Retailers had sales gains in many back-to-school categories like clothing and sporting goods but experienced surprising declines in home-based categories, including building materials and furniture stores, according to the National Retail Federation.
U.S. retail sales fell 0.4% in March, the biggest decrease in nine months, amid a slowdown in hiring and higher taxes. Excluding sales of autos, gas and building materials, core sales dropped 0.2% in March, following a 0.3% increase in January.
Lowe’s personnel changes are becoming hard to keep up with. At the end of last month, the company announced the retirement of long-time president and COO Lary Stone -- along with the news of several executive changes in the areas of merchandising, store operations and strategic planning -- then yesterday announces another round of executive promotions, including a replacement for the post vacated by Robert Gfeller Jr., who was recently promoted to EVP merchandising.