New home sales increase 4.8 percent
New single-family home sales increased 4.8 percent in September to an annual pace of 770,000 units, up from a downwardly revised figure of 735,000 new units in August, according to the Commerce Department.
The August figure was previously reported as 795,000, which would have meant a September decline. Sales for June and July were also revised downward — signaling that the market for new homes is weaker than previously thought.
True Value market features new store format
Atlanta True Value got a head start on its 2007 fall market today with a media preview tour, showing the company’s newest store format at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Under the header “Destination True Value,” executives joined members of the press on a guided tour of a model 13,255-square-foot store.
The new store featured a softer, more “female-friendly” format, designed to “make hardware shopping less intimidating.” The new store format is focused on small home improvement projects.
True Value retailer store owners will get a chance to view the new store design at the co-op’s fall market, held here at the Georgia World Congress Center through Oct. 29. The event will include a special focus on lawn and garden products for the spring 2008 season.
Lawn and garden sales have been strong at the co-op — in the company’s second quarter, CEO Lyle Heidemann said the category helped drive a strong comparable-store sales increase.
In its most recent quarter, True Value saw revenue decrease slightly to $594.4 million from $597 million in the same period last year. However, comparable-store sales rose 1.5 percent for the quarter.
West Fraser Timber shuts down Skeena Sawmills
Vancouver, B.C.-based West Fraser Timber announced the closing of its Skeena Sawmills facility in Terrace, B.C.
“This was a very difficult decision for the company to make,” said Lou Poulin, general manager of Skeena Sawmills, “but unfortunately it has become necessary due to current market conditions.”
Poulin said that the low number of U.S. housing starts as well as the rapid rise of the Canadian dollar have played a major role in setting the conditions for the closing.
The facility employs approximately 80 hourly workers and 20 salaried staff members.
Skeena Sawmills produces about 90 million board feet of lumber annually.