The U.S. Commerce Department offered some positive economic news today with its monthly retail sales estimates, saying that retail and food services sales for January increased .3 percent over December and 3.9 percent over last January. Total sales from November 2007 through January 2008 were up 4.4 percent from the year-ago period. The report is considered a bellweather of consumer spending. Electronics and appliances, however, fell to $9.3 billion from $9.4 billion in December and $9.4 billion from last January, according to the report. Meanwhile, President Bush signed the economic stimulus package into law Wednesday, a move that was welcomed by the National Retail

The National Retail Federation Board of Directors this week called on Congress and President Bush to enact legislation to stimulate the nation’s economy. “This action shows how seriously the current economic situation is taken by the CEOs of the nation’s major retail companies,” said NRF president and CEO Tracy Mullin. “Consumer spending and retail sales are the backbone of the nation’s economy. Stimulus that helps consumer spending will benefit all industries in the private sector.” The board, meeting at NRF’s 97th Annual Convention in New York City, unanimously adopted a resolution emphasizing that consumer spending represents 70 percent of the U.S. economy and calling

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating several companies in the flash memory industry, including Toshiba and SanDisk, both of which received grand jury subpoenas related to a price-fixing probe, Reuters reported. Another major player in the NAND flash memory product industry, Samsung, said they will cooperate fully with the investigation. SanDisk, along with 23 other companies, had earlier been sued in California for allegedly fixing flash memory prices. It’s uncertain to what extent the case will be affected by President Bush’s appointment, on Monday, of Judge Michael B. Mukasey as the new Attorney General-designate, replacing Alberto Gonzales at Justice.

Bush Industries is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ready-to-assemble furniture for home theater, TV’s, gaming, and small office/home office. Bush is known for its fashion forward, contemporary and transitional styling and design and has won numerous design and supply chain management awards during its history. The company is also known for its “product leadership” philosophy, building in added quality and features, and benefits based on market research data that fuels superior product design at every price point. Superior quality finishes, added storage, adjustable shelving, concealed storage, advanced cord management, and more are just a few examples of the extra features

FEBRUARY Hueberger Leaves PRO, Workman Moves in PRO Group President/COO/Executive Director Roger Hueberger announces that he will be leaving the buying group after serving for 11 years. According to the PRO Group and Hueberger, a failure to come to agreeable terms on a new contract was cited as the reason for his departure. “I loved my 11 years at PRO, but both parties couldn’t agree on terms,” says Hueberger, noting that talks over his contract have been rocky for several months. “This wasn’t a big surprise; this started last summer.” Hueberger was made director of PRO Group in 1994, and in 1996 was

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