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Retail sales inch up 0.1% in April

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The U.S. economy posted lower-than-expected growth in retail sales Tuesday. An advance estimate of $434.6 billion in sales reflected a mere 0.1% increase since March and 4.0% since April 2013.

Retail trade sales (not including food services) were up 0.2% since last month and 4.2% above last year. Auto and other motor vehicle dealers were up 10.5% year-over-year.

Building material & garden equipment & supplies dealers (NAICS 444) did better than average, up 0.4% since March.

Those posting the strongest monthly growth in April included department stores (up 1.8%) and clothing & clothing accessories stores (1.2%). On a year-over-year basis, nonstore retailers trailed auto and motor vehicle dealers at a growth rate of 6.5%, followed by health & personal care stores (5.8%).

Electronics & appliance stores suffered the biggest blow in April, dropping 2.3%. Miscellaneous store retailers suffered an identical fate.

April’s estimate is a slight improvement over March’s upwardly revised figure, with a February to March percent change of 1.5% (rather than 1.2%).

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ABC Supply promotes Mike Schwarz

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mike Schwarz has been promoted to executive director of purchasing and merchandising for Beloit, Wisconsin-based building products distributor ABC Supply Co.

Previously he had been director of marketing and business intelligence for the company. 

In his new role, Schwarz will be responsible for working with suppliers at a national level and coordinating supplier relationships with ABC Supply’s regional operations teams. He also will lead the team responsible for gathering and analyzing information that will drive the product purchasing and pricing strategies that support ABC Supply’s growth initiatives. 

“Mike Schwarz is ideally suited for this critical function,” said Mike Jost, VP operations for ABC Supply. “Since he joined the company in 1990, Mike has focused on implementing the essential information-gathering and data analysis tools that have made business information more readily available at all levels of the organization and that have driven the company’s fact-based decision making approach.”

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HCN Stock Watch: Upswing Monday

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Stocks were having anything but a case of the Mondays — many gained 3 or more percentage points by day’s close.

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