Making Shopping a More Personal Experience

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A new “Truth About Shopping” study explores global consumer attitudes and behavior related to all areas of shopping today, including online, mobile and in-store purchasing, views about data and privacy, and preferences about the shopping environment and experience. Conducted by McCann Truth Central, McCann Worldgroup’s consumer intelligence unit, the research is based on a survey of more than 10,000 people ... Read More »

Sear’s Helps Customers Run Homes from Smart Devices

SEARS

Sears recently introduced  Connected Solutions, experiential shops that bring together assortments of smart, connected home and personal automation products. For example, a customer could program his garage door opener to be notified by text when the door is open and closed. Could definitely be a good move for the company, with the connected solutions industry projected to generate hundreds of billions in ... Read More »

Consumer Spending in U.S. Unexpectedly Declines

Consumer Spending in U.S. Unexpectedly Declines

American shoppers dialed it back in April after spending at the fastest pace in almost five years. Household purchases unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent, the first decrease in a year, after a 1 percent gain the prior month that was the strongest since August 2009, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. After adjusting the figure to account for inflation, the news ... Read More »

Small Businesses’ Effect on the U.S. Economy

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The importance of small business to job creation and to the U.S. economy has been the focus of economists and policy makers alike for several decades. But defining or measuring what constitutes or defines a small business is quite challenging, and there is no universal agreement on the definition.  However, improved access to additional data allows for a more comprehensive ... Read More »

Manufacturing Expands at a Slower Rate

Manufacturing Expands at a Slower Rate

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in May for the 12th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 60th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. To find out more, click here. Read More »

5 Tips for Better Management

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Good news: Here’s a simple process, five easy steps, to improve your business. It’s easy to do. And, if you’re not doing something like this already, then this simple addition to your process offers you substantial business improvement. To read more, click here. Read More »

Application Deadline Extended for NRHA Retail Management Certification Program

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The North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) has extended the application deadline for the Summer 2014 Session of the Retail Management Certification Program until next Monday, June 9th. For companies interested in sending a student to the school, click here to download an application for admission form. You can also go to www.nrha.org/rmcp to download the Summer 2014 Course Guide, ... Read More »

Participate in NRHA Telephone Focus Group, Get Paid $50

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  NRHA is looking for a small group of retailers willing to participate in 60-90 minute telephone focus groups. The next focus group will be held Monday, June 9 at 2 p.m. EDT. During these calls, we just ask for you to provide your insights and opinions about various subjects. Simply participate in the call, and we will send you ... Read More »

Group Recommends Federal Incentives For State Building Code Improvements

Group Recommends Federal Incentives for State Building Code Improvements

Federal disaster policy should shift focus toward mitigation in order to reduce future disaster costs, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies says. The industry group recommends that the federal government create incentives for states to adopt and enforce strong building codes. A study by the National Institute of Building Sciences found that for every $1 spent to make buildings ... Read More »

New Home Loan Rates Remain Stable

Existing-Home Sales Decline in November, but Strong Price Gains Continue

The average characteristics of conventional mortgages used to buy newly built homes were little changed in April, according to data released earlier today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).  The average contract interest rate declined a scant 2 basis points to 4.19 percent, while the average initial fees and charges increased by a single basis point to 1.22 percent.  As a result, the effective ... Read More »

Buyers Looking For Improvements That Cut Utility Costs

New Home Loan Rates Remain Stable

Going green is good for the environment, but it can also be good for a homeowner’s wallet – and that’s the aspect of eco-friendly improvements that seems most appealing to homebuyers. More than 80 percent of buyers said they would pay more for home features that saved energy and trimmed utility bills, according to a recent survey by the National ... Read More »

No Change in Builder Confidence

Group Recommends Federal Incentives for State Building Code Improvements

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in May fell one point to 45 from a downwardly revised April reading of 46 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).  Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current ... Read More »

Home Depot Launches New Customer Order Management System

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Home Depot launched its first in-store implementation of its new customer order management system (OMS), according to the company’s recent shareholders conference call. According to executives, Home Depot will roll out the OMS across the U.S. by the end of the year. The system “is designed for greater visibility and execution of special orders by our associates and a frictionless ... Read More »

Lowe’s Faces Possible Lawsuit for False Advertising

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Lowe’s is facing a proposed class action alleging packages of its proprietary mulch brand. According to official reports, plaintiffs Amy Joseph and Glenn McMillan filed a federal complaint claiming Lowe’s and its suppliers Lebanon Seaboard Corp. and Oldcastle Lawn & Garden Inc. produce bags of mulch with packaging carrying false promises, “so the home improvement retailer can save on shipping ... Read More »

Data Access Affects Home Buyers’ Experiences

Mortgage Rates Won’t Derail 2014 Housing Market

Computer technology has changed the way consumers shop for everything from shoes to homes. Thanks to easy access to online data, 90 percent of homebuyers surveyed by the National Association of Realtors in 2012 said the Internet was their top information source when searching for a home (compared to just 27 percent who said they typically turned to newspaper ads ... Read More »

More Home Buyers Paying With Cash

New Home Loan Rates Remain Stable

A growing number of home buyers are bringing an unusual tactic to the negotiating table: an all-cash offer. Cash purchases traditionally make up about a quarter of home sales, but they’ve soared to about 40 percent nationwide, according to the research firm CoreLogic. To read more in an article from the Washington Post, click here. Read More »

Luxury Home Sales on the Rise

Existing-Home Sales Decline in November, but Strong Price Gains Continue

According to Daily Real Estate news, luxury home sales, particularly sales of the priciest 1 percent of homes, are surging. Sales of the most expensive homes in many local markets are up 21.1 percent this year, after a 35.7 percent gain last year, the real estate brokerage Redfin reports in its 2014 “Luxury Report.” On the other hand, sales in ... Read More »

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