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August 17, 2012

Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA, the Canadian hardware retailer and distributor, has unveiled its new website and mobile application.

The new Rona.ca site offers a more user-friendly interface, and helps inform and guide consumers in their renovation or decoration projects based on personal interests. It also allows shoppers to evaluate and comment on some 30,000 products online. 

August 16, 2012

Residential remodeling activity in the United States declined 6% in June 2012 compared with May, according to an index compiled by BuildFax, a national database of building permit data. The June 2012 figure is 1% below the revised June 2011 number.

August 15, 2012

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) small business index, a monthly report on the economic health and outlook of the nation’s small, independently owned businesses, measured 91.2 for the month of July, slightly below its June reading of 91.4. Optimism fell for the third consecutive month, reaching its lowest level in nine months.

August 14, 2012

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales were up slightly in July, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, July monthly sales were $403.9 billion, up 0.8% from the previous month, and up 4.1% from July last year.

For building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS classification 444), July sales were $23.46 billion, up 1.0% from both June 2012 and July 2011.

August 14, 2012

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) weighed in the Commerce Department’s monthly sales figures, which showed a return to positive numbers.

Monthly retail sales figures for July totaled $403.9 billion, an increase of 0.8% over the previous month, and 4.1% over July 2011.

August 9, 2012

Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA, the Canadian hardware retailer and distributor, saw a distribution sales increase of 8.7% in its second fiscal quarter of 2012, while retail and commercial sales rose 1.8%.

Beginning with the quarter, RONA changed the way it measures comparable-store sales. For the first time, the company is including distribution sales to affiliate dealers, and on that basis, same-store sales rose 1% in the second quarter.

August 7, 2012

The nation’s leading wholesale distributors of home improvement products and building materials saw an increase of 2.23% in 2011 sales, according to the research that produced the 2012 Home Channel News Top 100 Distributor Scoreboard.

Click here for analysis.

August 6, 2012

The responsibility of full engagement does not fall solely on employees. An employee may be engaged in one organization or department and disengaged in another environment. Or, the employee may start off engaged and then slowly move into the disengaged, or transactional, category. Managers often hold the keys to whether employees are engaged or transactional because employees’ level of engagement often depends on the manager’s.

August 6, 2012

Orchard Supply Hardware Stores reported an increase in comparable-store sales for the second quarter ended July 28 of 0.9%. Preliminary net sales were $194.0 million compared with $196.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2011.

August 2, 2012

Demand for fencing in the U.S. is forecast to expand 7.1% annually through 2016, according to a report just released by The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research firm.

August 2, 2012

BlueLinx Holdings, the Atlanta-based building materials distributor, reported sales of $517 million for its second fiscal quarter, a 3.3% gain over sales of $500.8 million in the same quarter of 2011.

August 1, 2012

The nation’s leading wholesale distributors of home improvement products and building materials saw an increase of 2.23% in 2011 sales, according to the research that produced the 2012 Home Channel News Top 100 Distributor Scoreboard.

It wasn’t easy.

According to the data culled from surveys, financial reports and estimates, the nation’s top 100 distributors produced a total of $40.263 billion in sales, compared with $39.385 billion in 2010.

August 1, 2012

Bill Kirk and Gerry Kress are weathermen. But not the television variety.

As owners of Weather Trends, they predict temperatures and atmospheric conditions around the country (they say they’re pretty good at it); but more importantly, they analyze the weather’s impact on retail sales.

Here’s one of the secrets to the analysis: Not all heat waves are created equally.

August 1, 2012

Channel analysis During the 12 months from June 2011 through May 2012, dollar sales of barbecue grills increased to $1.390 billion, up 1.2% from the previous year, according to Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group. The company’s consumer research shows unit volume increased even more — up 6.7%. The consumer panel shows hardware stores losing dollar share to warehouse home centers and unit share to mass merchants.

August 1, 2012

Louisiana-Pacific Corp., one of the industry’s leading suppliers of oriented strand board (OSB) and other building materials, announced net sales of $428 million for its second fiscal quarter, an 18% hike over sales of $362.4 million in the same quarter a year ago.

July 20, 2012

Not surprisingly, there’s a big gulf between the under-35 and over-35 age group when it comes to using technology to make purchasing decisions, according to a recent survey by Today Info Retail, an Atlanta-based strategy and design agency.

July 16, 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $401.5 billion, down 0.5% from the previous month, but 3.8% above June 2011.

Total sales for the April through June 2012 period were up 4.7% from the same period a year ago.

July 11, 2012

Long-Lewis Hardware, a distributor based in Birmingham, Ala., is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. A division of Long-Lewis Inc., Long-Lewis Hardware serves hardware stores, home centers, agricultural retailers, industrial/commercial dealers and lumberyards in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee. The other division is a Ford automobile dealership, one of the oldest in the nation.

July 11, 2012

Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 1.6% in July compared with the same month last year, and modest year-over-year increases are expected through the holiday season shipping cycle, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

July 9, 2012

The list of U.S. housing markets that showed measurable and sustained improvement rose by four to include 84 metro areas in July, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). This number includes representatives from 32 states plus the District of Columbia. 

July 2, 2012

New York — Home improvement retailers are embracing the houseware category, and they’re finding success, according to the International Housewares Association, host of a recent Hot Housewares for the Holidays event held here. New products ranged from the colorful to the eco-friendly, and they’re finding their way into hardware stores, if they’re not already there. The following housewares are expected to generate interest this year across channels.

 

June 25, 2012

Home channel stocks are all over the board, led by Home Depot and Sherwin-Williams. Existing-home sales are down slightly from April, but way up from May 2011. 

June 19, 2012

Beginning July 1, 2012, contractors, pro dealers and others who want to electronically access or obtain construction plans and construction project information in Wisconsin will be subject to state sales tax and use tax. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has determined that electronic access to construction plans and project information is taxable as the sale of digital goods.

June 18, 2012

Ace Hardware, BEHR, Generac Power Systems and Grainger are on the list of 319 large companies have been deemed as a “Top Workplace” by WorkplaceDynamics, a research firm.

The results were based on a survey of more than 4,000 companies with 1,000 or more employees. Topping the list: Container Store. 

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