Retail Imports Spike as Contract Deadline Approaches

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Import volume at major U.S. container ports is expected to increase 7.5 percent in June as retailers bring unusually high quantities of merchandise into the country early to avoid any potential disruptions after the labor contract with West Coast dockworkers expires, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “We ... Read More »

The Future of Retail

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For the past few years, brick-and-mortar retailers didn’t have a fighting chance to compete with the personalization and convenience provided by online shopping. By cultivating mountains of rich customer data, online retailers had the upper hand. Every action and inaction — from what customers clicked on and how much time they spent looking at certain products to their social activity ... Read More »

The Latest on Debit Card Fees

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Merchants aren’t ready to throw in the towel quite yet. On Monday, the National Association of Convenience Stores and the National Retail Federation announced that they will petition the Supreme Court to hear their case against the Federal Reserve. To read more, click here. Read More »

Lowe’s Ad Under Attack for Portrayal of Fathers

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A recent T.V. ad for Lowe’s is coming under attack by a special interest group, saying the ad promotes a negative image of fathers. The Lowe’s commercial titled, “Valspar Reserve: Video Call” has come under fire by a Canadian group called Leading Women for Shared Parenting. The group’s president, Terry Brennan, says she was appalled when she saw the commercial presented Lowe’s with a ... Read More »

What’s Happening in Housing-From Lowe’s and Home Depot

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The U.S. housing market has unquestionably had a weak start to the year, and there is no shortage of top-down analysis on where the market is headed. Analyzing the macro-economic climate is one thing, but investors can also get a good view from what Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) and Lowe’s Companies (NYSE: LOW  ) are saying. To read the rest of ... Read More »

Lots in Short Supply For Many Home Builders

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WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Families buying new homes can expect prices to continue to rise, as builders say there’s a low supply of developed lots and that properties suitable for new housing have become more expensive. Builders will pass along 100% of increased lot costs to homebuyers, said David Crowe, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders. “Builders price ... Read More »

Home Sizes Increase as Economy Improves

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With the improved economy, new homes are getting bigger again. The average size of newly built single-family homes increased during the first quarter of this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Using first-quarter census numbers on home starts and completions, the average single-family house increased from 2,656 square feet to 2,736 square feet, and the median rose ... Read More »

Brian Morgan: 2014 Young Retailer of the Year

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  Brian Morgan The T.H. Rogers Lumber Co., Siloam Springs, Ark. Manager Category: Multiple Store Operations Within a few years after taking a job at T.H. Rogers, Morgan was promoted to manager of T.H. Roger’s Siloam Springs store. Quickly recognizing opportunities in the marketplace, Morgan set upon expanding the store’s offerings. When a nearby door shop closed, he purchased the ... Read More »

Adra Kennard: 2014 Young Retailer of the Year

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Adra Kennard Kennard Ace Hardware, Newberry, Fla. President Category:  Multiple Store Operations Not long after she took over the store when her father retired, Kennard doubled the total square footage of the family business and tripled the sales volume. She directed the opening of three stores and used her keen sense of what the customer wants to help her shape ... Read More »

Dana Sneade Banyasz: 2014 Young Retailer of the Year

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Dana Sneade Sneade’s Ace Home Center, Owings, Md. Director of Operations Cagtegory: Multiple Store Operations One of the high points of Banyasz’s career may be the way she has drawn in more female shoppers through a highly profitable Yankee Candle category and a Christmas department. She also has been instrumental in overseeing a store expansion and expanding the company’s offering ... Read More »

Trevor Kowalchuk: 2014 Young Retailer of the Year

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Trevor Kowalchuk Brandon Home Hardware Building Center, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada Dealer/Owner Category: Over $2 Million in annual sales When Kowalchuk decided to merge his business with a local building center, he faced a difficult, but ultimately rewarding task. Integrating the two stores meant keeping a store that was shoppable in the midst of extensive renovations to the building. Because of ... Read More »

Zach Coblentz: 2014 Young Retailer of the Year

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Zach Coblentz Heartville Hardware, Hartville, Ohio Outdoor Power Equipment Division Manager Category: Over $2 Million in annual sales Every year since Coblentz took leadership of the power equipment department at Hartville Hardware, sales in that area have increased by double digits. His leadership skill is evident in his aggressive approach to bringing in new product lines, his refined sense of ... Read More »

Lee Rector: 2014 Young Retailer of the Year

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Lee Rector Thomas Home Center True Value, McKinleyville, Calif. Retail Store Manager Category: Under $2 Million in annual sales While he grew up working in the family hardware store, Rector started working full-time in the business establishing a marketing department at the same time he was going full time to college. After graduation, he became the retail manager and oversaw ... Read More »

Blake Burgess: 2014 Young Retailer of the Year

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Blake Burgess York Ace Hardware, Ace, Neb. Partial Owner/General Manager Category: Under $2 Million in annual sales After purchasing a local hardware store in 2010, Burgess spearheaded an update of nearly every aspect of the store, from its inventory to its operations to its design. The result was sales increases and a 22 percent margin dollar increase. Burgess has continued ... Read More »

James Coté: 2014 Young Retailer of the Year

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James Coté Osterville House & Garden, Osterville, Mass. Owner Category: Under $2 Million in annual sales When he was just 24 years old, Coté purchased a struggling hardware store that was about to go out of business. Over the next three years, he used his leadership and vision to rebuild the store’s credibility with the community, expand the store’s inventory ... Read More »

Say Goodbye to Credit Card Swipes and Signatures

Say Goodbye to Credit Card Swipes and Signatures

Starting October 2015, MasterCard and Visa will usher in a major change in the U.S. credit card industry.  Credit cards will have microchips in them.  Consumers will use PIN numbers instead of signing credit card receipts.  And consumers will insert the credit card into or wave it near the card reader, instead of swiping a magnetic strip. To find out ... Read More »

Benjamin Moore Tries Unique Promotional Tactic

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Benjamin Moore launched a new mobile, puzzle game, Bendoku in an effort to gain more attention toward its  three signature color collections: Color Preview, Affinity and Williamsburg and attract its growing number of mobile customers. Bendoku challenges users ability to distinguish and arrange colors. According to the company, Bendoku is part of its continuing goal to innovate its mobile and social media ... Read More »

Ace Makes J.D. Power Satisfaction List for Eighth Year

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For an eighth consecutive year, Ace Hardware ranks highest in satisfying home improvement retail store customers. Ace Hardware achieves a score of 791 and performs particularly well in the staff and service factor. Menards ranks second with a score of 787 and performs particularly well in the price and sales and promotions factors. The 2014 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study ... Read More »

Is Sear’s “Transition” Plan Working?

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“Sears is undergoing a significant transformation, and we fundamentally are changing the way we do business,” says Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings’ chairman and CEO in a company release. “Our performance in the first quarter highlights the challenges we are facing as well as the progress we are making in this transformation.” Yet, when Sears announced its financial results for its ... Read More »

Westlake Ace Hardware, Salvation Army Team Up

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Westlake Ace Hardware is hosting a Salvation Army Fans for Families drive at its stores. According to a news release from the Salvation Army, heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States and causes hundreds of fatalities each year. Older adults, young children and those with medical conditions are especially susceptible to heat-releated illnesses. And Westlake is ... Read More »

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June 2014


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