HARDWARE STORES

DeWalt launches Diamond Edge Chop Saw Blade

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Towson, Md.-based DeWalt announced the launch of the industry’s first Diamond Edge Chop Saw Blade.

The new DW8500 Diamond Chop Saw Blade lasts 100 times longer than traditional abrasive cutting blades. It was developed to allow diamond to be used to cut metal without sacrificing cutting performance, while reducing product costs for the end user.

“At DeWalt, we are pioneers in developing power tools and accessories that deliver industry-first innovation and technology that leads to increased productivity and performance,” explained Brad Nohr, product manager. “Our new Diamond Edge Chop Saw Blades are just one example of how we are leading the industry with product development that addresses end user concerns and raises the bar to exceed contractors’ expectations.”

The new blade is designed for tradesmen tasked with cutting pipe, steel studs, angle iron, rebar and threaded rod using a chop saw. The blade features a steel core to provide constant cutting depth, capacity and stability of a solid core with the exposed diamond matrix allowing the blade to cut concrete, plastic, fiberglass, rubber, non-ferrous metals, stainless and ferrous metals, the company said.

The company said the Diamond Chop Saw Blade will be available in December of this year, with an expected retail price of about $249.

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AHMA Index shows current sales declining

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in October to 216.7 from 245.8 in September (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index increased to 208.6 from 148.3 in September.

In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 52% of respondents said sales were higher in October versus year-ago levels, down from 59% in September, while 19% reported sales were even, and 29% said sales were below year-ago levels.

Looking forward six months, 52% of respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 36% in September, while 40% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months, and 7% expect sales to be below current levels.

Looking forward one year, 69% of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 50% in September, while 26% project sales will be even one year from now, and 5% project sales will be below current levels.

“Many of our members expressed increasing optimism for the future prospects of their businesses during the month of October as political pollsters began to predict the likelihood of the midterm elections producing a change in Congress to a more pro-business atmosphere,” said Timothy Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA.  “It is our hope that the new Congress will eliminate some of the uncertainty concerning the cost effects of federal legislation so that our industry can begin to invest in a more profitable future.”

The October Confidence Index survey asked two supplemental questions of AHMA members. Of the first, regarding the extension of the Bush tax cuts, 81% responded “Yes;” 12% responded “Not Sure;” and 7% responded “No.”

To the second question, regarding the Republican pledge to “repeal and replace” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 81% responded “Approve;” 17% responded “Not Sure;” and 2% responded “Disapprove.”

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Rona purchases B.C. plumbing distributor

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Canadian retailer Rona continues its acquisition spree with the purchase of Vancouver-based plumbing distributor MPH Supply and retailer Better Bathrooms, according to a report by The Canadian Press.

Financial terms of the acquisition, made through Rona subsidiary Noble, were not disclosed.

The deal will expand Quebec-based Rona’s presence in Western Canada, where MPH operates five locations in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Plumbing retailer Better Bathrooms and MPH generate nearly $15 million in sales and have 50 employees.

Michael Storfer, VP commercial division for Rona, said the acquisition will give Rona instant access to a new geographical area in specialized plumbing markets and offer a new territory for opening additional branches or making more acquisitions.

In October Rona announced its intent to “establish a national platform in the commercial and professional market,” and in recent weeks purchased Don Park LP, an HVAC distributor and manufacturer based in Ontario, and Boiseries Signees, a Quebec-based manufacturer of made-to-measure and prefabricated staircases.

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