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Executive Planning Conference heads to Florida

BY HBSDealer Staff

This year’s Executive Planning Conference, hosted by Distribution America and PRO Group, will be taking place Nov. 13-15 at the Marco Island Marriott Resort & Spa in Florida.

The event, which profers networking and sales opportunities to home improvement vendors and dealers, will be aimed at leveraging the anticipated growth opportunities that many are forecasting for the end of 2013.

"Vendors and retailers are seeing solid late-year sales boosts," said Dave Christmas, president of Distribution America. "Weather issues earlier in the year slowed things down a bit, but the past four or five months have been strong across the country. We expect continued improvement, and our Conference in November will allow us to discuss growth opportunities with all of our major vendors."

The event this year will feature a golf tournament for added networking opportunities and a more prominent awards reception for successful vendors.

"Word is catching on about this year’s event, as all vendor categories are showing growth – a sign that vendors have heard about success stories from companies increasing their business with the help of past EPCs," noted Steve Synnott, CEO of PRO Group Inc. "There are quite a number of vendors that have derived great returns by supporting the EPC, including names like Coleman Cable and Jack Links Beef Jerky."

Vendors wishing to participate in the event can contact Brendan Sullivan at [email protected] (303.875.2212) or Jim Sobota at [email protected] (704.940.4812).

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Fitch anticipates good things for non-residential construction in 2014

BY HBSDealer Staff

The latest Fitch Ratings report sees a pick-up for the non-residential construction sector, beginning this year but accelerating in 2014.

Fitch expects private non-residential construction to grow 2% in 2013 and 5% in 2014 thanks to increased lending and CMBS issuance. Meanwhile, public construction spending is predicted to remain largely stable this year and grow 3% in 2014.

"Institutions will continue to be selective in their lending activities in the near term, which will likely moderate growth in commercial construction," said director Robert Rulla. Regarding public construction spending, a new highway bill adds leverage for growth, but "it will take some time to start larger, longer term projects so the benefits of the new highway bill will be more evident next year."

The company stated that demand and financial performance will vary among markets and building materials companies, though weak spending will be a potential problem where public infrastructure is concerned.

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Zerorez sues Distinctive Cleaning

BY HBSDealer Staff

Minnesota carpet cleaning service Zerorez is filing a lawsuit against its competitor, Distinctive Cleaning, for a litany of complaints that include trademark infringement, false advertising and deceptive practices.

The federal lawsuit filed in the Minnesota District Court on Mon. referenced instances in which Distinctive Cleaning misled its customers regarding Zerorez’s patented technology, which claims to clean without leaving residue behind.

"We understand there’s a very high level of trust involved when a client invites us into their home, and we value and respect that trust," said Zerorez co-owner Michael Kaplan. "That’s why we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that our clients will find true and accurate information about our patented Zerorez products and services online and elsewhere. At this point, it is unfortunately necessary that we take the next legal step to put a stop to the kinds of deceptive marketing practices that have been misleading our clients and the general public."

Distinctive Cleaning allegedly purchased Google AdWords advertising to appear at the top of search results for carpet cleaning services in the Twin Cities metro region, as well as the keywords "ZEROREZ," "Zerorez" and "Zero rez." Some of its advertisements also included "ZERO REZ Carpet Cleaning," or alternatively, "Zero res – same results, less money."

A cease and desist letter was sent in April of last year but went unanswered; according to Zeroez.

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