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Harvard study sees home improvement recovery slowing in 2014

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A report from the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, issued last week, predicts a slowdown for the recovering home improvement market in mid-2014.

The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) report does foresee strong continued double-digit gains for the remainder of the year and the beginning of 2014, spending is expected to peak in the first quarter of next year at $148.9 billion and then fall to $147.9 billion in Q2.

“The soft patch that homebuilding has seen in recent months, coupled with rising financing costs, is expected to be reflected as slower growth in home improvement spending beginning around the middle of next year,” said Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center.

Belsky added that remodeling activity is expected to remain strong, and with home prices and existing-home sales continuing an upward trend, homeowners are poised to regain lost equity.

“In the near term, homeowner spending on improvements is expected to see its strongest growth since the height of the housing boom,” added Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center.

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Departed Sears Canada CEO takes the helm at Sephora Americas

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Roughly one month after the news of his resignation, former Sears Canada CEO Calvin McDonald has disclosed his new position as president and CEO of Sephora Americas.

Effective Jan. 1, McDonald will replace David Suliteanu, who has served as president and CEO since 2000 and will move on to become CEO of Kendo Brands, a separate entity of parent company LVMH.

“Calvin McDonald has established himself as a visionary and highly talented industry leader at two of Canada’s largest and most important retailers," said Christopher de Lapuente, CEO of Sephora Global and a member of the Executive Committee of LVMH. "We are delighted to welcome him to Sephora Americas. He will focus on building on the extraordinary growth of the business in new and existing markets and continue Sephora’s exceptional track record of industry leadership driven by David Suliteanu. David is moving on to lead Kendo, an incubator of exciting and creative brands beauty brands. I am delighted that he will continue to contribute to the success of Sephora and LVMH.”

McDonald had tendered his resignation with Sears amid rumored disagreements with Sears Holdings Corp and came in the midst of a three-year restructuring initiative, which some experts suggested might hurt the company’s fragile progress.

“It is thrilling to be joining Sephora Americas, which is known across the retail industry for not only having revolutionized the beauty business but also for delivering a consistent stream of innovation in terms of merchandise, experience and digital capabilities that excite and inspire customers," said McDonald. "I am looking forward to working with the exceptional Sephora team to build on what they have accomplished under David’s leadership. Sephora Americas is an amazing success story, and I am proud and privileged to work with our cast members, brand partners and customers and colleagues worldwide as we work to take Sephora Americas to the next level of innovation and growth."

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HCN Stock Watch: Big boom for BLDR and TREX

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Positive growth was in order on Friday, but most especially so for Builders FS (BLDR) and Trex (TREX), which were up 10.72% and 24.60%, respectively.

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