Residential construction flat in February
Spending on private residential construction barely budged in February 2012 compared to the previous month, rising 0.8% to an annual rate of $527.3 billion, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Dept. Nonresidential construction such as hotels, offices, schools and healthcare facilities rose 1.6% to $280.8 billion in February.
Spending on single-family homes in February 2012 declined 1.5% compared to January, but multifamily home construction rose 2.0%.
Spending on roads, power, water, sewage and other infrastructure decreased 1.6% in month-over-month figures.
Although monthly gains were pretty dismal, yearly figures painted a brighter picture. During the first two months of this year, overall construction spending amounted to $111.3 billion, 7.4% above the $103.7 billion for the same period in 2011.
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MyLowe’s digital report card
The April issue of Home Channel News included a review and analysis of MyLowes.com, one of the most ambitious home improvement websites in the industry today. Our digital version (registration required) has even more analysis.
Our team of reviewers from Cleveland-based Marcus Thomas LLC found the site impressive, in general, but also pointed to some areas that could be improved. Click here for the digital report card.
HD continues to centralize distribution
Home Depot plans to lay off 225 customer support and distribution workers in Baton Rouge, La., over the next 18 months, according to an article in The Advocate.
Spokesman Stephen Holmes told the newspaper that the company made the decision based on logistical and geographical concerns. The downsizing will affect 90 employees at Home Depot’s distribution facility for online purchases and another 135 people who work in sales, purchasing and finance positions for Your Other Warehouse, a Home Depot subsidiary that distributes kitchen and bath products.
The 135 Your Other Warehouse will probably be relocated to Atlanta, where the company is headquartered, Holmes said. The 90 distribution center positions are also slated for Georgia, where Home Depot is planning to open a new 1 million-sq.-ft. e-commerce DC. The retailer also plans to close an older Rapid Deployment Center (RDC) in Braselton, Ga.
Last October, Home Depot announced the layoffs of 400 people at its Baton Rouge call center. The company plans to open new call centers in Atlanta and Ogden, Utah.