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PRO Hardware announces ‘Retailers of the Year’

BY HBSDEALER Staff

PRO Hardware, a division of Denver-based Pro Group, has announced its end-of-year award winners for retailers of the year and the Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial Award.

Poultry Electric PRO Hardware of Winchester, Tenn., was named the winner of the 2008 Paul L. Cosgrave Memorial Award. The Paul L. Cosgrave award is given to the PRO Hardware retailer recognizing “commitment to the principles and ideals of effective hardware merchandising developed by PRO Hardware founder Paul L. Cosgrave,” according to the division.

The rural Poultry Electric hardware store is “one of a few hardware stores in the country that have successfully integrated poultry supplies,” according to a statement. Owner Dale Goodwin purchased the store after traveling for two decades as a top salesman of poultry equipment. While he grew up helping his father with construction projects, this was his first venture into the retail business. His wife, Thelma, is a registered nurse who also helps in the business.

PRO Hardware also named the 2008 Paul L. Cosgrave Award finalist: McClain PRO Hardware of Hanover, Mich. McClain PRO Hardware is also PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year for the Bostwick-Braun Co., which is based in Toledo, Ohio.

Additional winners are as follows:

• The PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year for Horizon Distribution is Welches Mountain Building Supply of Welches, Ore.

• The PRO Hardware Retailer of the Year for Long-Lewis Hardware is Danny’s PRO Builder’s Supply of Centre, Ala.

PRO Hardware Retailers of the Year are selected based upon merchandising, inventory management, PRO key supplier support, advertising, store identification, sales and financial performance.

Pro Group is a marketing and merchandising organization for distributors and retailers in the hardware, lawn & garden, cabinet fabrication, paint sundries, farm products and agricultural markets.

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Honda lawn mowers recalled

BY HBSDEALER Staff

American Honda Motor Corp. is recalling about 20,500 Honda Lawn Mowers, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Arear shield attached to the lawnmower can break off and be thrown at the operator, posing a laceration risk. The company has received one report of this incident, but no injuries have been reported.

The recall includes HRX walk-behind lawn mowers, and the items were sold from Oct. 27, 2007, through June 2008.

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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac woes could lead to Fed takeover

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Following a slew of funding problems for government-sponsored mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federal government is considering taking over the two organizations, according to a report by the New York Times.

The two mortgage companies, which are government-sponsored entities (GSEs), have had difficulty raising funds in the face of the housing market downturn.

According to the report, a plan is under consideration by the Fed to place Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship, which means losses on home loans under their names would be paid by taxpayers. The newspaper cited individuals briefed with the government’s plan, although the sources also said no action is imminent.

Congress created Fannie Mae during the Great Depression and created Freddie Mac in the 1970s. Later, legislators eased some restrictions on the two organizations to help spur growth, allowing them to cash in on the slew of jumbo mortgages that eventually entered the market. Like many other mortgage companies, the two groups were deeply hurt by fallout in the housing market. But unlike other mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collectively hold huge relative chunk of the outstanding mortgages in the United States.

Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to slide further today, after plunging throughout the week. If the government were to take over the companies, their stock would be worth “little or nothing,” according to the New York Times.

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