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December 22, 2014

Caterpillar Inc. is experiencing some turnover in its VP ranks. Current VP Jim Johnson will be retiring as of Feb. 1, to be replaced by Raymond Chan.

Caterpillar Inc. is experiencing some turnover in its VP ranks. Current VP Jim Johnson will be retiring as of Feb. 1, to be replaced by Raymond Chan. 

December 22, 2014

Total existing-home sales were down 6.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million in November. That's compared to a downwardly revised figure of 5.25 million in October.

Existing-home sales fell from a 2014 high in October to a six-month low in November thanks to the impact of low supply, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“Fewer people bought homes last month despite interest rates being at their lowest levels of the year,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “The stock market swings in October may have impacted some consumers’ psyches and therefore led to fewer November closings. Furthermore, rising home values are causing more investors to retreat from the market.”

December 22, 2014

Madison, Wisconsin-based Fiskars says it is tripling the number of grant recipients for its Project Orange Thumb

The maker of lawn and garden products will award 30 applicants $3,500 in cash and tools to to help communities reach their goals for neighborhood beautification, community collaboration and healthy, sustainable food sources.

The company is accepting applications for 2015 Project Orange Thumb garden grants in the U.S. and Canada now through January 31, 2015. 

December 22, 2014

Many bright spots this past November were categories that had been on the decline in the weeks and months leading up to November.

Research shows the housewares category is showing signs of momentum. 

November 2014 unit sales were up 3% compared to last year, and dollars were positive as well (+0.3%), according to research firm The NPD Group.

The preponderance of deals, coupled with the decline in the number of consumers looking to trade up, has limited dollar growth, but the lackluster performance earlier this year makes the increased demand and positive November sales especially good news for non-electrics categories. 

December 22, 2014

Frank Blake, former CEO and current chairman of The Home Depot, will receive the National Retail Federation’s prestigious Gold Medal Award at Retail’s BIG Show in New York City next month, NRF announced today.

December 19, 2014

The show is described as a “furniture design competition series,” featuring emerging furniture designers competing for $100,000 cash prize, plus plenty of perks.

The Spike TV network has new show called “Framework,” and Ace Hardware Corp. will play a prominent role in the action.

The show is described as a “furniture design competition series,” featuring emerging furniture designers competing for $100,000 cash prize, plus plenty of perks.

December 19, 2014

Emser Tile, a Los Angeles-based supplier of tile and natural stone products, has opened a new location in Orlando, Florida.

Emser Tile, a Los Angeles-based supplier of tile and natural stone products, has opened a new location in Orlando, Florida.

"Orlando, Florida has been an important market for the company for many years with an extensive and loyal customer base. We are excited to be able to bring a facility to the area that will provide an enhanced service model to our customers," said Bob Baldocchi, VP marketing, Emser Tile. "The opening of the Orlando branch demonstrates our continued commitment to expanding our footprint in this region."

December 19, 2014

Barry Sanders, president and COO, will be departing the company as of Jan. 31 in what Scotts described as "an ongoing effort focused on de-layering the company to improve operational efficiency and speed to market."

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company has some major leadership changes on deck for the new year.

Barry Sanders, president and COO, will be departing the company as of Jan. 31 in what Scotts described as "an ongoing effort focused on de-layering the company to improve operational efficiency and speed to market." The company has cut down its executive leadership staff -- at the senior vice president level or higher -- by about 25% in 2014.

December 19, 2014

A new report from Zillow pins U.S. home value growth at a gain of 6.7% (or $1.7 trillion) in 2014, which brings the total value of all homes in the U.S. to $27.5 trillion.

A new report from Zillow pins U.S. home value growth at a gain of 6.7% (or $1.7 trillion) in 2014, which brings the total value of all homes in the U.S. to $27.5 trillion.

In terms of inventory, housing stock was down slightly between October and November, but it was still 11.8% ahead of last year.

The overall trend involved rapid growth in the beginning of the year, which was tempered by a slightly slower pace in the second half of 2014. However, some of the hardest-hit markets are experiencing double-digit growth, according to Zillow.

December 18, 2014

Dr. Christopher Herbert will step in as managing director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies next year, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Dr. Christopher Herbert will step in as managing director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies next year, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Herbert has been serving as director of research for the Joint Center since 2010 and has been responsible for the annual State of the Nation's Housing report. He also specializes in subject matter such as housing trends, residential settlement patterns and credit access/affordability challenges.

December 18, 2014

Durham, North Carolina-based LED lighting manufacturer Cree says it has a game-changing advancement with the commercial availability of the XLamp Extreme High Power LEDs.

Durham, North Carolina-based LED lighting manufacturer Cree says it has a game-changing advancement with the commercial availability of the XLamp Extreme High Power LEDs.

“The breakthrough performance of XHP LEDs enables both new design possibilities and dramatically lower system costs for LED lighting,” said Nate Heiking, Advanced Lighting product manager, Kenall Lighting. “We’re excited that Cree’s new class of Extreme High Power LEDs will accelerate customer adoption of LED lighting.”

December 18, 2014

Kwikset has expanded the reach of its Kevo automated smart lock to the Android market with the release of a new Android-compatible app.

Kwikset has expanded the reach of its Kevo automated smart lock to the Android market with the release of a new Android-compatible app.

The app, currently in beta mode, is compatible with Android 5.0 Lollipop (L) software and is available on the Google Play store to Android customers with an Android L device, Nexus 6 phone or Nexus 9 tablet. In the meantime, Kwikset continues to tweak the official app.

