July 5, 2012

A survey of members of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) members shows about 20% are expecting to add employees over the next six months.

In a supplemental question attached to the association’s June Confidence Index survey, 19% of respondents replied yes to the question: “Does your company have plans to add employees over the next six months?”

Most respondents, 54%, replied “no,” and 27% said “not sure.”

July 2, 2012

The Pro Dealer Industry Scoreboard command center here at 425 Park Ave. was humming with the sound of survey submissions when the editors noticed something interesting.

Several respondents were answering a simple question about corporate structure as if it were a profound inquiry into corporate culture.

The simple question was: “Who’s in charge?”

April 24, 2012

San Diego-based HD Supply Facilities Maintenance, a leading distributor of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products, recently released its 2012 full-line catalog of more than 22,000 products 

“Customer feedback is the driving force behind our investments and is reflected in each of the new products and services featured in the catalog,” said Anesa Chaibi, president and CEO of HD Supply Facilities Maintenance. “We are committed to providing the products, services and solutions that best serve the needs of our customers.”

March 23, 2012

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for March 23, 2012

March 20, 2012

“The last four years have been tough for the building community, especially the smaller, family-run stores. 

“It has been hard to deal with changing bank regulations after you have been in business more than 30 years, and everything as you knew it has changed. We have watched many of our friends go down, both competitors and customers. We are still standing, but every day is a challenge. 

March 14, 2012

The monthly sales tally from the U.S. Census Bureau showed gains in February – sales were up 1.1% from the previous month, and up 6.5% from the same month last year.

Leading the sales charge are businesses classified as building material & garden equipment and supplies dealers – NAICS code 444, inclusive of home centers and hardware stores. No other kind of business tracked by the bureau has grown faster in the first two months of 2012. 

February 13, 2012

At The Rental Show in New Orleans, the Chicago-based hardware co- op True Value Co. recognized its partners that make rental successful.

Toro Company, Hilti and Warner Shelter Systems received special recognition.

February 13, 2012

Lowe's entered the do-it-yourself ramp market with what it calls an "affordable, configurable" ramp system. 

The Gatehouse Custom Access Ramp System will be available to consumers in Lowe’s stores and on Lowes.com in spring 2012.

The product, which is the latest extension of Lowe's accessible home products for safety and mobility in the home, was unveiled at the 2012 International Builders' Show in Orlando, Fla.

January 30, 2012


A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Jan. 27, 2012

January 26, 2012

Sales of new single-family houses in December fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000, down 2.2% from the revised November rate of 314,000. 

Compared with a year ago, December new housing sales were down 7.3%, according to the U.S. Commerce Department's new residential sales report released Thursday. 

January 24, 2012

Home Depot is running a mobile ad campaign that allows consumers to click on ads to make a direct purchase, according to an article in Mobile Commerce Daily.

January 9, 2012


A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Jan. 6, 2012

January 9, 2012

The list of improving U.S. housing markets tracked by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) almost doubled in January 2012 with the addition of 40 new metro areas. The NAHB’s First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) now counts 76 improving markets, up from 41 in December, with 31 states and the District of Columbia represented by at least one entry.

January 2, 2012

In a case involving a car battery that exploded in a consumer’s hands, a federal court in New Jersey has reaffirmed the longstanding notion that retailers can be found strictly liable when they sell defective products. The Nov. 2 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Peter G. Sheridan potentially places a heavy burden on home improvement chains and other retailers considered “experts” in their industries.

January 2, 2012

Consumer Confidence made a surge in December, pushing the needle from an index reading of 55.2 to 64.5. Total housing starts also surged, while single-family starts increased slightly. 


December 23, 2011

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Dec. 23, 2011

*Western - regional species perimeter foundation; Southern - regional species slab construction.

December 20, 2011

The Natural Marketing Institute’s (NMI) new white paper, "Is Sustainability Sustainable?" contains insights from the group's consumer trends study.

Written by Frank J. Lampe and Monica Emerich, Ph.D., the white paper on green attitudes is available here.

December 19, 2011

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose two points to 21 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for December. This marks the third consecutive month in which builder confidence has improved, and brings the index to its highest point since May 2010. 

December 13, 2011

U.S. retail and food services improved slightly in November, but NAICS code 444 retailers took a step backward. 

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday morning that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for November, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $399.3 billion, an increase of 0.2% from the previous month and 6.7% above November 2010.

December 13, 2011

Floor care products make perfectly acceptable holiday gifts, according to research just released by The NPD Group. In its consumer tracking study, conducted between November 2010 and October 2011, the market research firm discovered that 6% of all floor care appliances -- the majority of them vacuums -- were purchased as a gift for someone else. And in half of the purchases, the item was intended as a Christmas or Hanukkah gift.

December 12, 2011

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Dec. 9, 2011

December 7, 2011

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

December 2, 2011

Don Riley, the former chief information officer of carpet manufacturer Mohawk, has been selected as the new executive VP supply chain and technology for ProBuild. This surprise appointment, announced Nov. 23, reached outside the LBM industry to fill a role overseeing the largest pro dealer’s supply chain, information technology and manufacturing organizations.

November 29, 2011

The Conference Board reported Tuesday morning that its Consumer Confidence Index increased to 56.0 in November, up from 40.9 in October.

That's not the only metric improving. The Expectations Index rose to 67.8 from 50.0, and the Present Situation Index increased to 38.3 from 27.1. 

It's certainly not partying like 1985 -- when the Index was set at 100. But it's an improvement welcomed by Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.