REAL ESTATE

Natural Grocers opens in Tulsa

BY Staff Writer

Denver — Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage said Thursday it is opening its second Oklahoma location – in Tulsa – on June 25. The newest store joins an existing location in Norman.

The Tulsa Natural Grocers continues the organic supermarket’s commitment to the environment, incorporating green features such as energy-efficient motion light sensors, 100% post-consumer content tiles, high efficiency heat-exchange systems, polished concrete flooring and commercial-grade LED lights.

Natural Grocers has also kicked off a campaign to help victims of the recent Oklahoma tornadoes and Colorado wildfires. Natural Grocers will be matching donations made at any of its 68 Natural Grocers locations beginning June 22 through June 29. All funds raised, plus matching funds up to $25,000, will be divided between the OKStrong Disaster Relief Fund and the Colorado Red Cross to benefit victims of the recent tornadoes and the wildfires, said the company.

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FINANCE

Rona to divest HVAC and plumbing division in $200+ million deal

BY Staff Writer

Quebec, Canada — Canadian home-improvement chain Rona Inc. said Thursday it has reached an agreement to sell off its plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning business to Emco Corp. in a deal worth about $207 million.

The division sells plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to commercial and industrial construction customers. The move is expected to add additional financial stability to the company, which is in the midst of a three-year turnaround plan.

Earlier this year Rona reshuffled its board and named a new CEO following its rejection of an unsolicited $1.7 billion takeover bid from Lowe’s.

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FINANCE

Consumer comfort climbs out of two-month hole

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — A report released Thursday by Bloomberg said that consumer sentiment climbed during the week ended June 16 to minus 29.4, compared with minus 31.3 a week earlier and representing a lift after a two-month low. In fact, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, Americans’ views on the economy were the least pessimistic in five years.

The monthly Bloomberg consumer economic expectations gauge for June held at minus 1, matching May’s reading as the best this year.

“The sustained appreciation of home prices in many areas of the country has likely bolstered the confidence of many Americans that a gradual rebuilding of wealth is under way,” said Joseph Brusuelas, senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York.

All three components of the comfort index improved last week. The measure of how Americans view the current state of the economy climbed to minus 51.2, the highest since January 2008, from minus 52.5.
More consumers said the time was right to purchase things. A measure of the buying climate rose to minus 40.7 from minus 42.1 a week earlier. A gauge of Americans’ views on personal finances rose to 3.8 from 0.6, marking the 10th consecutive positive reading.

Consumer purchases in May climbed 0.6%, the biggest gain in three months, following a 0.1% advance in April, Commerce Department figures showed last week.

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