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Menards eyes St. Louis area

BY HBSDealer Staff

An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch examines the Midwest retail giant’s expansion in the St. Louis area.

As previously reported, the Eau Claire, Wis.-based home improvement chain is also building units in St. Peters, Mo., and nearby O’Fallon, Ill. 

Compared with Home Depot and Lowe’s, Menards stores are nearly double in size and offer 40% more products in-store, the company says.

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Retail and food service sales were up 1.1% in February.

BY Ken Clark

Data released Wednesday morning by the U.S Census Bureau, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences but not for price changes, shows $424.1 billion in retail sales, up 1.1% from the previous month, and up 4.6% above February 2012.

In the NAICS class 444 — “building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers” — sales closely followed total retail sales. The segment was up 1.1% for the month, and up 4.5% for the year.

The government estimated 444 businesses hit $25.603 billion in sales in February, up from $25.314 billion in January. 

The data also showed nonstore retailers were up 15.7% from the same month last year. And auto and other motor vehicle dealers were up 8.8% from last year.

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Larson Electronics releases light tower with dual LED lights

BY Ken Clark

Kemp, Texas-based Larson Electronics has announced the release of a new LED light tower designed to provide easy setup and powerful illumination.

Featuring a compressor-powered pneumatic tower that can extend to 18 ft. and a pair of 150-watt LED lamps, the PLM-18-2X150W-LED Pneumatic Light Tower is recommended for work sites, emergency scenes and anywhere mobile illumination is needed.

The PLM-18-2X150W-LED Pneumatic Light Tower from Larson Electronics is an 18-ft. extendable light tower equipped with two LED light fixtures producing a total of 29,580 lumens of light output. The two heavy-duty 150-watt LED lamps produce a wide spread of intense white light, allowing this unit to effectively cover large work areas with high-quality illumination. This tower is a three-stage unit that is extended to its full height via air pressure provided by an included compressor. The tower assembly consists of three sections, and rather than have to manually winch the unit to the desired height with a hand crank, operators can simply power on the compressor to extend the tower to any height between 8 ft. and 18 ft. To lower the tower operators simply bleed off the air pressure using a release valve built into the base of the tower. The lamp assembly consists of two powerful 150-watt LED lamps producing 14,790 lumens each.

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