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Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Q3 earnings decline

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores reported mostly negative financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Net earnings fell about 12% to $7.69 million, from $8.76 million.

A 2% decrease in same-store sales and unfavorable calendar shift due to the 53rd week in fiscal 2012 offset slight growth in net sales to $561.1 million from $556.9 million. 

“Sales of home appliances increased during the quarter, while sales of lawn and garden, consumer electronics, and apparel (which is only sold in Outlet Stores) declined,” said Bruce Johnson, CEO and president. “The fourth quarter of 2013 will be the last quarter where we will have a significant negative comparable store sales impact due to our exit from consumer electronics in most stores in our Hometown segment.

"In our Outlet segment, we completed the initial test of franchising and began rolling out this model, which generated higher initial franchise revenues in the quarter and allows us to continue our transition to an asset light, franchised operation. We also completed a successful test of furniture sales in our Outlet stores and have a limited selection of furniture inventory in place across the format for the holiday season. This continues our strategy of shifting our product mix toward higher margin categories, which began last fall with reductions in consumer electronics and expansion in mattresses and tools."

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Empire elevates its level design

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Empire Level updated its iconic professional torpedo level to include three rare-earth magnets and a dual variable-pitch reading True Blue vial. 

The product redesign comes after months of intensive panel and field research and will be released exclusively to the Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) retail channel on Jan. 1, 2014.

“The 1/8-in. and 1/4-in. dual vari-pitch True Blue vial upgrade really elevates the em81.10, making it the pro’s ‘pro tool,’” says Jenni Becker, president of Mukwonago, Wis.-based Empire Level. “It makes this level a must-have for any builder installing HVAC, masonry, decking, sidewalks, plumbing lines, conduit, flagstone patios — essentially any job where pitch measurements are required to prevent water from pooling.”

Based on feedback from the field, Empire’s engineers also employed the use of three powerful neodymium rare-earth magnets to give the level the serious holding strength pros requested for job sites. In addition, new Frameview cover plates showcase the structural integrity of Empire’s extruded aluminum frame while allowing for optimal vial readability.

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Lebhar-Friedman e-mag earns honorable mention

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Residential Building Products and Technology, the digital sister publication of HCN, was honored during a prestigious awards ceremony in New York City yesterday.

RBP&T was a finalist in the Folio Magazine "Eddie and Ozzie" Awards competition in the category of "Best Digital Edition/Digital Magazine Design." The event honored the best of the best in publishing design and content, with the biggest names in the magazine business earning awards along with specialized business-to-business titles.

Launched in January 2013, RBP&T is an all-digital products magazine that was designed and created for builders, remodelers, architects, designers and subcontractors.

RBP&T editor-in-chief Nigel F. Maynard said that making the finals for a Folio award shows the team is on the right track. "We’re honored to be recognized for what we’ve created so far," he said. "And we’re also excited about the opportunity to build on that creativity and take advantage of the power of the all-digital platform."

Readers can subscribe to Residential Building Products and Technology and download the app through the website resbuildmag.com.

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