August 16, 2012

Chicago -- Ace Hardware supplied several growth-minded statistics to members during the co-op’s Fall Market general session, which was heavy on strategy initiatives and inspirational messages for store owners.

The paint department figured heavily in the Thursday morning presentation. So did payment systems, logistics and -- as one would expect -- the concept of customer service as delivered by a friendly store. 

August 2, 2012

A new forecast from the Portland Cement Association (PCA) nearly doubles the expected increase in cement consumption for the year, attributing the boost to both changes in construction activity and the projected amount of cement used in future projects.

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 18, 2012

Jeld-Wen, a leading global manufacturer of doors, door facings, windows and related components, has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Craftmaster Manufacturing, Inc. (CMI).  The purchase price was not disclosed, and the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012.

June 8, 2012

According to an article in the Garden City (Kan.) Telegram, a Menards will break ground this month on the perimeter of the city.

The paper described the new project as the first phase of a $67.2 million retail shopping center. Leading the development is Charlotte, N.C.-based commercial real estate firm Collett & Associates. The 60-acre development is expected to eventually include a Sam’s Club, but not until a later phase of construction. 

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 18, 2012

Beacon Roofing Supply has reached an agreement to acquire Cassady Pierce Co., a distributor of residential and commercial roofing products, for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 1947, Cassady Pierce has six locations in the Pittsburgh area and annual sales of approximately $52 million. Closing on the transaction is expected on May 31, 2012. 

April 30, 2012

Medina, Minn.-based Rockler Woodworking and Hardware announced that the company met its Earth Day goal of raising enough money to plant 20,000 new hardwood trees. 

Rockler joined efforts with the Hardwood Forestry Fund as part of an Earth Day celebration and reforestation effort. Rockler pledged to donate the price of one tree for every purchase made from April 1 through April 22, up to a goal of 20,000 trees.

Thanks to elevated customer participation, the goal was reached earlier than expected.

March 29, 2012

For the first time in several years, all of the major end-use markets for wood products are expected to move in concert and increase this year. Housing, the largest market for many products, is expected to increase 10% this year when U.S. and Canadian starts are combined, according to APA -- The Engineered Wood Association.

March 5, 2012

U.S. demand for decorative laminates is expected to grow 5.5% per year to 12.4 billion sq. ft. in 2015, a rebound from the declines of the 2005-to-2010 period, according to a study from the Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.  

February 15, 2012

According to an article in The Globe and Mail, sales of British Columbia lumber to China have declined dramatically -- a major reversal from the strong sales of 2011. 

Analysts continue to expect more growth in 2012, but Statistics Canada estimated a mere $67 million in B.C.-to-China lumber sales in December, down 36% from the same month in the previous year.