Existing-home sales slip 1.5% in May
Sales of existing single-family homes, condominiums and co-ops declined 1.5% to an adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million in May, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Limited supplies of housing inventory held back existing-home sales, according to the NAR, but sales were up 9.6% over the same month last year.
"The slight pullback in monthly home sales is more likely due to supply constraints rather than softening demand,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “The normal seasonal upturn in inventory did not occur this spring. Even with the monthly decline, home sales have moved markedly higher with 11 consecutive months of gains over the same month a year earlier.”
He added that despite tight credit conditions and higher down-payment requirements that are negating the impact of record high affordability, the recovery is occurring.
Fifty winning retailers, state by state
The 2012 list of Home Channel News Hardware Store All-Stars — one from each state — contains a great variety of businesses linked by a commitment to strong customer service and an innovative approach to retail.
The honorees from South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee reveal a wide range of products, services and store footprints. Gardening, housewares, live goods and even color-coordinated dish towels offer areas of competitive differentiation.
Central True Value
Moncks Corner, S.C.
At Central True Value Hardware, customers can learn the intricacies of many trade specialties, including gardening. At the store’s “Ask a Master Gardener” event, for example, customers bring in their weeds/plants for identification, have their soil sent off for testing and learn about worm composting. Central’s personal attention encompasses small home projects for DIYers to larger commercial projects for contractors.
Hogans Hardware Hank
A wide mix of customers shop at Hogans Hardware Hank located in South Dakota’s capitol city of Pierre — including former governor Bill Janklow. “Other than being a complete hardware store, we offer a lot of specialty kitchen products,” said store owner Cash Hogan. The 5,500 sq.-ft. store opened in 1983 and prides itself on its willingness to mix up its products. A recent success: dish towels. “They were fancy and color-coordinated. And they were huge,” Hogan said.
Ace Tom Glenn
Ace Tom Glenn has 17 hardware locations in Tennessee and north Georgia, but no two are exactly alike, said marketing manager John Rutter. “Each store has its own character, its own culture.” The flagship store in Chattanooga includes niche items only found here, as well as a Live Goods area with a vast selection of annuals and perennials indigenous to the area. “Whatever we do, we focus on doing it really well,” Rutter said.
Two men arrested after hiding in Lowe’s after hours
Police in Oxford, Ala., charged two men with attempted burglary after finding them in a Lowe’s store after midnight with a pile of merchandise, according to an article in the Anniston Star.
Joshua Moody, 18, and William Morgan, 29, were apparently unaware of motion sensors inside Lowe’s, authorities said. They tripped the alarm system as they allegedly began stacking $2,500 worth of merchandise in the middle of the store. Both were arrested at the scene and taken to the Oxford City Jail.
Moody and Morgan have been charged with third-degree burglary, according to the newspaper report. Bond for Moody is set at $45,000 and for Morgan at $25,000. They are scheduled to appear in court Aug. 8.