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Industry Dashboard for April 15, 2013

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Gas prices take a turn for the better on the Consumer Watch section of the Industry Dashboard. The latest monthly retail sales figures, however, are heading in the wrong direction.

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Board member named for landscape group

BY Ken Clark

Valerie Steele, president and CEO of Albuquerque, N.M.-based Savio Engineering, has been named to the board of directors of the International Professional Pond Companies Association (IPPCA). She will serve as treasurer of the organization. The IPPCA is a non-profit organization and serves as the pond and waterscape industry’s official trade association. The IPPCA’s goal is to ensure that high-level, quality standards are met within the waterscape industry. They offer contractor certification to professional members, and their mission is to promote, protect and advance the pond and waterscape industry.

“As a leading manufacturer of pond and waterscape components, it’s in our best interest to serve our colleagues and do our part to maintain the high-quality standards set by IPPCA,” said Steele. The board is comprised of 15 members and maintains more than 50 corporate members.

In addition to Savio Engineering, Steele founded and oversees the Savio Water Feature Institute. The goal of the institute is similar to that of IPPCA — to improve and maintain a high level of quality water feature distributors and contractors. The institute offers water industry professionals the most innovative and beneficial educational programs available. This includes programs and curriculum inclusive of design concepts, installation techniques and technological advances. “We believe the key to success in our industry, and in any industry, is education,” said Steele. “We want what we’re doing at the local level to mirror the best practices and high-quality expectations that are set at the national and international level by organizations like IPPCA.”

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Mixed bag of retail sales for March

BY Ken Clark

Sales in NAICS code 444 were up slightly, and sales of automobiles were up significantly, according to government data released today. 

U.S. retail sales, as estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau in a report released Friday morning, showed a decline in March, compared with the previous month. 

Retail and food service sales adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $418.3 billion, down 0.4% from February. The figure was up 2.8% from March 2012. 

Retail trade sales were down 0.6% from February 2013, but up 2.6% from last year. Nonstore retailers were up 13.5% from March 2012.

Retailers classified as building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS code 444) posted adjusted sales of $25.48 billion in March, up slightly from $25.47 billion in February, and $25.29 billion in March 2012.

Also, auto and other motor vehicle dealers were up 7.4% from last year.

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