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Overall Retail Sales Up, Building Materials Sales Down in July

July retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from June, but declined in home-based categories, including building materials and furniture stores, according to the National Retail Federation. July retail sales, released today by the ... Read More »

Westlake Ace to Add 86th Store

Westlake Ace Hardware has plans to open its 86th location in West Plains, Mo. It will be the chain’s second store incorporating a new store design and layout. The store will feature construction materials and a design approach intended to ... Read More »

Survey Shows Improving Economic Outlook for Small Businesses

The National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) recently released 2013 Mid-Year Economic Report shows small business owners have improved their overall economic outlook, with 40 percent saying today’s economy is better off compared with five years ago—the highest it’s been in five years. ... Read More »

Lowe’s a Step Closer to Acquiring 72 Orchard Supply Hardware Stores

Orchard Supply Hardware

Lowe’s today announced further progress in its plans to acquire the majority of assets of Orchard Supply Hardware, including 72 stores, for approximately $205 million in cash, plus the assumption of payables owed to nearly all of Orchard’s supplier partners, subject ... Read More »

Retailers Say Organized Retail Crime Rates Continue to Rise

The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) ninth annual Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Survey found 93.5 percent of retailers say they have been victims of organized retail crime in the past year, down slightly from 96.0 percent in 2012. For the past three years, ... Read More »

Littlejohn & Co. Completes Acquisition of Handy Hardware

Littlejohn & Co., LLC, a private investment firm based in Greenwich, Conn., has completed the acquisition and recapitalization of Handy Hardware. Handy Hardware emerged from Chapter 11 after the U.S. Bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Del. approved the transaction in July. ... Read More »

Court Rules in Retailers’ Favor on Debit Swipe Fee Reform

A federal judge threw out a Federal Reserve rule on fees banks can charge merchants when they swipe customers’ debit cards, saying the Fed didn’t do enough to limit the charges. The ruling won’t have an immediate effect on debit ... Read More »

Unemployment Rate Down to 7.4%

Both the number of unemployed, at 11.5 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.4 percent, were down in July. These measures were down by 1.2 million and 0.8 percentage point over the year, respectively, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ... Read More »