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Ranking the buzz of brands

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The recently released YouGov Brand Index Buzz rankings had some familiar names at and near the top of its 2013 U.S. listing.

Amazon.com, which ranked 12th on the HCN Top 300 Retailer Scoreboard, appeared in the top spot with a Buzz Ranking of 30.6. 

The rankings were based on the YouGov survey of respondents, who were asked "If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" 

Lowe’s, which was credited for its well-received Twitter Vine campaign that captured home improvement concepts in six second videos, ranked fifth on the overall chart, with a Buzz rating of 25.9. 

Home Depot scored 21.8, good enough for 15th place, just ahead of the iPad and the iPhone. John Deere rounded out home improvement brands in the top 25 with a 20.3 rating and 25th ranking.

A separate Specialty Retail category of Buzz rankings produced the following results: Lowe’s, 25.9; Walgreens, 24.8; Home Depot, 21.8; Best Buy, 15.5; and Ace Hardware, 15.4.

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Sears to close Chicago flagship store

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears is planning a Chicago-style liquidation this month, as it prepares to shutter its flagship store on North State Street in the heart of the Windy City’s Loop. 

The Chicago Tribune quoted a Sears spokesman: "The store has lost millions of dollars since opening and we can no longer continue to support the store’s operating losses." The store has operating in the location since 2001. 

Liquidation sales are expected to begin Jan. 26, with a closing in April.

Sears Holdings operates more than 2,000 Sears and Kmart locations in the United States. 

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Meet the NRLA’s new chair, Jonas Kelly

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Jonas Kelly, of JAY-K Independent Lumber Co. Inc, is now presiding over the NRLA as its 2014 chairman.

Jonas is the grandson of JAY-K founder Joseph Kelly and has played an active role in the family business since the age of 13, interrupted only by his college years at Hobart College and year-long tenure at Somerville Lumber shortly thereafter.

In addition to his role at JAY-K, Kelly has also chaired Young Leaders United Volunteer Day, is a board member of Christmas in April, a board member (and former president) of Oneida County Habitat for Humanity, a former president of the Central New York Retail Lumber Dealers Association and a current NRLA and CNYRLDA board member.

Kelly helped his father and uncle weather big-box competition in the late 1990s, which came in the form of a new Home Depot and Lowe’s moving into their neighborhood.

"People always ask, "What changes did you make?" he told the NRLA. "The answer is: Instead of home runs, we made a thousand base hits."

Kelly received a Welcome Reception at the 2013 NRLA Annual Meeting in Cooperstown, N.Y. on Oct. 11-12. His brother, Adam Kelly, delivered a slideshow tribute to Jonas.

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