Home Depot extends and expands deal with Martha
The Home Depot and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia extended their agreement to offer Martha Stewart Living branded products in The Home Depot’s 2,000-plus stores through March 2016.
The agreement also calls for an expansion of products offered.
The Martha Stewart Living line, launched in January 2010, is available in categories such as interior and project paint, outdoor furniture, kitchen cabinetry, carpeting and bath vanities. The new agreement will include these categories plus a new craft furniture line as well as a broader array of holiday merchandise.
"Martha Stewart Living has been a great partner and a natural fit, and the line has tremendous appeal, particularly for women who represent half of our customers," said Gordon Erickson, senior vice president of Decor for The Home Depot.
In addition, the Martha Stewart Living paint program, a Home Depot exclusive, was recently re-launched and now all of the 280 designer colors in the Martha Stewart Living palette can be mixed with Glidden-based paint, including the new Duo Paint + Primer.
New lows for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices
Data through December 2011, released today by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed that all three headline composites ended 2011 at new index lows.
The national composite fell by 3.8% during the fourth quarter of 2011 and was down 4.0% versus the fourth quarter of 2010. Both the 10- and 20-City Composites fell by 1.1`% in December over November, and posted annual returns of -3.9% and -4.0% versus December 2010, respectively. These are worse than the -3.8% respective annual rates both reported for November. With these latest data, all three composites are at their lowest levels since the housing crisis began in mid-2006.
In addition to both Composites, 18 of the 20 MSAs saw monthly declines in December over November. Miami and Phoenix were up 0.2% and 0.8%, respectively. At -12.8%, Atlanta continued to post the lowest annual return. Detroit was the only city to post a positive annual return, +0.5% in December versus the same month in 2010. In addition to the three composites, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa each saw average home prices hit new lows.
Consumer confidence climbs higher in February
The widely watched measure of consumer confidence from The Conference Board now stands at 70.8, up from 61.5 in January.
“Consumer confidence, which had declined last month, posted a sizeable improvement in February," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "The Index is now close to levels last seen a year ago. Consumers are considerably less pessimistic about current business and labor market conditions than they were in January. And, despite further increases in gas prices, they are more optimistic about the short-term outlook for the economy, job prospects and their financial situation.”
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was more favorable in February. Those claiming business conditions are “good” increased slightly to 13.3% from 13.2%, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” decreased to 31.2% from 38.3%.