Lowe’s and Habitat get building in 10 American cities
Hundreds of Lowe’s employee volunteers teamed up with Habitat for Humanity affiliates to build homes in 10 U.S. cities this Friday, kicking off the nationwide volunteer drive known as "Hammers for Habitat."
“Lowe’s has been one of the bedrock partners for Habitat for many years,” said Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford. “We’re so excited about our long-term partnership, the effort to get 100,000 new volunteers active in Habitat’s work and the ripples of impact that will come from that.”
Volunteers raised their hammers in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Charlotte, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle and St. Louis.
Some homes were framed and left in Lowe’s parking lots to raise awareness of the need for volunteers. One new home’s walls were raised in the middle of Times Square.
Hammers for Habitat, a new initiative launched by Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity, is aiming to get 100,000 new volunteers involved in Habitat for Humanity’s mission this year.
Lowe’s recently renewed its commitment to Habitat for Humanity with a five-year, $23.5 million donation.
Olympic Stain goes ‘Elite’
Olympic Paint and Stain launched Olympic Elite Advanced Stain + Sealant in One, an exterior stain line offering a new palette of wood- and nature-inspired hues.
The product is available exclusively at Lowe’s stores.
Developed for durability and incorporating Olympic Stains’ highest levels of protection against the damaging effects of sunlight, water, mildew and algae on the coating, Olympic Elite targets the homeowner who appreciates the beauty of wood and is willing to invest a bit more to enhance and protect with more beautiful and durable color, the company said.
The new Elite line introduces Woodland Oil — a series of super-pigmented, super-penetrating semi-transparent stains in Natural, Mahogany Blaze, Kona Brown and a gold-brown hue called “Mountain Cedar.”
"Woodland Oil penetrates quickly, even on exotic hardwoods. Elite also adds a semi-solid stain to the Olympic line, a bridge between semi-transparent and solid color for wood with more imperfections,” said Nicole Jones, senior brand manager, Olympic Paint and Stain. “The deck has become an extension of the interior living space into the outdoors — an exterior room for entertaining and relaxing.”
Consumer confidence pushes higher in March
Preliminary estimates of consumer confidence weighed in at 82.3 in March, beating June 2013’s figure of 82.1 and reaching a high not seen since January 2008, according to The Conference Board.
Confidence had slipped in the fall and winter, with February’s score coming in at an upwardly revised estimate of 78.3. All indications are that consumers are shaking off their winter doldrums and are looking ahead to a sunnier spring and summer season.
“Consumer confidence improved in March, as expectations for the short-term outlook bounced back from February’s decline,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “While consumers were moderately more upbeat about future job prospects and the overall economy, they were less optimistic about income growth. The Present Situation index, which had been on an upward trend for the past four months, was relatively unchanged in March. Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue improving and believe it may even pick up a little steam in the months ahead.”
The disparity between the current and future outlook was apparent in March’s Present Situation Index, which came down slightly from 81.0 to 80.4. Those claiming business conditions are "good" — as well as "bad" — increased. A slightly lower amount of respondents felt jobs were "plentiful," and those saying jobs are "hard to get" also increased slightly.
Meanwhile, the Expectations Index increased to 83.5 from 76.5. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 18.1% from 17.3%; those expecting them to worsen declined from 13.6% to 10.2%. Slightly more consumers expected more jobs in the months ahead, with those expecting fewer jobs falling nearly 3 percentage points. Fewer consumers expected their incomes to grow, but fewer are also anticipating a decrease in their takehome pay.