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Home Depot CEO on the gradual housing recovery

BY Ken Clark

In a wide-ranging interview on CNBC, Home Depot CEO Frank Blake said he expects 2013 sales to come in at about 3% ahead of 2012 — about the same growth pace of 2012.

“We were pleased with 2012, and we had some great growth in 2012,” Blake said.

Blake said in the interview that an improving housing market recovery is important to Home Depot’s business, although the real key to Home Depot’s business is the overall GDP of the U.S. economy.

“Housing is getting better,” he said, pointing to several measures. 

He said the focus is on the customer, who has many choices across the home channel.  “We have lots of competitors in our markets across the store from lumberyards to paint stores,” Blake said in his CNBC interview. “We have a lot of competitors to worry about.” 

He also said the company can always lower costs. “There are always opportunities to improve store operations,” he said.

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CPO Commerce launches Worx and Greenworks websites

BY Ken Clark

Pasadena, Calif.-based online tool retailer CPO Commerce added outdoor power equipment manufacturers Worx and Greenworks to its stable of branded retail websites.   

CPO Commerce now operates 46 specialty online retail stores. Among them are CPO Makita, CPO Black & Decker, and CPO Briggs & Stratton. CPO’s brand outlet stores sell new tools and accessories, as well as factory-reconditioned tools. 

Rob Tolleson, CPO Commerce’s Founder & CEO, recently said he was “thrilled” to add brands in the group’s lawn and garden category. “CPO is always striving to add brands and products that are a good fit for our customer base. Worx and Greenworks are high quality, innovative and environmentally friendly as well."

Established in 2004, CPO Commerce describes itself as “America’s leading online tool retailer.” It operates 42 brand outlet online stores.

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Window company sponsors Veterans Airlift mission

BY Ken Clark

North Wilkesboro, N.C.-based Window World, a replacement window and home remodeling company, sponsored a mission through the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) to bring injured Army SSG Oliver Hughes and his family from San Antonio to Asheville, N.C.

Hughes has been recovering at the Center for the Intrepid on Fort Sam Houston after he was injured in Afghanistan. He arrived on Saturday, March 9 with his wife and three children. They will be traveling to Hendersonville, N.C., to visit their extended family and participate in a veteran’s rehabilitation fishing tournament hosted by Heroes on the Water. The family will return to San Antonio on March 17 via VAC.

Hughes, 37, was injured on April 11, 2011, when an IED detonated. As a result, he lost his left leg, and his right leg was severely injured. Since then he has been in the long and painful process of recovering the use of his right leg.

"As a retired Army and Vietnam veteran, the Veteran’s Airlift Command is very near and dear to my heart,” said Window World’s Chief Pilot, Johnny Johnston, who flew the recent mission. “Reuniting SSG Hughes and his family in my hometown makes this mission especially rewarding." 

The VAC is a non-profit organization that facilitates free air transportation to wounded veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. To date, Window World has supported more than 35 missions for the VAC, logging 158.4 hours of flight time covering more than 71,000 miles.

To learn more about the VAC, please visit veteransairlift.org.

With stores and offices in more than 200 U.S. cities, Window World describes itself as the largest replacement window company in America.

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