--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.