Retail sales inch higher in January
Things are looking decent for the retail market this winter.
Advance estimates of U.S. retail sales for January 2017 came in at $472.1 billion, up 0.4% from December and 5.6% from last January. That's adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.
Additionally, the November 2016 to December 2016 percent change was revised from up 0.6% to up 1.0%.
Retail trade sales were also up — 0.2% from December 2016, and up 5.6% from last year.
Gasoline station sales saw the biggest boost, up 14.2% from January 2016, followed by nonstore retailers (up 12.0% from last year).
Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers had sales that were up 0.3% from December and 3.8% year-over-year.
Briggs & Stratton expands new oil change technology
Briggs & Stratton recently released its Just Check & Add oil change technology. Now, it's expanding the feature to more walk mowers across more brands, including its popular 625ex Series engine.
Just Check & Add technology is making it possible to no longer need to change oil. The engines are designed to run cleaner and cooler, meaning homeowners simply need to check and add SAE 30 small engine oil if it runs low.
"We consistently hear from lawn mower owners that annually changing the oil is a pain point. They tell us it's messy, time-consuming and a hassle to dispose of the old oil," explained Rick Zeckmeister, VP engines marketing and planning at Briggs & Stratton. "The move to expand the availability of Briggs & Stratton's Just Check & Add technology is the next step in making this innovation the standard across all walk mower engines."
The feature was first introduced in 2015 on the EXi Series engines, using an automotive-style paper air cleaner element to keep the engine oil cleaner. Additionally, the Overhead Valve Design features an innovative scroll design and cooling package to allow the engines to run cooler and reduce the oil temperature.