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Porch sets up shop in Lowe’s stores nationwide

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s and Porch have been busy since announcing their strategic partnership last January. Now, the companies are making the alliance known in all 1,700+ Lowe’s stores nationwide after first introducing the service in the Carolinas and Seattle areas.

That means Porch is the in-store resource at every Lowe’s store in the country, there to help homeowners link up with home improvement professionals for just about every project outside of Lowe’s current installation services.

"While we have already been able to help our customers with projects like installing flooring or remodeling a kitchen, our partnership with Porch means we can now guide customers to find help for nearly any home improvement service, from routine maintenance to dream projects," said Jay Rebello, VP new business development and corporate innovation at Lowe’s. "Homeowners trust Lowe’s products and project expertise, and now that relationship can extend to the search for home improvement pros by providing a highly personal, localized experience through Porch."

Employees will be trained to assist customers using their mobile devices or various in-store terminals.

Home improvement pros can also sign up for a free Porch profile to take advantage of the added exposure.

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Ferguson buys appliance dealer

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ferguson, the largest wholesale plumbing distributor in the U.S., acquired Factory Direct Appliances.

Factory Direct Appliance is a seven-location appliance dealer with five showrooms in Kansas City, Mo., and two outlying locations in Des Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, Neb. 

The deal marks the second big acquisition of the year for Ferguson, which acquired Karl’s Appliance in February. Karl’s operates six showrooms in northern New Jersey. 

“Similar to Ferguson, Factory Direct Appliance is known for its longstanding relationships with both its builder and retail customers,” said Frank Roach, Ferguson CEO. “We are excited about our new association with Factory Direct and look forward to serving our customers in Kansas City, Des Moines and Omaha.”

Factory Direct Appliance was originally founded in 1988 by Dennis and Suzanne Birkestrand, who previously spent 22 years with The Maytag Company. Joined later by partners Rod Holsapple and Steve Johnson, Factory Direct Appliance has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the greater Kansas City area. The company will operate as “Factory Direct Appliance, a Ferguson enterprise.”

 

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Horton chairman sees favorable housing market

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Donald R. Horton, chairman of the board at D.R. Horton, Inc., credited the upward trajectory of the U.S. housing market for the homebuilder’s strong second-quarter earnings report.

“Housing market conditions remain favorable, and as expected, the pace and strength of the improvement varies significantly across our local operating markets," he said in a company release. "Our broad geographic footprint, diversified product offerings, solid balance sheet and robust finished lot supply put us in a strong position to capture demand and increase revenues and profitability in the second half of our fiscal year."

The homebuilder pulled in $1.7 billion in revenues over the three months ended March 31, up 22% from $1.4 billion the year previous.

Meanwhile, net income increased 18% year-over-year to $131.0 million for the quarter.

"Our homebuilding and financial services operations delivered a great quarter, highlighted by pre-tax income of $201.9 million and a pre-tax income margin of 11.6%," Horton added. "The dollar value of our homes sold, closed and in backlog all increased by double-digit percentages. Our net sales orders in the March quarter were up 57% sequentially from the December quarter and up 9% from the March quarter last year. Our average sales price increased 10% to $278,900, reflecting continued pricing power in many of our markets."

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