Like most Americans, the editorial staff of HCN has been watching a lot of basketball lately. It’s all part of the national tradition known as March Madness, the 64-team single-elimination tournament designed to break your heart and bust your bracket.
You meet some interesting people in the home improvement industry. Here’s another one: Jared Littmann, the 41-year-old youth sports coach; lawyer; Annapolis, Md., assemblyman; owner of K&B True Value in Annapolis; and — most recently — True Value board member.
Littmann spoke to HCN just before the K&B True Value Hardware Art Show (see it at homechannelnews.com) opened its doors.
Why is it taking so long for the Commerce Department to estimate housing starts?
Here we are in December, and the latest available stats date all the way back to August, when the Bureau’s estimate for total housing starts came in at a disappointing seasonally adjusted annual rate of 883,000.
As summer comes to a close, our industry welcomes good news and confronts bad news. The good: Companies are fighting their way out of the recession through ingenuity, superior product development and clever marketing strategies. The bad: Skilled talent is in short supply. In fact, the old adage “finding good help is hard these days” has never been truer than it is today. As companies fight to emerge from the recession and begin the long process of hiring top talent, they are discovering a shortage of skilled (and experienced) individuals.
Two-step distribution is riding a housing recovery for both LBM and hardware.
Sales gains and growth were the major themes of the HCN Top 300 Retailer and Top 200 Pro Dealer Scoreboards released earlier this year.
So it’s only logical that the HCN Top 100 Distributor Scoreboard shares in that growth, fueled by rising prices on certain products and a long awaited — though staggering and somewhat unreliable — housing market recovery.