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Reader Mail: CEOs, marijuana, in-store pick up and more

BY HBSDealer Staff

HBSDealer encourages letters to the editor on general industry topics, as well as comments on specific articles published by HBSDealer.com, such as the following:

 

Regarding  Eye on Retail: Kroger to expand checkout-free experience in 2018

“For many years, I've been voicing, as a consumer, the ridiculousness of grocery shopping. For my family, we have to handle items at least five times from store to home. With the strides in culture and technology, the possibility and culture acceptance is finally here. However, I see a future where the physical aspect of shopping is completely removed. We are already seeing an order online, pick up in store shift from industry players. In the building materials space, this is also a huge opportunity for improvements from local, individually owned warehouses over big box stores to offer the convenience of in store pick up."

— philipdbrown
 



Regarding  Throwback Thursday: End of an era

“Here's my memory of the era of the Nardelli days at Depot: Me–walking into a store on Saturday to buy something for a home project, and looking around for an orange apron, anywhere…and shouting "Hellooooooo out there." "Is anyone around to help me?"

— jeffwedge
 



Regarding  Universal Forest Products making moves in Florida

"Working in the Lumber industry for over a year now and looking forward to many more."

— CGuckes1998
 



Regarding  As more states consider decriminalization or legalization of marijuana, what's your reaction?

“Mental acuity in the construction workplace is key to everyone's safety. This is an industry where, generally, workers work hard and play hard and occasionally, the two overlap. Introducing a legal opportunity to lessen one's ability to think clearly on the job-site, no matter what the financial gain in taxes might be, is not worth the risk of injuries. I believe that if lawsuits for injuries, etc. were directed to the government for passing this legislation, the outcome would be different. You'll never stop those who currently use Marijuana, and other drugs. So, as long as it would still be illegal for workers to be high on the job-site, I would not have as much of an objection for it to be legalized. I still don't think it's right, but what's right or wrong are not always key elements in legislation.”

— Name withheld

 

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36,000 construction industry jobs added in January

BY HBSDealer Staff

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 200,000 positions in January while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The construction sector added 36,000 jobs in January with 26,000 of those positions being created among specialty trade contractors. Employment in residential building construction continued to trend up over the month, with 5,000 new positions. Over the year, construction employment has increased by 226,000.

Manufacturing has added 186,000 jobs over the past 12 months and remained on an upward trend last month with 15,000 new positions. Durable goods industries added 18,000 jobs in January.

Employment in other industries, including retail and wholesale trade, were flat for the month.  

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.74, following an 11-cent gain in December. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 75 cents, or 2.9%.

 

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Weyerhaeuser profits, sales rise in Q4

BY HBSDealer Staff

Weyerhaeuser, the forest products and timberlands giant, reported fourth quarter 2017 net sales increased 16% to $1.8 billion from net sales of $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter 2016.

For the full year, Weyerhaeuser posted net sales of $7.2 billion – a 12.5% increase from 2016 net sales of $6.4 billion.

The Seattle, Wash.-based company also reported fourth quarter net earnings of $271 million compared to net earnings of $62 million in the fourth quarter 2016. Net earnings from continuing operations for the year totaled $582 million, up 40% from net earnings from continuing operations of $415 million in 2016.

Weyerhaeuser said full year 2017 results include net after-tax charges of $290 million from special items. Excluding the items, the company reported net earnings from continuing operations before special items of $872 million compared with net earnings from continuing operations before special items of $534 million for the full year 2016.

In 2017 Weyerhaeuser “simplified and optimized” its portfolio, according to CEO and president Doyle Simons, by divesting its Uruguay operations, exiting the Twin Creeks joint timberlands venture, and selling 100,000 acres of Southern timberland for collective proceeds of more than $700 million.

Fourth quarter results include a $99 million gain from the 100,000 acre sale.

“Going forward, we expect continued growth in the U.S. housing market and we remain relentlessly focused on improving performance through operational excellence, fully capitalizing on strengthening market conditions, and driving value for shareholders through disciplined capital allocation," Simons said. 

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