MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Landscaping top DIY project for 2014

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta — Landscaping is the most popular outdoor do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement New Year’s resolution project. According to a recent online survey of 540 homeowners by the Home Projects Council (HPC), homeowners selected landscaping (15.2%), planting a garden (13.5%) and building a deck (6.3%) as the top three outdoor DIY home improvement New Year’s resolution projects.

Landscaping is defined as improving the appearance of an outdoor area with design elements like stepping stones, benches, fountains, waterfalls, and other hardscapes features. By comparison, planting a garden pertains only to transforming an outdoor area into a space where plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables are grown. Nearly 43% of the survey respondents plan to spend more money and nearly 45% plan to spend more time on outdoor DIY home improvement projects in 2014 when compared to last year.

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FINANCE

Family Dollar president and COO Michael Bloom resigns amid disappointing Q1 results

BY Marianne Wilson

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores on Thursday announced that president and COO Michael Bloom has left the company to pursue other interests. The company will conduct a search for a new president and COO. The news comes amid disappointing first quarter results for the company, which lowered its earnings expectations for the second quarter and full year. Family Dollar also announced it has promoted Jason Reiser to the position of executive VP – chief merchandising officer.

Family Dollar’s sales rose 3%, to $2.5 billion, in the three months ended Nov. 30, the first quarter of the company’s fiscal year. But profits fell 3%, to $78 million, hurt by higher payroll and store occupancy costs, and same-store sales fell 2.8%. Family Dollar said it saw fewer customer transactions and a drop in the average transaction size.

“While we have made meaningful progress to improve our execution, our financial performance has not met our expectations,” said Levine in a statement. “We have a great business model and ample growth opportunity, and I know we can do better.”

During a conference call with investors and analysts, Levin said he and Bloom were not in agreement on merchandising strategies, and that while it was “not at all pleasant” to let Bloom go, it was the right choice, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Click here to read more.

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REAL ESTATE

Pine Tree names omni-channel marketing director

BY Michael Fickes

Northbrook, Ill. — Pine Tree Commercial Realty LLC has appointed Graham Grochocinski to serve as the firm’s director of omni-channel marketing and social media.

Grochocinski will handle Pine Tree’s omni-channel retail coordination as well as the firm’s social and digital communications.

Grochocinski comes to Pine Tree from USAgain, an award-winning recycling company, where he managed the integrated marketing efforts for lead generation and branding.

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