Home retailers lead the sales charge
The monthly sales tally from the U.S. Census Bureau showed gains in February – sales were up 1.1% from the previous month, and up 6.5% from the same month last year.
Leading the sales charge are businesses classified as building material & garden equipment and supplies dealers – NAICS code 444, inclusive of home centers and hardware stores. No other kind of business tracked by the bureau has grown faster in the first two months of 2012.
On an unadjusted basis, NAICS showed a 15.5% increase in the first two months, compared to the same period a year ago.
In 2012, NAICS 444 adjusted sales were estimated at $27.036 billion for February, up 1.4% from the previous month, and up 13.8% from the same period last year. (Sales are adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.)
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Menards eyes Canadian border town
Menards plans to open a new superstore in Port Huron, Mich., putting the home-improvement retailer right on the U.S.-Canadian border, according to an article in the Times Herald.
The Port Huron Area School District is selling the Wisconsin-based retailer a former middle school property for $3.4 million; the deal is expected to close in November.
The new store will be built as a 240,000 sq. ft. unit, according to the real estate broker for the school district. He added that the company anticipates serving Canadian as well as U.S. customers. “[Menards] believes strongly in the Canadian traffic coming over the (Blue Water Bridge),” said Steve DeLacey.
Some of the issues that still need to be resolved are the environmental impact of the store, rezoning the property and working with the Michigan Department of Transportation because of the site’s proximity to the expressway.
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New certification program for housewares
NSF International, an independent global organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the food, water and consumer goods industries, has launched the NSF Home Product Certification Program for home kitchen products and appliances. NSF announced the new program on March 12 at the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago.
Product categories covered by the new standards include coffee makers, slow cookers, blenders, food storage containers and cookware. Jarden Consumer Solutions’ Crock-Pot slow cooker, Oster blender and Mr. Coffee coffee maker are the first products to earn NSF Home Product Certification. Products that comply with the requirements will bear the NSF “Certified for Home Use” certification mark.
NSF regulatory and public health experts worked with retailers, manufacturers and regulatory experts to develop protocols for each product category, which incorporate all relevant regulatory and retailer requirements.
NSF International has developed national standards for commercial food service equipment and tested and certified equipment to ensure it complies with these standards since its founding in 1944. Most state and local health departments now require that food service establishments use equipment certified to these NSF standards. NSF also led the development of national standards for products that come in contact with or treat drinking water, such as pipes, plumbing and water treatment systems/filters, and NSF tests and certifies products to those standards.