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Sears Holdings adds to Trump defections

BY Marianne Wilson

The Trump retail brand has taken another hit.

Sears and Kmart removed 31 Trump Home items from their e-commerce sites this week, Reuters reported, to focus on more profitable products. Neither retailers carried the products in their brick-and-mortar stores.

In a statement that echoed Nordstrom’s explanation last week of why it was discontinuing the Ivanka Trump line, spokesman Brian Hanover told Reuters that, as part of the company's initiative to optimize its online product assortment, “we constantly refine that assortment to focus on our most profitable items.”

The Trump Home collection includes lines of furniture, lighting, bedding, mirrors and chandeliers, with some of the products from companies that supply the items to Trump hotels.

In related news, The Wall Street Journal reported that sales of the Ivanka Trump brand had dropped sharply before the retailer discontinued the brand this week.

The report, which cited internal data, reported sales of Ivanka Trump-branded clothing and shoes had dropped more than 70% in the second, third and fourth week of October compared with the year-ago period.

Another department store retailer, Belk, issued a statement that it is no longer selling Ivanka Trump-branded merchandise online. But it continues to sell the items in its stores.

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Feb. 10, 2017.

Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.

Crow's Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow's Weekly Market Report.

Lumber: SPF mills pressed prices aggressively higher early. Stretching order files out into early March, producers went off the market at various intervals. Others managed order files more tightly, keeping them at two weeks but raising prices more aggressively to do so. Strong demand for Southern Pine lumber continued unabated. Buyers found it increasingly difficult to locate needs from mills as a growing number of producers no-quoted a wide range of items. Order files stretched 2-3 weeks. Those mills willing to go beyond those lead times sometimes sold PTS. Strength in Coastal species pricing kicked up another notch as a result of continued strong demand. Some traders suggested the emotional “frenzy” on the part of buyers had subsided by Thursday, but solid demand persisted. The uptick in the tempo of Inland lumber markets continued this week. Prices have escalated, even as available supplies have dwindled. Western US stud producers joined SPF producers in their push to aggressively increase prices. SPF producers pressed prices hard, trying to protect themselves from possible retroactive duties. Radiata Pine industrial lumber has increased from both New Zealand and Chile, for widely differing reasons. Asian markets have softened for New Zealand, and the intense fire season in Chile means an immediate increase in the production of salvageable pine. The Ponderosa Pine industrial lumber scene parallels Common boards: low grades are tight in both 5/4 and 6/4 thicknesses, and prices have nudged upward. For now, Ponderosa Pine 4/4 Commons show good strength and demand in #3, with price advances of $5-15, depending on the width. The Western Red Cedar market remained a medley of various activity levels, often depending on where a producer was positioned among the wide range of prices for any particular item. Buyers either pushed back, bought or said they could wait.

Panels: Following a quiet start, OSB markets picked up and ran, posting double-digit price jumps in most every region. As the numbers leapfrogged, a few producers went off the market, while buyers began to get a little spooky by Friday, wondering if the run-up might destabilize. Buyers continued to purchase strong volumes of Southern Pine plywood, effectively extending mill order files and propelling most reported prices higher. Producers frequently went off the market and came back on at higher levels. Producers of Western Fir plywood reported good sales, although not the same level of demand as the prior week. Volumes sold led to range of lead times, some stretching as far out as the week of March 13. However, opportunities still remained in the week of February 27. Building on a strong round of sales last week, Canadian plywood markets were a barn-burner this week, as all segments of the market chased volumes. Order files range from the weeks of March 13 to March 20, generally. The process of raising both MDF and particleboard pricing, due to higher resin costs, was the major focus among producers. Mills continued to present customers with increases while customers presented a fair amount of resistance.

For more on RISI, click here.

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New pet formula brings health into the equation

BY HBSDealer Staff

A new pet food is aiming to put gut health front and center for pets.

According to Joey Herrick, founder and president of Lucy Pet Products, many leading pet foods were developed using formulas that are more than 20 years old, leading to the potential for chronic disease, obesity and more.

"Until recently, the importance of the gut in overall health wasn't fully understood," Herrick said. "The latest nutritional advancements now show that the digestive tract goes far beyond just processing the food your pet eats. Just like in humans, it is very important to create a healthy environment in the gut because it plays a key role in strengthening your pet's immunity to chronic diseases."

The formula is a response to research performed by Dr. George C. Fahey, Professor Emeritus of Animal and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois. He discovered the optimal sources and concentrations of dietary fibers in pet food to include identification of the relationship between fiber fermentability, nutrient digestibility and the effectiveness of prebiotics in dogs and cats.

Lucy Pet's P.B.F. Prebiotic Balanced Fiber technology promotes good gut health, helping the body absorb nutrients more efficiently and boosting natural immunity.

"Good health begins in the gut and plays a key role in natural immunity," said Rick Rockhill, executive vice president and partner at Lucy Pet. "This technology goes far beyond other pet foods to help the gut play a key role in supporting the body's immunity to chronic disease for both dogs and cats leading to a healthier and happier life." 

Lucy Pet Formulas for Life with P.B.F. Prebiotic Balanced Fiber contains high-quality proteins, a blend of quinoa, pumpkin and chickpeas for more beneficial bacteria in the gut. It's also made with high-quality ingredients like duck and wild-caught Alaskan salmon from trusted suppliers, with absolutely no ingredients coming from China.

The products are manufactured in the United States in facilities that exceed industry-wide standards, and every production run is checked for contaminants before distribution, the company said.

"Our foods are made with truth in labeling, honesty in formulations, the latest in scientific research and attention to detail," Herrick added. "I love all my animals and I would never want to be in a position where they weren't healthy because I was not feeding them the best food possible. And that is the driving force behind everything that we do here at Lucy Pet Products."

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