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Handy Hardware sales up 40 percent at fall market

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Handy Hardware, the Houston-based co-op with just under 1,200 members, showed a 40 percent increase in warehouse sales during its recent fall market in San Antonio. Attendance was also up 8 percent at the market — Handy’s first-ever held outside of Houston.

“Inflation is a small part of it, but our economy is still pretty good in this region,” said Mickey Schulte, vp-marketing and purchasing. “When property values were going through the roof, ours went up some but not a lot, so we’re not experiencing as much of a housing slump.”

Handy Hardware’s sales are up 7 percent through the first seven months of 2008, including an 18 percent jump in July.

The market, held Aug. 14 to 16, attracted about 750 vendors and featured special new products and green products sections. One of the busiest areas was paint and sundries, as Handy has done several conversions in the past three months, Schulte said. The company has carried PDG paint for 15 years and Valspar for the last three years.

“We have all the basic programs everyone else has, but with little or no fees,” Schulte said. “Our claim to fame is the lowest delivered prices in the industry.”

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Carpet One Floor & Home names vp-merchandising

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Carpet One Floor & Home, a division of CCA Global Partners, has named Jim Aaron vp-merchandising.

Aaron most recently served as a senior training specialist with CCA Global Partners. Prior to that, he served as a territory manager with carpet company Mohawk, helping the flooring maker to launch into hard surfaces.

“Aaron’s extensive hard surface experience and history with CCA make him perfect for the role,” said Eric Demaree, president of Carpet One Floor & Home.

Aaron previously worked with William M. Bird & Co. after attending the University of South Carolina and graduating in 1988. He will be based in the company’s St. Louis office.

Carpet One Floor & Home currently has more than 1,000 independently owned and operated locations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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Silver linings seen in housing statistics

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Prices of single-family homes across the United States are still falling, but the declines are slowing down, according to one of the leading housing market indictors. Numbers released by Standard & Poor’s showed a 15.4 percent decline in the second quarter of 2008, compared to the same quarter of 2007. The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, also reported annual declines of 17 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, for its 10-city and 20-city composite price index.

These declines were less than economists had forecast, however. Quarterly figures for nationwide home prices showed a 2.3 percent drop in the three months through June from the previous three months, compared with a 6.8 percent decline in the first quarter of 2008.

“While there is no national turnaround in residential real estate prices, it is possible that we are a seeing some regions struggling to come back, which has resulted in some moderation of price declines at the national level,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s, in a prepared statement.

Las Vegas remains the weakest real estate market in the country, according to the report, closely followed by Miami and Phoenix. For the month of June, Denver and Boston were the best performing markets; each city had three consecutive months of sales gains. Charlotte and Dallas recorded four straight months of positive returns, according to the index.

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