John Caulfield, Contributing Editor
vol. x, #34, August 23, 2004

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• ACNielsen Canada • 3M Canada • Liquidation World • National Hardware Show • Practical World/Cologne International Hardware Fair • Sterling Commerce Wolf Gugler & Associates Competitactics ProForma * * * * * * SUMMER PUBLISHING SCHEDULE: The next full-sized issue of Hardlines will publish on August 30. See you at our Hardlines Conference Series on September 8 & 9! — Michael * * * * * * NOTE: Dollar amounts are stated in the currency of the country from which the story originates. — Michael McLarney, Editor & Publisher
"If you don't have some bad loans you are not in business." —Paul Volcker (American economist, 1927-)
WORLD HEADQUARTERS, TORONTO — Industry trends and intelligence will be just one part of the Incredible Hardlines Conference Series, September 8-9. A special workshop on leadership in sales and personal management will kick off the event."Lessons In Leadership...10 things you absolutely must know to lead your market, your business...and your life!" will be presented by Donald Cooper, a leading presenter and former retailer in his own right. His session will help participants confront three urgent and important battles: the battle for increased sales, market share and profitability; the battle to find, lead and keep the best people; and the battle to generate clarity of purpose and a passionate commitment to that purpose. Donald Cooper delivers unique and powerful insights into how to redefine, refocus and reenergize your business to increase market share and profitability in the face of ever-stronger competition...and ever-faster change. Cooper spent 18 years at Cooper Canada, the family business, which became the world's leading manufacturer of hockey equipment and the largest sporting goods company in Canada. In 1981, He developed Alive and Well, a retail concept that won him seven Awards of Excellence for marketing and service innovation, including the Retail Council of Canada's Innovative Retailer of the Year. Drawing on his experience as a world-class manufacturer, retailer and tireless researcher, Donald Cooper now devotes his time to helping companies redefine and reinvent their business. We're very, very excited to have him participate in the Hardlines Conference Series. (For more information on this incredible session, click here)
ATLANTA — Home Depot reported record second-quarter net earnings of $1.57 billion, up 25% from 2Q 2003. Sales in the second quarter reached just under $20 billion, an 11% increase from the nearly $18 billion recorded a year ago, while same-store sales rose 4.8%.MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Lowe's Cos. Inc. reported a 17.9% increase in net income during its second quarter, to $704 million, compared with $597 million. Sales were up 17.3% to $10.2 billion, $8.7 million in 2Q 2003. Despite the strong results, they fell short of Wall Street expectations, hurt by poor weather in June. However, strong July sales helped pick up the quarter. For the six-month period, sales increased to $18.8 billion, up from $15.78 billion. Net income increased 14% to $1.16 billion, from $1 billion in the year-ago period. FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Do it Best Corp. ended its 2004 fiscal year by returning a record-setting $107.5 million rebate to its members. With gross sales of $2.82 billion, Do it Best recorded a 16.3% sales increase for the fiscal year, the company's largest increase in more than 25 years. Bob Taylor, president and CEO of Do it Best, attributed the $377 million sales increase to low interest rates, a strong housing market, and the desire of customers to enhance their primary investments. TROY, Mich. — Kmart Holding Corp. earned $155 million in the second quarter ended July 28, compared with a loss of $5 million in the same period last year. . .However, quarterly sales fell 15.3% to $4.79 billion. Same-store sales dropped 14.9%.
Housing starts were up by 8.3% from June to July, reports the Commerce Department, marking a run of two of the best months for building on record. Builders broke ground on homes at a 1.978 million-unit annual pace last month, up from a 1.826 million rate in June.Building permits rose 5.7% to a 2.055 million pace in July, reports the Commerce Department. Starts of single-family homes increased 8.5% to a 1.651 million-unit rate, from a 1.522 million pace a month earlier. Starts of multi family dwellings rose 7.6% to a 327,000 annual rate.
Sales by large retailers were up slightly in June, increasing 0.1% to $7.66 billion, says Stats Canada. the increase comes on the heels of similar advances for the group of large retailers in the previous two months. However, second-quarter sales cooled off, gaining only 0.8% compared with a 2.9% gain in the first quarter.Wholesale sales advanced for the fourth consecutive month in June, rising 0.6% to $37.8 billion, says Stats Canada. The automotive sector was the key driver. Excluding auto, sales actually declined by 0.4%
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