October 31, 2014

San Diego -- "To get man on the moon, they were carrying less computing power than you have in your pocket right now." 

This was more or less the message imparted by Verizon Wireless vertical innovations architect Erik Varney during his presentation at the 2014 ProDealer Industry Summit, titled "Using Mobile Technology to Advance Your Business."

June 26, 2014

London-based paint and coating manufacturer AkzoNobel has employed the technological acumen of String, a U.K. computing company, in its bid to enter the augmented reality ring.

This latest addition to virtual reality-based home improvement applications -- most recently exemplified by Lowe's -- helps consumers visualize paint colors in their own homes.

December 12, 2013

Beloit, Wis.-based ABC Supply, operator of 450 branches in 45 states, named Tony Vaden as chief information officer.

Vaden replaces Kathy Hendricks, who moved to a newly created post as executive director of customer connectivity for ABC Supply.

Vaden is an award-winning veteran of the information technology industry, and he will oversee all aspects of the information technology systems that support the company’s computing needs. 

August 20, 2012

Toano, Va-based Lumber Liquidators has unveiled its new Floor Finder app, available to iPhone and iPad users. 

The app provides mobile access to every floor in Lumber Liquidators’ inventory and includes a feature called The Visualizer, which allows users to place a number of flooring choices in a photo of their own room. These photos can then be uploaded to social media platforms where friends can opine on the user’s flooring choices.

August 6, 2012

The list of U.S. housing markets that showed measurable and sustained improvement dropped by four, from 84 to 80, in August 2012, 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.

Shifting home prices caused nine markets to fall from the list, while 75 markets that retained their places and five new ones were added.

August 6, 2012

Sherwin-Williams and Tractor Supply pace the Home Channel Stock Roundup. Elsewhere on the Dashboard, gas prices creep upward to $3.61 for a gallon of regular.

July 30, 2012

The No. 1 ranked beach house in the United States -- according to a real estate website -- is a modern-style Montauk, N.Y., home with a price tag in excess of $19 million.

The house topped the list put out by TopTenRealEstateDeals.com, which ranked the Top 10 Coolest Beach Homes for 2012.

July 29, 2012

Epicor Software Corporation and True Value Co. announced the continuation of an agreement naming Epicor as True Value's recommended Epicor Eagle point-of-sale (POS) solution provider. 

This three-year agreement provides more of True Value's retailers the opportunity to benefit from Epicor solutions, according to the companies.

July 24, 2012

Recent promotions for a refinancing deal through Third Federal Savings & Loan include a Home Depot connection -- a $100 gift card for borrowers.

“Open your Third Federal Smart Rate Mortgage by Aug. 24 and we’ll give you a $100 gift card to The Home Depot,” writes Third Federal chairman and CEO Marc Stefanski in the postscript to a letter to mass letter to homeowners. 

July 23, 2012

Sherwin-Williams and Fastenal lead the gainers on the Home Channel Stock Roundup. Elsewhere on the Dashboard, the residential construction dials show big improvements, while existing-home sales declined from May.

July 13, 2012

Wallingford, Conn.-based Danver Stainless Steel Cabinetry, maker of stainless steel outdoor cabinetry and amenities for outdoor living, rolled out the ASKO Outdoor Dishwasher. ASKO is the latest addition to the company’s one-stop shopping approach to outdoor kitchens, living and entertainment centers. 

July 9, 2012

PPG Pittsburgh Paint has kicked off a promotion to coincide with the launch of its new website that gives visitors the opportunity to name 150 new colors. In addition, its “The Voice of Color” (voiceofcolor.com) program features a new, integrated, comprehensive color design system.

June 28, 2012

Lowe’s has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to implement Microsoft Office 365 across more than 1,745 stores, 200,000 employees and its corporate offices in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Office 365 will help the home improvement retailer improve customer service by providing collaboration tools to increase communication among its stores and employees. The technology will be available for Lowe's employees soon and will help customers tap into the collective expertise of Lowe’s work force.

June 28, 2012

Now there’s an app for treated wood information from Buffalo, N.Y.-based Osmose for iPhone and Android.

Click here for the iPhone version, and click here for the Android version.

June 26, 2012

Sometimes, the editorial offices of Home Channel News will get sample products to review. Seldom do we write a full commentary about them.

The Rescue! Pop! Fly Trap is one of those rare products worthy of a commentary.

I don’t like the name. It contains too many exclamation points. (The New York Times editors have a longstanding rule: they can use one exclamation point per century.)

But, man, does that thing catch flies!

June 26, 2012

Sales of new homes in May rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The May figure is up 7.6% over April and marks an increase of 19.8% above May 2011.

The May figure was the highest in two years (since April 2010) and was aided by factors including low interest rates, housing affordability and warm weather. Most analysts had expected the May rate to fall short of 350,000. 

June 6, 2012

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index improved in May to 312.5 from 308.3 in April (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index fell to 229.3 from 239.7.

In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 75% of respondents said sales were higher in May versus year-ago levels, up from 74% in April. For May, 12% reported sales were even, and 12% said sales were below year-ago levels.

May 29, 2012

Stocks are once again all over the board, but housing starts and sales are all dialed in consistently ahead of the previous month, and way ahead of the previous year.

May 23, 2012

Boise, Idaho-based BMC is rolling out a suite of enterprise mobile apps called “BMC 2 Go” that will transform sales and operations business processes, making employees more mobile, productive and effective through high-value Apple iPhone and iPad applications.

Boston-based tech firm Apperian partnered with BMC to provide its Enterprise App Services Environment (EASE) as the iOS app management platform to deploy and manage mobile applications for its nationwide network of sales and operations personnel.

May 21, 2012

The Home Channel Stock Roundup shows share prices in retreat -- 10 out of 10 stocks failed to show gains for the month and the year.

May 7, 2012

Gas prices show a minor retreat -- down to a national average of $3.78 for a gallon of regular. Stocks are all over the board, and the unemployment rate inches downward.

April 23, 2012

Armstrong Cabinet Products, a division of Armstrong Industries Inc., has been chosen as a preferred vendor for 84 Lumber, according to a joint announcement. 

April 16, 2012

Half the stocks on the Home Channel Stock Roundup are in negative territory for the month, and half are in positive. Compared with last year, though, the majority of stocks are showing strong growth.

April 11, 2012

Ace Hardware is now offering its customers a mobile application, developed by U.S. Bank for the iPhone, to use for an Ace Rewards Visa credit card. The new Ace Rewards Visa App, downloadable at the iTunes store, gives customers the opportunity to apply for and receive, upon approval, immediate credit to start their shopping at participating Ace stores.