Content about Opinion

March 24, 2014

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.

January 31, 2014

First rule: plan ahead. Does your approach to buying markets and trade shows jibe with our readers’ approach? 

A recent HCN Daily asked: “A busy month for co-op and distributor markets is just around the corner. How do you plan to make the most of the markets?” 

One reader responded with several key concepts:

• “Planning, budget and time allocation is most important.”

January 29, 2014

Sales are up. Is it time to expand? The answer is not as easy as you think. Here are some points to consider on some of the most common ways to expand:

Expanding product lines/service offerings

January 29, 2014

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.

December 12, 2013

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) surveyed members on two hot topic questions. 

As sales of existing-homes fell in October for the second consecutive month, the AHMA asked: “Is a strong housing market important to the success of your business?”

Ninety percent responded “Yes,” and 10% responded “No.”

December 10, 2013

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.

September 23, 2013

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.

September 10, 2013

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.

September 9, 2013

As the living-wage bill makes the rounds in Washington, D.C., HCN readers embrace a right-to-work attitude.

The mayor of Washington, D.C., is considering a proposal that hike the miminum wage in the district for big retailers. 

The plan calls for a $12.50 minimum wage – well above the current $8.25 – for employees of companies with $1 billion or more in sales and stores measuring at least 75,000 square feet. 

September 6, 2013

The mayor of Washington, D.C., is considering a proposal that hike the miminum wage in the district for big retailers. 

The plan calls for a $12.50 minimum wage – well above the current $8.25 – for employees of companies with $1 billion or more in sales and stores measuring at least 75,000 square feet. 

Here’s how HCN readers weighed in:

June 27, 2013

The article "Home Depot drops Paula Deen" generated several reader comments.