December 17, 2014

The 40-year-old Siding World has locations in 17 markets in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

One of the biggest names in roofing has acquired a company whose first name is “Siding.”

Beloit, Wisconsin-based building products distributor ABC Supply Co. acquired the assets of Siding World, a distributor of siding and other exterior building products including roofing, windows, doors, decking and gutters. 

The 40-year old Siding World has locations in 17 markets in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. 

December 17, 2014

The True Value Company CEO starred in CBS television’s season six premiere of “Undercover Boss.” Here’s the episode.

Chicago -- True Value President and CEO John Hartmann said the co-op has enjoyed strong positive feedback from its participation in the CBS television show “Undercover Boss,” which aired Sunday night.

December 17, 2014

KB Home has opened its latest Design Studio in Centennial, Colorado, giving Denver-area homebuyers the opportunity to shop for home features in a retail-like setting.

KB Home has opened its latest Design Studio in Centennial, Colorado, giving Denver-area homebuyers the opportunity to shop for home features in a retail-like setting.

December 17, 2014

Concrete products manufacturer Smith-Midland Corporation has brought AJ Krick on board as its newest accounting manager.

Concrete products manufacturer Smith-Midland Corporation has brought AJ Krick on board as its newest accounting manager.

Krick has a decade-long career as a licensed CPA and controller with a proven track record of improving financial reporting, processes and internal controls for various organizations.

In his new role, he will steer Smith-Midland toward its lean manufacturing ideals from a fiscal standpoint.

December 17, 2014

Construction aggregates supplier Vulcan Materials Company is losing one of its board members.

Birmingham, Alabama-based construction aggregates supplier Vulcan Materials Company is losing one of its board members.

H. Allen Franklin has announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31, 2014, citing health concerns.

Franklin has been with the board since 2001 and is the former chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company. While serving on the Vulcan board, he was on the Executive, Audit, Compensation, and Safety, Health and Environmental Affairs committees.

December 16, 2014

Armstrong World Industries has elected Gregory Spivy to its board of directors, effective Dec. 15, 2014. His appointment bumps the total number of Armstrong directors to 12.

Armstrong World Industries has elected Gregory Spivy to its board of directors, effective Dec. 15, 2014. His appointment bumps the total number of Armstrong directors to 12.

"We've had the opportunity to get to know Greg over the past few months, and we look forward to working with him more closely as a member of the board," said James O`Connor, chairman of the Armstrong board of directors. "We believe that Greg will bring valuable insight given his background and financial expertise."

December 16, 2014

US LBM Holdings has acquired Lumber Specialties of Dyersville, Iowa, a company described as the largest independent manufacturer of structural building components in the Midwest. 

US LBM bought the company from majority shareholders Carl Schoenhard, Bob Lex and Terry Bahl. Dennis Westhoff will become president of Lumber Specialties, managing the business with Bob Lex, Terry Bahl and their existing team.

December 16, 2014

The new timberland purchase is located in the north-central Adirondack Park vicinity and spans across three counties.

The Molpus Woodlands Group has made another purchase -- this time, a 112,238-acre lot in upstate New York.

The new timberland purchase is located in the north-central Adirondack Park vicinity and spans across three counties. It has been in timber production for over a century and specializes in hardwood sawtimber and pulpwood.

December 16, 2014

Newell Rubbermaid has wrapped up its acquisition of Baby Jogger Holdings, Inc. from private equity firm Riverside Company.

Newell Rubbermaid has wrapped up its acquisition of Baby Jogger Holdings, Inc. from private equity firm Riverside Company.

December 16, 2014

After announcing new partnerships with HGTV and Lowe’s, as well as three consecutive quarters of record growth, Sherwin-Williams is celebrating another milestone.

After announcing new partnerships with HGTV and Lowe’s, as well as three consecutive quarters of record growth, Sherwin-Williams is celebrating another milestone.

The company announced it is opening its 4,000th store in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

December 16, 2014

Scottsdale, Arizona-based Taylor Morrison Home Corporation has agreed on behalf of its subsidiary to sell Monarch Corporation, its Canadian business, to an affiliate of Mattamy Homes Limited.

Scottsdale, Arizona-based Taylor Morrison Home Corporation has agreed on behalf of its subsidiary to sell Monarch Corporation, its Canadian business, to an affiliate of Mattamy Homes Limited.

Taylor Morrison said that the proceeds will be used for "general corporate purposes," especially insofar as it invests further in its U.S. operations.

December 15, 2014

Armstrong World Industries is breaking it off with its European flooring business as well as discontinue funding for its DLW subsidiary, which filed for insolvency in Germany as a result.

"Our difficult, but necessary, decision to exit the European flooring business and discontinue funding our DLW subsidiary in Germany was the culmination of a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives following years of disappointing results, multiple restructuring initiatives and significant financial investments," said Armstrong CEO Matthew Espe.

December 15, 2014

Dr. BJ Yeh has been named chairman of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) 1369 Technical Committee on Wood-Based Panels.

The Committee puts out four national consensus standards on plywood and oriented strand board in Canada: CSA O121 Candian Douglas Fir Plywood, CSA O151 Canadian Softwood Plywood, CSA O153 Poplar Plywood and CSA O325 Construction Sheathing.

Yeh is also director of technical services for APA-The Engineered Wood Association, which sponsors CSA standards on wood structural panels and structural glued laminated timber.