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Home Depot associate wins Nascar design contest

BY HBSDEALER Staff

To mark a 10-year partnership with Nascar racer Tony Stewart, Home Depot will paint the racer’s car with a specially designed paint scheme that was chosen from submissions by Home Depot employees.

Stewart’s number 20 car will feature the black, white and orange striped design with an illustration of a Home Depot apron on the hood. The design was submitted by Scott Foreman, an associate with a Home Depot store in Brighton, Colo.

The car will debut at the Kobalt Tools 500 Spring Cup Series, slated for this Sunday at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have been chosen for this contest,” Foreman said in a press release from Joe Gibbs Racing. “It’s a dream of a lifetime for me.” Foreman will also be a special guest of Joe Gibbs racing at the event.

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B&Q to charge for plastic bags

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Following in the footsteps of IKEA, Britain’s B&Q chain of DIY stores plans to reduce reliance on free plastic bags in an effort to be more eco-friendly.

The retailer has been conducting a trial period of charging for plastic bags in Scotland and northeast England. In those locations, customers were charged an additional 5 pence (about 10 cents) for plastic bags at checkout. Now B&Q plans to roll out the trial to all of its more than 300 stores, according to the retailer’s parent, Kingfisher.

While charging for plastic bags in an effort to phase them out of use has been popular in Europe, IKEA is one of only a handful of retailers to charge for plastic bags in the United States.

Several countries have banned the use of plastic bags outright, while others have voted to limit their use, including Italy, Ireland, South Africa and Australia.

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HIRI cements lineup for spring conference

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) will tackle the thorny topic of the credit market and its impact on home improvement at its upcoming conference.

The non-profit research organization’s 2008 Spring Conference kicks off April 3 in Washington, D.C., with a full lineup of sessions dedicated to home improvement industry research. One of the late additions to the lineup are Citigroup analysts Steven Wieting, managing director Citi Economic and Market Analysis, and Deborah Weinswig, managing director, retailing/broadlines food & drug and home improvement.

Wieting and Weinswig’s presentation will examine the relationship between the credit, housing and home improvement markets, with a forward-looking perspective.

Also on the agenda are a session called “The Structure of Remodeling Contractors and Coping with Business Cycles,” presented by Kermit Baker of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University; and “Beyond Satisfaction: The Return of Loyalty,” by Ed Hass of International Communcations Research.

The full-day conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. HIRI members receive a discount on conference registration fees. For information, go to www.hiri.org.

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