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Building material dealers show gains over last year

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Retail sales increased 1.2%, according to the tally from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Figures released today showed U.S. retail and food services sales for October, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $373.1 billion, an increase of 1.2% from September.

While the data were seen as a healthy showing aided by auto sales for the retail industry, a look at the home channel categories reveals more of a mixed bag of results.

Estimates of September sales for NAICS code 444 — Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers — were $23.604 billion, down 1.9% from $24.063 billion in August, but up 6.5% from $22.171 billion in the same month last year.

For NAICS code 44413 — Hardware stores — the government’s estimate for September was $1.457 billion, down 3.3% from $1.507 billion in August and up slightly from $1.446 billion in September last year.

Elsewhere in the monthly U.S. Census Bureau report: Non-store retailers showed a significant gain, up 13.5% from last year.

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Norandex closes Poughkeepsie branch

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Norandex, a leading distributor of exterior housing building products, is consolidating some of its locations and closing its Poughkeepsie, N.Y., branch, according to an article in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Aspokesperson for the company told the newspaper: “We underwent a restructuring. As a result, we consolidated a few of the branches, and Poughkeepsie was an area where we felt we could serve our customers from Albany, the nearest branch.”

The Poughkeepsie location will close on Dec. 30.

Headquartered in Hudson, Ohio, Norandex distributes exterior siding, windows and doors, as well as decking, skylights, manufactured stone and other building products.

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Ex-KB Home CEO sentenced to house arrest

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bruce Karatz, the former chief executive of KB Home, received a sentence of five years probation for his conviction on charges relating to backdating stock options,  according to an article in the New York Times .Eight months of the sentence must be served at home with an electronic monitoring bracelet.

The sentence, handed down Nov. 10 by a federal judge in Los Angeles, was a stunning defeat for federal prosecutors, who recommended six and a half years in prison. The government stated in a sentencing memorandum that  home detention in the defendant’s  “24-room Bel-Air mansion” would suggest “a two-tiered criminal justice system, one for the affluent … and a second for ordinary citizens.”

This did not go over well with Judge Otis D. Wright II, who described the memo’s language as “inflammatory,” adding: “To invite public ridicule and scorn on this institution, I think, is unspeakable.”

Wright also ordered Karatz to pay a $1 million fine and perform 2,000 hours of community service. His sentence followed the U.S. probation office’s sentencing recommendation.

Karatz, who led KB Home from 1986 to 2006, originally faced 20 felony counts. Prosecutors claimed he made more than $6 million by manipulating backdated stock options and then lying about it in regulatory filings

The executive’s defense attorneys countered that Karatz never intentionally violated any securities laws and handled his options the same way that hundreds of other companies did.

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