at 62

Bernd Dressler, founder and president of Messermeister, died Nov. 17 as a result of a heart attack. He was 62. He leaves behind his wife and business partner, Debbie Dressler, and two daughters.

A 30-year veteran of the cutlery business, Dressler founded Messermeister in 1984 to market German cutlery in the United States and Canada. "Bernd Dressler was a true leader in the manufacturing and marketing of cutlery, working tirelessly to make knives safer and more functional," said Dean Laffey, vice president of Messemiester and longtime friend and business associate of Dressler.

Debbie Dressler will continue to run the company. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Heart Association.

Roomba Vac Cleans Up on HSN

Roomba's debut on the Home Shopping Network was a reported sellout. The robotic vacuum cleaner was pitched earlier this month for $199, said an HSN representative. The network also offered an accessories pack "to differentiate ourselves" from the upscale retailers that have carried the machine since September.

The Roomba Intelligent FloorVac was developed by iRobot Corp. and introduced at Brookstone, Hammacher Schlemmer and The Sharper Image.

Holmes to Close Its U.S. Plants

The Holmes Group has said it plans to end all of its manufacturing in the United States by the end of January, resulting in approximately 800 layoffs. Plants in Flowood, Miss.; Sweet Springs, Mo.; and Clinton, Mo., are being closed so that the company may expand in Asia.

Holmes also plans to close a distribution center in Clinton and an administrative office in Kansas City, Mo., as well as move a service center in Worcester, Mass., to an operation in Milford, Mass., during the first half of next year.

Brookstone Adds Blueair 601 Purifier

Brookstone has begun its exclusive sale of Blueair's largest air purifier, model 601. The Swedish manufacturer already supplies models 301, 402 and 501 to retailers and catalog businesses. The 601 is rated for a room with 680 square feet.

Brookstone is offering the product through its 250-plus stores, catalog and brookstone.com. Additionally, the chain reportedly is featuring the 601 on an infomercial on Tribune television stations. Brookstone carries the Blueair 601 at $599, 501 at $499 and 402 at $399.
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Title Annotation:includes multiple articles
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 16, 2002
Words:375
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