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Bellingham council to tighten fertilizer ban

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bellingham, Wash., council members are looking to expand their phosphorus ban for the Lake Whatcom region, according to the Bellingham Herald.

Aphosphorus ban for residential use has already been in effect in the watershed region since 2005. Now the township is looking to expand that ban to commercial properties, according to the article.

Lake Whatcom supplies all of the drinking water for Bellingham and is on a federal list of impaired water bodies due to low levels of dissolved oxygen.

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Ohio hardware store to close

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Orrville, Ohio, retailer Johnson Hardware will hold an on-site auction Nov. 11 and 12, ending the store’s 78-year run, according to The Daily Record.

Store owner Bob Moomaw cited a difficult economy and increased big-box competition for the decision to close the store.

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NRF: Holiday sales to rise 2.3%

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Holiday retail sales will climb 2.3%, as customers are lured by sales and retailer promotions, according to the National Retail Federation. The rise is slightly lower than the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 2.5%, the group noted, but is a marked improvement from last year’s 0.4% uptick and the dismal 3.9% holiday sales decline retailers experienced in 2008.

The increase in retail sales to $447.1 billion in November and December will be the biggest since a 3.1% gain in 2006, the group said.

As they have in previous years, retailers are expected to focus on supply chain efficiencies and inventory control this holiday season to limit their exposure to excess merchandise and unplanned markdowns, the NRF said. Companies are also expected to leverage new channels — like mobile — to drive sales and provide added service to customers who want to shop anytime, anywhere.

“While consumers have shown they are once again willing to spend on what’s important to them, they will still be very conscientious about price,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D. “Retailers are expected to compensate for this fundamental shift in shopper mentality by offering significant promotions throughout the holiday season and emphasizing value throughout their marketing efforts.”

The NRF uses the Commerce Department’s retail sales figures excluding auto, gasoline and restaurant sales.

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