Dutch May retail sales surge as lockdown fuels home improvement run

AMSTERDAM, June 30 (Reuters) – Retail sales in the Netherlands increased at the fastest rate in 14 years in May, as a partial lockdown continued to fuel a run on home improvement and interior design.

Turnover in Dutch stores was up 8.2% from the year before, the national statistics office said on Tuesday, offering a bright spot in what looks set to become the worst quarter on record for the Dutch economy.

Though stores stayed open with social distancing rules, cafes, restaurants and other public places in the Netherlands were shut from mid-March until June to contain the coronavirus, while people were urged to work from home as much as possible.

Confined to their homes, many seemed to find time for improvements, sending sales at do-it-yourself stores up 29% in May, after an already record-breaking 26% increase in April. Food stores and sellers of consumer electronics also reported double-digit sales

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Sears exploring sale of home improvement business

By Jessica DiNapoli and Mike Spector

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sears is exploring a sale of its home improvement business following interest from potential suitors such as private equity firms, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The struggling U.S. retailer’s Sears Home Services division has emerged as a coveted asset during the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers embark on renovations while they stay home.

The division is one of the department store operator’s few crown jewels following its bankruptcy in 2018 and $5.2 billion sale to hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert, who was already its biggest shareholder and creditor.

Transformco, the owner of the Sears and Kmart retail chains, could raise at least $1 billion by divesting the home improvement business, the sources said. Sears has tapped investment bankers at Guggenheim Securities LLC to explore selling the business, the sources said.

Transformco could also sell a stake in Sears

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Some homeowners struggled to pay PACE improvement loans. The coronavirus made it harder

It wasn’t until the work was done that Marcelino and Josefina Rodriguez said they learned the truth.

They had been signed up for a roughly $45,000 PACE home improvement loan at nearly 10% interest — even though they said a woman working with the contractor told them their new roof and water heater would be free through a government program.

The Rodriguezes contacted the authorities, but the nearly $4,500 annual bill came due anyway — a financial hit for the household of four who scraped by on less than $30,000 each year as garment workers paid by the piece.

If they didn’t pay, Marcelino, 67, and Josefina, 64, could lose the Pacoima home they’ve owned since 2001, one that provided them and their sons stability after years of bouncing from rental to rental. So to get by, they started selling food and one of their sons said he exhausted his

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Lowes, Home Depot and Scotts Miracle-Gro

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 26, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Lowes Companies, Inc. LOW, The Home Depot Inc. HD and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. SMG.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Coronavirus Feeds Home Improvement Trends: 3 Stocks to Count On

The COVID-19-induced shelter-at-home orders fueled the need for home improvement by housebound Americans, thereby driving demand for the said industry.

The home improvement space includes Décor and indoor garden, Painting and wallpaper, Tools and hardware, Building materials, Lighting et al.  Apart from essentials, retailers in this industry are witnessing solid demand for gardening and other in-house activity-related products.

Although states are reopening and people are reporting back to work, the emergence

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Coronavirus Feeds Home Improvement Trend, Stocks to Count on

The COVID-19-induced shelter-at-home orders fuelled the need for home improvement by housebound Americans, thereby driving demand for the said industry.

The home improvement space includes Décor and indoor garden, Painting and wallpaper, Tools and hardware, Building materials, Lighting et al.  Apart from essentials, retailers in this industry are witnessing solid demand for gardening and other in-house activity-related products.

Although states are reopening and people are reporting back to work, the emergence of new cases triggers the fear of a second wave, only to remind us that the deadly virus is not going to subside anytime soon. Rather, the pandemic threat keep people confined to their homes, spurring the obvious requirement for home improvement products.

One of the leading industry players, management at Lowes disclosed that it saw very strong COVID-related demand for cleaning products along with other necessary home appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers and DIY home repair products. As

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How to plan and budget for DIY goals now

Did you find yourself cooped up during the pandemic-induced stay-at-home orders, blankly staring at the walls of your house, longing for more?

Maybe you wanted to travel or go out to dinner with friends. Or maybe you just wanted a fresh coat of paint on that wall.

If you found yourself in the latter camp, you had company: When the home improvement platform Houzz surveyed 1,000 homeowners who use the site in April, nearly 80% said they’re considering remodeling changes that would help them enjoy their houses more. And sales at Home Depot were up 7% in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, a possible sign that consumers were already spending more on home improvement materials.

Although now might seem like the perfect time for DIY home improvement, be sure to consider our new reality. Plan the project’s size, type and budget to

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