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Weather and economic factors took toll on September sales

BY HBSDEALER Staff

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), September sales at 60 retailers in the United States rose but at the slowest pace in five months.

In a preliminary statement released jointly with UBS Securities, the ICSC said comparable-store sales rose 2 percent, compared with a 4 percent gain in September 2006. The ICSC had expected a gain of 2.5 percent initially, later revising that prediction to 2 percent to 2.5 percent.

The weaker September same-store sales figures were due to economic concerns by consumers and unusually warm weather that hampered sales of fall goods across the country, said the ICSC.

Earlier this month, the research group Conference Board released figures showing consumer confidence dropped to its lowest level in nearly two years in September. That drop was due primarily to lower home values, labor market worries and stricter lending standards, the Conference Board said.

Wal-Mart, Target and other retailers that report monthly earnings will release September financial statements on Oct. 11. The federal government will release its September sales report on Oct. 12.

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Wood products company Pope & Talbot to close three mills temporarily

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Wood products company Pope & Talbot will shutter three mills temporarily to reduce the company’s inventory of finished goods.

Mills in the British Columbia cities of Grand Forks, Castlegar and Fort St. James will be shut down for two weeks beginning Oct. 15. The mills produce high-end softwood lumber products.

Company CEO Harold Stanton said the move was necessary due to falling prices of softwood lumber products and a stronger Canadian dollar.

“Moving forward, we will continue to make adjustments as the market dictates,” he said.

Portland, Ore.-based Pope & Talbot produces pulp and wood products for markets in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

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Do it Best fall market to kick off this weekend

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Do it Best Corp. will hold its fall market Oct. 13 to 16 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, with several previews scheduled on Oct. 12.

This year’s fall market will include the sixth year of the “Power Preview” event starting on Oct. 12, held at Victory Field adjacent to the convention center. The Power Preview will feature 25 outdoor power equipment vendors who will display their wares for Do it Best dealers.

The fall market also will include a “Rental Zone” preview on Oct. 12, during which members can try rental items and place bids on used items.

The convention also includes planned tours of Sullivan Hardware & Garden, a dealer based in Indianapolis, and learning sessions on driving customer loyalty and working within the Do it Best “Signature Store Design Program.”

NASA astronaut James Lovell Jr. will serve as keynote speaker at the event.

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