August 29, 2012

Paint may be a very emotional decision for consumers, but in the retail world, it’s a simple business plan: If you want to sell a lot of paint, dedicate enough space to it, assign a full-time, well-trained sales associate to the paint desk, and carry more than two lines of paint. One of those brands should cater to the pros. Find a way to keep the contractors separated from the homeowners, which is not all that difficult; professional painters don’t like to sit on sofas surrounded by tasseled pillows.

July 23, 2012

A 16-unit supermarket company in Texas and New Mexico is taking the plunge into the hardware business at one of its stores. 

A 32,000-sq.-ft. store in Abilene, Texas, has altered its format to combine hardware and groceries., with 35% of the building dedicated to home improvement and repairs, according to an article in the Abilene Reporter-News. 

June 20, 2012

A new Georgia law effective July 1 provides that people who are parties to franchise agreements are not to be considered employees for purposes of workers’ compensation benefits. The legislation essentially protects franchisors from comp claims by franchisees.

The new law covers individuals “who are parties to a franchise agreement as set out by the Federal Trade Commission franchise disclosure rule, and deems that the relationship between franchisors and franchisees is governed by the rules of contract law, not those of employment law.

June 18, 2012


A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for June 15, 2012

June 7, 2012

GE Monogram will open its second design center in the nation at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart in March 2013. It will be located at LuxeHome, on the ground floor, a boutique showcase for home-building products and kitchen and bath renovations. 

GE opened its first Monogram Design Center in New York City's Architects & Designers Building in 2008. The NYC center has increased share of GE Monogram appliances in the northern region by 50% since it opened.

May 29, 2012


A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for May 25, 2012

April 23, 2012


A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for April 20, 2012

April 17, 2012

A study looking at consumer shopping behavior found that nine out of ten shoppers purchase something not on their intended list, according to The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research. 

Among shoppers who purchase off-list items, 66% say the reason was a sale or promotion, 30% say they found a coupon, and 23% say they simply wanted to pamper themselves, The Checkout study found.

March 21, 2012

CoreLogic, a provider of analytical information about the housing market, reported that the current residential shadow inventory as of January 2012 was 1.6 million units, approximately the same level reported in October 2011. CoreLogic estimates shadow inventory by calculating the number of distressed properties not currently listed on multiple listing services (MLSs) that are seriously delinquent, in foreclosure and real estate owned (REO) by lenders.

March 9, 2012

Lowe’s has partnered with Deluxe Corp. in a deal that will offer Lowe’s commercial customers services like web design and hosting, search engine marketing and optimization, logo design, and emailing marketing. Deluxe’s products and services will be offered through website.

February 22, 2012

In his first market presentation to True Value retailers, the co-op's new VP marketing and chief customer officer Blake Fohl laid out a plan for -- what else? -- improved marketing. 

He also promised improvements to True Value Rewards (TVR).

February 7, 2012

E-commerce sales continue to grow, proving that more and more consumers are choosing to shop online in addition to or instead of shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Measurement firm comScore reported that online retail spending (excluding auctions, autos and large corporate purchases) for the fourth quarter reached $49.7 billion, up 14% versus year ago. This growth rate represented the ninth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates. For the entire 2011 year, U.S.

February 1, 2012

According to an article in the Evening Standard, a former Sears and Best Buy executive will lead the multi-channel, 750-store Argos. 

John Walden is taking over on a mission described as a turn-around effort and an uphill battle. He replaces Sara Weller, who last year left the top spot at Argus, a division of Home Retail.

January 27, 2012

Westlake Ace Hardware is partnering with SoundBite Communications, a provider of mobile marketing solutions, to launch a campaign that sends weather-related mobile notifications combined with special marketing offers. Called “Weather the Storm,” the mobile alerts allow Westlake’s customers to receive communications based on National Weather Service information and their particular zip codes.

January 20, 2012

Building products distributor ABC Supply has promoted David Johnson to the position of director national accounts. In his new role, Johnson will lead the team that works with large national customers, partners and suppliers to provide the products and services these customers need. He has been part of the company’s national accounts department since 2008, serving as an account executive focused on storm contractors. 

January 16, 2012

Ace Hardware Corp. officially received the trademark for Clark+Kensington, its new line of paint-and-primer in one.

The trademark application was filed April 26 and was registered Jan. 10 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, according to US Fed News.

Ace Hardware launched Clark+Kensington paint last year and has seen it surpass its goals of member penetration, available in more than 2,700 member stores at the end of 2011. The co-op is engaged in a five-year plan to grab 8% of the DIY paint market. 

December 22, 2011

New products and new-product knowledge took center stage earlier this month at Do it Best Corp.'s New Product Expo held in Woodburn, Ore. 

Among the hundreds of new products added to inventory were more than 100 exclusive Channellock items, the company said.

December 22, 2011

After analyzing several years of data, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has announced that it overestimated the number of existing homes sold between 2007 and 2010 by 14.3%. This means that 2.9 million fewer homes were sold in the United States during that time period than previously thought.

December 14, 2011

In one of the most passionate outbursts of reader mail of the year, the industry resoundingly sided with a retailer's right to advertise -- or not to advertise -- wherever it deems fit. 

December 7, 2011

All customers are not created equal.

During Lowe's annual conference Tuesday, senior VP marketing and advertising Tom Lamb defined the company's target customer by first breaking down home improvement consumers into four distinct groups.

Lowe's target, he said, is on the two largest spending groups, together called "creators."

December 7, 2011

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Dec. 2, 2011

November 30, 2011

The Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) rose in October on both a month-to-month and year-over-year basis.

The forward-looking indicator based on contract signings jumped 10.4% to an index of 93.3 in October, compared with a reading of 84.5 in September. The latest figure is up 9.2% compared with October 2010.

November 11, 2011

York, Pa.-based WOLF, the supplier of kitchen cabinets and building products, is giving away a cabinet and vanity top package through a Facebook-only sweepstakes.

Visitors to WOLF’s Facebook page who are over the age of 18 may enter the contest by completing a simple form. The sweepstakes ends on Dec. 9.

November 7, 2011

From Nov. 3 to 13, Home Depot is holding its annual Eco Options Christmas Light Trade-In event. Customers can bring in their old strings of holiday lights -- working or not -- and receive a coupon for up to $5 off the purchase of a new, energy-efficient LED light set.