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Creeping to a million, starts increase 12.1% in December

BY Ken Clark

The million-starts mark is within sight, as residential construction stands at its highest level since June 2008.

The Commerce Department’s new residential construction report released Thursday morning shows housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000, up 12.1% from the revised November estimate of 851,000. 

It was the best report since June 2008, when starts were at a pace of 1.046 million.

Single-family starts also surged to 616,000, up 8.1% from November’s figure.

Building permits were also up in December. The latest data show permits were at a rate of 903,000, up slightly from November, but up 28.8% from a year ago.

With the December report also comes the construction tally for the full year. An estimated 780,000 housing units were started in 2012. That is 28.1% more than were started in 2011.

Five years of housing starts:

2012: 780,000
2011: 608,000
2010: 586,900
2009: 554,000
2008: 905,000

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Dickies brings workwear program to Canada

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Work clothes maker Dickies will expand its occupational wear division’s product offerings, as well as its geographical availability. 

Beginning this month, Dickies will have head-to-toe uniform apparel for men, women and juniors in the food service, hospitality and healthcare industries. Dickies’ occupational wear division, which provides uniform apparel for customers in the United States, will now provide them for customers across Canada.

"We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made in the last two years to provide our customers with deeper inventories, faster turnaround times and same-day service on Dickies’ core industrial product line," said Alex Smith, SVP occupational wear at Dickies. "The Dickies Workwear Delivered service model has been well-received in the marketplace, and our category expansion and entry into Canada is the natural next step. We are excited to offer our North American customers a head-to-toe workwear solution from a brand their customers want to wear." 

Dickies is strategically focused on growth across all occupational channels and describes itself as committed to meeting the needs of its multifaceted customer base. Its expansion into food service, hospitality, health care, footwear and juniors is the result of ongoing customer engagement and research, which revealed an opportunity for growth.

"Our retail brand is strong in Canada, and we’re excited to bring our occupational workwear product and service model to the Canadian marketplace," said Smith.

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Report: Tractor Supply DC rolls ahead in Georgia

BY Ken Clark

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply Co. is moving ahead with a distribution center under construction in Bibb County, Ga., according to a report in the Macon Telegraph

The farm-and-ranch retailer has begun hiring 200 workers for its $50 million distribution center. The facility, measuring 650,000 sq. ft. and located at the I-75 Business Park, is expected to open by June and start shipping goods to stores by August.

Tractor Supply operates more than 1,150 stores in 45 states and plans to grow square footage by about 8% annually, according to a recent investor presentation.

 

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