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Home improvement retail to rebound in '09


LAS VEGAS A leading research firm said Tuesday that home improvement retailers should expect sales to jump 3% in 2009 as the housing industry recovers. That’s what Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) managing director Fred Miller told a packed room Tuesday on opening day of the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

During his Future Trends in Home Improvement seminar, Miller said he expects the housing market to bottom out this fall and start recovering before the end of the year. But even with a late rebound, total sales are expected to drop 1.5% this year to $302 billion following a 2% decline to $307 billion in 2007.

“It will mark the first time we’ve seen sales decline in back-to-back years,” said Miller. HIRI has been tracking the industry since 1981.  

The show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center was busy the first day, as thousands of attendees milled around 2 million square feet of exhibit space. Separate venues at the show, which runs May 6-8, include New Product World, Lawn & Garden, Homewares and new area for green and sustainable products.

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