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Pet appreciation plays at TSCO

BY Ken Clark

It’s not just the annual P.A.W. – Pet Appreciation Week – that has Tractor Supply executives in touch with animal lovers. The company plans to open a pair of HomeTown Pet stores near its store support center in Brentwood, Tennessee in November.

During the company’s third-quarter earnings report, in which it posted double-digit gains in sales and earnings, Tractor Supply executives weighed in on both P.A.W., and the new pet-focused store initiative. 

The HomeTown Pet concept was described by CEO Greg Sandfort as a “new and unique pet supply store that will offer high quality products and services in an inviting and welcoming atmosphere for a large variety of pets and animals including dogs, cats, poultry, wild bird, horses and more.”

Pet has been an increasingly important sector for Tractor Supply, he said, and the stores will give the company insights into the various pet categories. Future expansion plans remain undetermined.

Pressed for details, Sandfort said that the company sees the bet business as a growth area. At the same time, it doesn’t want to radically alter the makeup of the interior of the successful Tractor Supply store model – described as “many stores within a store,” he said. “

“Our thought process was: how do we understand how to grow the pet business inside of Tractor,” Sandfort said. “Are there are pieces and parts that maybe we’re missing that we don’t understand. So that was the impetus of putting these two test concepts out there?” 

Regarding the September P.A.W. initiative, Sandfort said there was strong response. The annual weeklong event promotes pet adoption and pet health awareness. “We partner with local pet adoption agencies and community groups to promote pet adoptions and we offer exceptional values on pet products throughout all our stores,” Sandfort said. “Year-after-year the P.A.W event continues to position us an authority for pet food and pet care.” 

Corrected: A previous version of the story incorrectly described the location of the new pet store concepts.  

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Oct. 24, 2014

*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.

Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report.

Lumber: Dwindling order files forced more SPF mills to quote lower prices in both the East and West. From those lower price levels, mills listened to and accepted a variety of counters, depending on their urgency to move an item. Southern Pine producers took a measured approach to price increases and did not shy away from selling buildups at discounts. Buyers purchased as needed while often trying to pare back inventories. Sluggish demand for Coastal species left several prices soft, injecting more weakness into the market overall. Producers remained more impressed with dry Doug Fir sales than Hem-Fir. Inland lumber is “under duress,” as one source indicated. Mixed truckloads currently represent the best value for both buyers and producers. Another week of slower stud sales ate away at mill order files and prompted producers to listen to counters, accepting most often those within $5 of asking levels. Radiata Pine blanks from Chile have deteriorated in price by “at least $25,” according to one source. Ponderosa Pine Mldg&Btr and Shop are now quite stable at published levels. Most of the low grades of Shop have been tidied up, and prices have firmed. Ponderosa Pine 4/4 boards show a clear downward direction, especially in both #3 and #4 Common. A good deal of elasticity exists with regard to pricing, because mills have varying needs. Eastern White Pine also shows some erosion of prices in key items, with 1×12 Standard adjusting and all Industrial items coming off at least $5. More attention was directed toward the new year among both mills and buyers in the Western Red Cedar market. Any near-term needs were filled with little fanfare, while producers focused on shipments intended to deliver after the first of the year.

Panels: Activity in OSB died back a bit from last Friday, after two relatively strong weeks. Established prices have not backed off, however, even picking up $2 to $5 in most regions. Sources suggested pricing may have limited upside moving closer to winter. Southern Pine plywood demand left mills with enough orders to keep order files extended. Wholesalers continued to buy and sell volumes at a steady pace. Yards, trying to carry as little inventory as possible, turned to wholesalers for quick shipping volumes or stepped up to purchase another week’s worth of fill-in volumes from mills. At best, Western Fir plywood sales activity held close to previous weeks. At worst, volumes sold declined only slightly. Prices held at prior levels. Canadian plywood prices went sideways from last week, though quick shipping panels were reported going one point over established levels and contracts at a point below. The particleboard market remained steady, with little or no significant fluctuation in prices and demand levels. MDF sales fluctuated little at mills. Prices remained steady, although some buyers did pick off a few minor discounts.

For more on RISI, click here. 

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Channellock turns attention to screwdrivers

BY HBSDealer Staff

Meadville, Pennsylvania-based Channellock — long known for its made-in-USA pliers coated in distinctive Channellock-blue handles — introduced a line of “Professional Screwdrivers. The line features slotted, Phillips, Torx and nut drivers designed and manufactured in the United States.

“With the introduction of our new Professional Screwdrivers, we are able to deliver a better-designed, higher quality tool to our customers, while bringing screwdriver production back to the United States,” said Ryan DeArment, VP of sales and marketing. “Anytime we can do that, we consider it a step in the right direction for our company, our customers and American manufacturing in general.”

The line includes 46 different tool offerings. Each is designed with a four-sided, acetate handle that delivers greater torque than competing drivers with six- or eight-sided handles. 

Other features include blasted tips for use in electronic applications and chrome plating for corrosion resistance. 

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