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Lowe’s, Rebuilding Together partner to repair Phoenix homes

BY HBSDealer Staff

Rebuilding Together has teamed up with Lowe’s through its Community Partners program to provide free home repairs to four low-income homeowners and to support the Friendly House in the Central City neighborhood of Phoenix on Feb. 20 and 21.

In its six years of partnering with Rebuilding Together, Lowe’s has donated $7 million and completed 958 projects across the country.

More than 100 Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers from area Lowe’s stores will team with Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun.

The volunteers will complete a bathroom renovation and ventilation repairs for a senior couple who are helping raise their grandchildren. Rebuilding Together and Lowe’s Heroes also will repair the kitchen cabinets and do drywall and electrical work for a single father raising three kids and taking care of his senior mother. They will complete bathroom and kitchen plumbing repairs for another homeowner, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Carter’s Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and promoting awareness of fitness and self-esteem for America’s youth, will join Rebuilding Together and Lowe’s Heroes to build a new playground for the students of Friendly House’s Academia Del Pueblo Charter School.

"Lowe’s has been a tremendous supporter of Rebuilding Together and helping low-income homeowners," said John Fiegel, interim president and CEO of Rebuilding Together. "With their help, we can make homes safer and more energy efficient. And through Carter’s Kids, we can see our impact reach every person in the community."

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Report: Retail imports to increase 8.5% in February

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A report released Friday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates estimated that retail imports will increase 8.5% in February, after a contract deal between the East Coast and Gulf Coast dockworkers is finalized.

The monthly Global Port Tracker report said that, had a key West Coast agreement also been settled, import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports would possibly have seen an additional rise. 

“We were very happy to see a deal on a tentative contract for the East Coast and Gulf Coast ports but we are urging the parties to quickly work out any outstanding issues and ratify the agreement as soon as possible,” said NRF VP supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold. “We were disappointed that the LA/Long Beach clerical workers’ contract wasn’t ratified, but are encouraging the parties to work through their differences without a disruption.”

The International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance reached tentative agreement February 1 on a contract that avoided a strike that could have shut down East Coast and Gulf Coast ports from Maine to Texas. The agreement is subject to reaching supplemental local agreements and ratification by union members. Last Wednesday, however, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s Local 63 Office Clerical Unit voted down a tentative agreement with the Harbor Employers Association that ended an eight-day strike at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in November and December 2012.

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.32 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in December, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 2.8% from November and up 8% from December 2011. One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent. The numbers for December brought 2012 to a total of 15.8 million TEU, up 2.9% from 2011. January was estimated at 1.34 million TEU, up 4.6% from January 2012. 

February is forecast at 1.18 million TEU, up 8.5% from last year; March at 1.29 million TEU, up 3.6%; April at 1.36 million TEU, up 4.4%, May at 1.45 million TEU, up 6.2%, and June at 1.45 million TEU, up 4.9%. The six months of data projections for 2013 should bring the first half of the year to 8.1 million TEU, up 5.3% from the first half of 2012.

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At Valspar, Q1 sales and earnings slip

BY Ken Clark

Weaker-than-anticipated international markets help put a damper on Valspar’s first-quarter performance. 

The Minneapolis-based paint giant saw sales decline to $875.2 million in the quarter, down from $885.6 million in the same quarter last year. Net income declined to $55.0 million, compared with $55.8 million. 

“Although we made substantial progress this quarter on a number of key initiatives, international markets were weaker than anticipated,” said Gary Hendrickson, chairman and CEO. “We continued to invest in our long-term opportunities and remain confident we will achieve our new business plans for the full year. However, weak demand in certain international markets is expected to continue." 

The company adjusted downward its full-year guidance to $3.60 to $3.80 to reflecting the market conditions. 

Valspar recently announced a long-term deal with Ace Hardware. Under the deal, Valspar will manufacture and supply Ace-branded paint products to Ace dealers. The companies also announced that Valspar has acquired Ace Hardware’s paint manufacturing assets, including two manufacturing facilities located near Chicago. 

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