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Retail roundup: Home Depot, e-books, LivingSocial

March 30, 2012|By Shan Li
  • Flowers for spring at the Home Depot in Burbank, Calif.
Flowers for spring at the Home Depot in Burbank, Calif. (Bret Hartman / Los Angeles…)

--Springtime is Christmas for the home-improvement industry, and Home Depot is marking the season with its third annual "Spring Black Friday" promotion.

With warmer-than-usual weather over much of the country, the chain is rolling out deals nationwide, instead of region by region as in previous years. The promotions, which include 50% off select patio furniture, are to continue through April 11.

Balmy temperatures have showered good fortune on the industry at large. Retail sales for garden and outdoor-home-improvement merchants rose 18% in February compared with the same period a year ago, according to Global Hunter Securities.

--No surprise here: Digital books continue to gain on paper books.

In January, paperback sales outpaced e-books by just under 6 million copies, according to the Assn. of American Publishers.

Sales were up for youngster and adult e-books. In January, sales of e-books for children and young adults reached 22.6 million, up from 3.9 million in the same month in 2011, the publishing group reported. That eyebrow-raising figure was surpassed by the 99.5 million adult books purchased in January, up from 66.6 million in the same period a year ago.

--Daily sales site LivingSocial is angling to serve up some dinner.

After testing the service in Washington, LivingSocial rolled out its "Takeout & Delivery" in 26 cities, including San Francisco and Phoenix (the deals site is expected to cover Los Angeles in the near future).

Users can search by geography and cuisine for participating restaurants. People can peruse menus and then click on items to order, specifying whether it's for pickup or delivery.

"By pivoting our Instant business to focus on Takeout & Delivery, we’re helping our restaurant merchants better connect with new and existing customers, while also saving our members time and money," LivingSocial said in a statement.

RELATED:

Home Depot seeking temporary workers

Best Buy to close stores after reporting losses

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