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HIRI gathers for industry understanding

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Home Improvement Research Institute will host a day-long conference next month in Oak Brook, Ill., focusing on subjects ranging from valuations on Wall Street to trends in home renovation.

The group’s annual fall conference, titled “Understanding the Future For Home Improvement,” will be held Oct. 15 and is open to HIRI members and non-members. The venue is the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus.

“Companies in our industry need quality information now more than ever,” said Fred Miller, executive director of HIRI. “The kind of quality information we’re going to have at the conference is important to help the industry navigate in troubled times.”

The agenda features seven presentations:

Future trends in home improvement; presented by J. Walker Smith, president of Yankelovich Partners.

The rise of shopper marketing; presented by Peter Hoyt, founder and executive director of the In-Store Marketing Institute.

The impact of the green movement in home improvement; presented by Smith of Yankelovich Partners.

Six degrees of renovation: home improvement market segments; presented by Allen Hogg, manager, consumer goods and services, band and communications division of TNS.

AWall Street view of the home improvement market; presented by Joshua Rosenbaum, executive director, global industrial group of UBS.

The Hispanic consumer market for home improvement products; presented by James Gillula of Global Insight.

Aging in place—what it means for home improvement; presented by Louis Tenenbaum.

The hotel room discount expires Sept. 22. The deadline to register for the conference is Sept. 30. For more information, visit www.hiri.org.

HIRI is a non-profit organization managed by Lebhar-Friedman, publisher of Home Channel News.

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Handy Hardware fully operational after Hurricane Ike

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Less than a week after Hurricane Ike struck the Texas Gulf Coast, Handy Hardware Wholesale, is operating at full capacity, the Houston-based company announced.

“We have resumed all normal delivery schedules and continue to focus on the service to our member-dealers, as well as our employees in the aftermath of such a horrible natural disaster,” Handy Hardware president Tina Kirbie said.

According to Mickey Schulte, vp-marketing and purchasing, there was minimal damage to the operation, which allowed the distributor to focus on the needs of its member-dealers. “Our fleet suffered no damage, and we had limited damage to our inventory. The minor repairs to the roof of our 560,000-square-foot warehouse are already complete,” he said.

Established in 1961, Handy Hardware Wholesale operates in 10 states, mostly in the South and Southeast.

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Lowe’s, NASCAR’s Johnson raising money for Ike victims

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s, along with NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, will be raising money for victims of Hurricane Ike when Johnson participates in the NASCAR Spring Cup Race this weekend at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.

Through “Racing for Relief,” Lowe’s will donate $48 for every lap of the scheduled 400 laps that Johnson completes to the American Red Cross to help provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of Ike and other 2008 hurricanes. In addition, if Johnson wins the race, Lowe’s will donate an additional $4,800.

As part of the promotion, the Red Cross logo will be displayed on the deck lid of Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s Impala.

Funds raised through Lowe’s Racing for Relief will supplement an existing $1 million Lowe’s donation to the American Red Cross. More than 1,575 Lowe’s stores nationwide are serving as official cash donation sites to benefit the American Red Cross relief efforts throughout the 2008 hurricane season. Lowe’s will match in-store contributions dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000.

Since partnering with the Red Cross in 1999, Lowe’s has raised more than $17.5 million for disaster relief.

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