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Hiring? AHMA members seem split

BY Ken Clark

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) released results of its monthly member survey, which showed uncertainty regarding hiring in the second half of the year. 

More than 40% of American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) members say they’re "not sure" about boosting hiring in the second half of 2013.

Responding to the question, “Do you have plans to do more hiring in the second half of 2013?" 26% answered "Yes;" and 32% responded "No."

AHMA members were also asked: “As a manufacturer, how important is it to your business that economic policy in Washington address the issue of our increasing national debt?” Seventy-two percent responded “Very important;” 22% responded “Somewhat important;” and 6% responded “Not important.”

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Kmart launches new lines for backyard

BY Ken Clark

Kmart says it is launching several new lines of "on-trend and affordable" patio collections for the spring selling season. 

The retailer points to collections from La-Z-Boy, Garden Oasis, Country Living and longtime legacy brand Jaclyn Smith, as well as home items from lifestyle TV star Sandra Lee.

"Nothing brings family and friends together like a spring or summer outdoor celebration, and Kmart wants to help make memories by offering affordable, stylish and accessible all-weather furniture and decor," said James Alt, VP seasonal and outdoor living, Sears Holdings. "We pride ourselves on offering outdoor patio collections that have been designed exclusively for Kmart by our expert design team, and inspired by current trends, cultures and textiles."

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Menards grand openings set for April 9

BY Ken Clark

Two Menards stores are set to open April 9 near St. Louis — one in St. Peter’s, Mo., and the other in O’Fallen, Ill.

“We’re pleased that we were able to build a new Menards store at this location in St. Peters and will do our best to work hard each and every day to provide a great shopping experience for our customers," said Ryan Gawinski, St. Peters, Menards general manager in a press release. ‘We want to make a real positive impression on everyone starting Tuesday.” 

The openings add to Menards’ presence in the St. Louis area. It already has five stores within three hours driving distance of St. Louis on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River. It has six others on the Illinois side within about two hours drive time.

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