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One worker killed, another injured during Sanford store rebuilds

BY Brae Canlen

Roofers in two separate incidents in Sanford, N.C., were injured — one fatally — during reconstruction projects at the Tractor Supply and Lowe’s home improvement stores, according to the Fayetteville Observer and other media reports. 

Both stores are undergoing repairs after a tornado swept through town and caused major damage to the businesses on April 16.

The first incident happened at Tractor Supply on June 22, when a 59-year-old South Carolina contractor dropped through an unstable portion of the roof. The man fell 20 ft. onto cement and was later reported dead.

Less than a week later, on June 25, a 45-year-old worker, who was rolling out roofing material at the Lowe’s store, tumbled off the building. He reportedly suffered fractures in his arm and leg, and sustained head injuries.

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Canadian Tire announces major expansion of appliance business

BY Ken Clark

Canadian Tire is making a strong push into major appliances.

The 1,200-store Canadian chain now offers Inglis refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers and cooking ranges, as well as Amana freezers and microwaves at its stores across the country.

The expansion into appliances follows an 11-store test last year. 

"Canadians turn to Canadian Tire for high-quality small appliances, and we’re now very excited to be partnering with Inglis and Amana to offer quality home appliances at great value," said T.J. Flood, VP merchandising of Canadian Tire.

Toronto-based Canadian Tire introduced major appliances at 11 stores in British Columbia and Ontario last year. "The current expansion is a direct result of the positive feedback from customers who appreciated the diverse assortment at those stores," Flood said.

From July 1 to July 28, the retailer is offering customers several promotions, including discounts of up to $150 off as well as bonus cards to be used on future purchases of select appliances.

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Consumer confidence slips again

BY Ken Clark

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in May, decreased again in June. The Index now stands at 58.5 (1985=100), down from 61.7 in May. The Present Situation Index decreased to 37.6 from 39.3. The Expectations Index declined to 72.4 from 76.7 last month.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by The Nielsen Co., a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for June’s preliminary results was June 16, 2011.

Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said: “This month’s decline in consumer confidence was driven by a less favorable assessment of current conditions and continued pessimism about the short-term outlook. Consumers rated both current business and labor market conditions less favorably than in May, and fewer consumers than last month foresee conditions improving over the next six months. Inflation fears eased considerably in June, but concerns about income prospects increased. Given the combination of uneasiness about the economic outlook and future earnings, consumers are likely to continue weighing their spending decisions quite carefully.”

Consumers’ appraisal of present conditions was less favorable than in May. Those claiming business conditions are “good” remained the same at 14.3%, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 38% from 37.2%. Consumers’ assessment of the job market was also less favorable. Those stating jobs are “hard to get” increased to 43.8% from 43.5%, while those stating jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 5.2% from 5.7%.

Consumers’ short-term outlook, which had weakened in May, declined further in June. The proportion of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months declined to 16.4% from 17.2%.  However, those anticipating business conditions will worsen decreased to 14.7% from 15.4%.

Consumers remained pessimistic about the outlook for the job market over the next six months. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead declined to 14.2% from 16.7%, while those expecting fewer jobs remained unchanged at 20.3%. The proportion of consumers anticipating an increase in their incomes declined to 13.9% from 14.9%. 

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