Posted in home remodeling

Kingfisher profit boosted as pandemic drives DIY rediscovery

LONDON (Reuters) – The COVID-19 crisis has prompted consumers to rediscover the joy of home improvement, do-it-yourself (DIY) retailer Kingfisher KGF.L said, as it reported a 23% jump in first half profit.

FILE PHOTO: A general view as people queue outside a B&Q DIY store following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Watford, Britain, April 26, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs

Shares in the group, which owns B&Q and Screwfix in Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France and other markets, were up 7% at 0905 GMT on Tuesday, extending 2020 gains to over 30%, after it also said strong second quarter sales had continued.

Like-for-like sales in the second quarter to July 31 soared 19.5% and are up 16.6% in the third quarter so far.

The pandemic has meant people are spending more time at home, they have fewer leisure options and are traveling less.

“The crisis has prompted

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Posted in kitchen remodel

Pandemic drives kitchen remodeling projects

People are “forced to be home” and are “sick of their kitchens,” said Alicia Molenaar, a designer and co-owner of Kitchen Fair in Willmar.

During the pandemic, Kitchen Fair has been swamped with requests from customers looking for a new look and ways to improve functionality and efficiency in their kitchens. “We are really busy,” Molenaar said.

While updating paint or adding a colorful backsplash can be handled by a weekend do-it-yourselfer, a kitchen makeover can benefit from a professional designer.

The process begins with taking measurements of an existing kitchen space and an interview with the homeowner to find out how they use their kitchen, how many people typically cook there at one time and what they want in terms of style and functionality.

Giving a kitchen a new look can be as simple as installing new hardware – where the trend is for larger handles that can fit

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Posted in home improvement loans

Coronavirus drives lumber prices up sharply. What that’s doing to Boise-area home prices

The cost of lumber has more than tripled in the past five months, adding to the cost of new homes and do-it-yourself projects.

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As of Monday, lumber prices had risen 170% since the middle of April, said Steve Martinez, owner of Tradewinds General Contracting in Boise.

“That equates to a $16,000 increase in the cost of an average new home,” Martinez said by phone.

Demand was high before the coronavirus pandemic struck in mid-March, when one-fourth to one-third of Northwest mills shuts down for several weeks, cutting the supply, Martinez said. He serves on the finance committee of the National Association of Homebuilders and is former president of the Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho .

The closures came amid moves to obey pandemic health regulations and because of an anticipated drop in demand, the National Association of Homebuilders said.

Boise Cascade Co, a wood-products manufacturer based in

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Posted in home

Pent-Up Demand Drives Canada Home Sales and Prices to Record

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Oppenheimer: 3 Stocks That Could Surge Over 100% From Current Levels

So far, September has been a wild ride of ups and downs. Following the recent bout of volatility, stocks have ticked higher again. But as uncertainty regarding another rescue program and the presidential election continues to linger, where does the market go from here? Weighing in for Oppenheimer, Chief Investment Strategist John Stoltzfus argues that any market dips appear “relatively contained and orderly,” and present longer-term investors the chance to find “babies that got thrown out with the bathwater.” He noted, “For nervous investors the recent downdraft has presented opportunity to take some profits without FOMO (fear of missing out).”As for the tech heavyweights that powered the market’s five-month charge forward, the strategist believes “current expectations that technology stocks will remain under pressure for some time seem exaggerated.” Stoltzfus adds that the “core of technology stocks did not

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Posted in home

British home working drives 5.3% August grocery sales growth: Nielsen

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers queue at a supermarket in London, Britain March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON (Reuters) – British grocery sales rose by 5.3% year-on-year in the four weeks to Sept. 5, boosted by households working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, industry data on Tuesday showed.

Market researcher Nielsen said, however, that the growth was down from 7% in last month’s report, adding that supermarkets in Britain had continuing strong online sales over the period, up 102%, while sales at stores fell by 1.6%.

“Food retail sales are still being boosted by households working from home, and such disruptions are expected to continue for the foreseeable future,” Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said in a statement.

The supermarket industry was expected to remain more resilient than other types of consumer spending, Watkins said, forecasting sales growth of more than 6% for groceries in the

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Posted in home

British Home Working Drives 5.3% August Grocery Sales Growth: Nielsen | Investing News

LONDON (Reuters) – British grocery sales rose by 5.3% year-on-year in the four weeks to Sept. 5, boosted by households working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, industry data on Tuesday showed.

Market researcher Nielsen said, however, that the growth was down from 7% in last month’s report, adding that supermarkets in Britain had continuing strong online sales over the period, up 102%, while sales at stores fell by 1.6%.

“Food retail sales are still being boosted by households working from home, and such disruptions are expected to continue for the foreseeable future,” Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said in a statement.

The supermarket industry was expected to remain more resilient than other types of consumer spending, Watkins said, forecasting sales growth of more than 6% for groceries in the last few months of the year, compared to flat growth seen at the end of

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Posted in home

Jose Abreu hits two 3-run home runs, drives in 7 as White Sox clobber Tigers, 14-0

CHICAGO — Jose Abreu saw his career-high 22-game hit streak end Friday.



a baseball player swinging a bat at a ball: Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox hits his second home run of the game, a three run shot in the 5th inning, against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on Sept. 12, 2020 in Chicago. The White Sox won, 14-0.


© Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America/TNS
Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox hits his second home run of the game, a three run shot in the 5th inning, against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on Sept. 12, 2020 in Chicago. The White Sox won, 14-0.

The Chicago White Sox first baseman started a new one with an RBI single in his first at-bat Saturday against the Detroit Tigers.

He was just getting warmed up.

Abreu went 4 for 4 with two three-run home runs, seven RBIs, one walk and five runs in a 14-0 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.

He’s the first player in team history to record four-plus hits, two home runs, seven RBIs and five runs in one game.

Shortstop Tim Anderson had four singles, two runs and one RBI for the

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