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Compared with last year, retail sales are rising

BY Ken Clark

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Wednesday that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for August were virtually unchanged from the previous month, and up 7.2% from the month last year.

Adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, August sales were an estimated  $389.5 billion. Total sales for the June through August 2011 period were up 7.9% from the same period a year ago.

In the building material & garden equipment and supplies business — NAICS 444 dealers — adjusted sales in August were $25.019 billion, an increase of 0.2% over last month, and an increase of 6.7% over the same month last year. 

Also interesting: nonstore retailers sales were up 10.4% from last year.

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Home Depot sells franchise division

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Baird Capital Partners, the U.S.-based buyout fund of Baird Private Equity, has announced the acquisition of Harris Research Inc. (HRI) from Home Depot. 

Based in Logan, Utah, HRI is a leading franchisor of in-home consumer services in the United States and internationally. The company’s Chem-Dry brand is a provider of carpet and upholstery cleaning services with approximately 4,000 franchises worldwide. Chem-Dry will continue its lead generation program with Home Depot, according to the announcement.

HRI also offers the N-Hance wood cabinet and flooring renewal service through more than 200 franchises. N-Hance will continue to be featured as one of Home Depot’s renovations offerings at its retail locations in the United States and Canada, as well as directly to consumers.

Financing for the transaction is being provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A., BBVA, and Caltius. Baird is joined in the investment by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

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Weyerhaeuser sustainability recognized by world index

BY HBSDealer Staff

Weyerhaeuser announced that it has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, which tracks companies in terms of their economic, environmental and social performance. 

Weyerhaeuser is one of only eight building materials companies to be included on the World Index.   Weyerhaeuser also continues to be a member of the DJSI North America, as it has every year since its inception in 2005. The DJSI follows a best-in-class approach and includes sustainability leaders from each industry on a global and regional level. The annual review is based on an assessment of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, covering issues such as corporate governance, risk management, customer relationships, climate change strategy and labor practices.  

"We are honored to receive this recognition for our work toward achieving our vision of delivering superior sustainable solutions to the world," said Dan Fulton, president and CEO. "Our strategy to achieve this vision includes all aspects of sustainability — being the first choice for customers and investors, caring for our employees and communities, and providing renewable resource solutions."

The Dow Jones Sustainability World Index is composed of the top 10% in terms of sustainability of the largest 2,500 companies in the Dow Jones Global Total Stock Market Index.  

"Third-party recognition, such as the DJSI, helps affirm that we are effectively managing sustainability risks and opportunities to deliver long-term results to our stakeholders," Fulton said. 

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