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Prospects for remodeling are strong

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Substantive growth in remodeling spending, coming off a three-year decline, seems likely in 2011, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Even though spending is still below its 2007 peak, the LIRA indicates that homeowner improvement spending is expected to be up at a double-digit pace at an annual rate through the first half of 2011.

“The downturn in home improvement activity has pushed spending below its long-term trend,” says Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Cambridge, Mass.-based Joint Center for Housing Studies. “A recovering economy should stabilize house prices and consumer confidence levels, encouraging homeowners to reinvest in their homes and undertake deferred repairs and replacements.”

“Remodeling contractors are feeling much more positive about the outlook for home improvement projects,” said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “Low financing costs and a wave of previously foreclosed homes coming back on the market and in need of renovation are expected to generate healthy growth over the next several quarters.”

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Off-duty cop nabs shoplifter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ashoplifting suspect who may have impersonated a Lowe’s employee was arrested on Oct. 13 after an off-duty police officer became suspicious, according to an article in Herald-Citizen.

Off-duty police officer Shannon Smith was shopping at a Lowe’s store in Cookeville, Tenn., when she allegedly saw a man take a Paslode cordless nail gun out of the store without paying. She contacted other officers, then watched the suspect leave with another individual in a newer model white Toyota.

Police were able to stop the vehicle based on Smith’s description. An officer allegedly found the nail gun, still in its box, and five hypodermic syringes. Arrested were the driver, Rainn Wanos Martin, 31, and Brent Lee Hamby, 29, the passenger. Both were cited for shoplifting and for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lowe’s employees told officers they saw one of the suspects in the store wearing a Lowe’s apron. An employee apron was later found that had been “cut completely in half down the back,” according to the police report.

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Lancaster names new marketing executive

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lancaster, a paint sundries distributor, has appointed Geff Lynch as its new senior VP sales and marketing. Lynch will oversee all sales and marketing functions for the Lancaster/Five Star groups.

Lynch is replacing Bruce Sherman, who is leaving the company to spend more time with his family. Sherman has served in the role of VP field sales for Five Star this past year and previously held the position of CEO for The Five Star Group.

Lynch has worked as VP marketing at The Merit Group since January 2008. He has a 24-year background in the paint sundry industry, including sales and marketing positions for GMG Distributors and Gaco Western.

Headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., The Merit Group distributes its products through its Lancaster, Five Star, Merit Trade Source and Merit Pro trade names. The company, which operates nine distribution centers, serves more than 10,000 retail locations including national, regional and independent paint chains, home improvement centers, hardware stores, lumberyards and drywall yards in the United States, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

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