She thought they were renovating the kitchen, he worked with a Seattle company on a bigger surprise

30 years into their marriage and nearly 20 years in the same house, Alvin and Joanne were ready for a refresh — not the marriage, Alvin emphasizes.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long! We still feel like newlyweds who got married yesterday,” he says.

But the house was starting to feel a little dated, and the couple heard from a friend that Granite Transformations did really great work. As a former interior designer Joanne took the lead on most decisions, and then Alvin came up with a plan to celebrate their love at the same time.

“I said honey, I don’t think we can afford to do all this, and convinced her to postpone the fireplace and bathroom renovations. But of course in my head I thought ‘I’m going to make sure we get this done.”

Alvin worked with Granite Transformations to orchestrate a surprise, and they completed the bathroom and fireplace renovations while Joanne was away working as a flight attendant.

“The crew from Granite Transformations were great about working on the surprise. They’d bring paperwork to the school where I volunteer, separated invoices to keep things secret — things like that.”

Gorgeous transformation

Alvin emphasizes that his wife was the decision-maker for all the gorgeous design details, and he just said, ‘yes dear.’ But if he didn’t know her preferences, how did he pull together the surprise?

“The fireplace matches the marbled countertops in the kitchen, so that was a no-brainer,” Alvin says, and Joanne had already started to pick things out for the bathroom before they put the project on hold. “I said why don’t you put all your top picks in the folder for later on? And then I took all that to Granite Transformations.”

FURTHER READING: Your easy-clean kitchen never looked so good!

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Bed Bath & Beyond Posts Surprise Profit on Booming Online Business | Investing News

(Reuters) – Bed Bath & Beyond Inc

on Thursday posted a surprise quarterly profit and its first comparable sales growth in nearly four years, boosted by strong online demand for home furnishing and decor, sending its shares up 17%.

Same-store sales jumped 6% for the second quarter ended Aug. 29, compared with a 1.78% drop estimated by analysts, according to IBES data from Refinitiv, largely helped by an 89% surge in online sales.

The retailer had been struggling to keep pace in a rapidly shifting retail landscape before the pandemic, prompting Chief Executive Officer Mark Tritton to focus more on the company’s online portfolio after taking charge last year.

“The marked improvement in our second quarter financial results reflects the potential of our digital-first, omni-always transformation,” Tritton said in a statement.

The company has benefited from consumers buying new furnishing and home decor online as many are expected to continue working from home and as several school and college begin classes online.

Gross margins also improved 1,000 basis points to 36.7%, driven by improved products prices, lower coupon expenses and fewer markdowns.

The company posted adjusted profit of 50 cents per share, while analysts were expecting a loss of 23 cents per share.

It reported net income of $217.9 million, compared with a loss of $138.8 million a year earlier. Net sales fell 1.2% to $2.69 billion, but beat estimates of $2.60 billion.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Homeless handyman in Louisville gets life-changing surprise | News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — People’s generosity may have helped change a homeless man’s life forever.

Robert Simpson, a handyman around Louisville, was the subject of a WDRB News story back in July. Simpson said he stood at the Hurstbourne exit off Interstate 64 in Louisville day-in and day-out for a week in the burning sun just trying to get work to get enough money to keep a roof over their head for another night.

Simpson remained on disability, living at the Red Carpet Inn with his girlfriend and her 6-year old son. Someone posted a picture of him to social media, one thing led to another, and he got a job with a home remodeling company.

“He shows up every single morning, early morning shift, and he shows up happy,” said Matt Thomas with Green Star Home Remodeling. “He wanted this opportunity. He wanted this second chance, which everybody in this world deserves.”

The job helped Simpson get on his feet but not out of the one room hotel.

“It’s one big room, and you got three people staying in it,” he said.

But on Friday, Simpson’s living arrangements changed.

“We just wanted to surprise him,” Thomas said. “So we actually told Rob that we were going to lunch today.”

Simpson was all in. But instead of going to lunch, they gave Simpson a second chance: keys to his new home.

“When we gave him the key, he was crying,” Thomas said.

“I never thought I’d move into some place like this,” Simpson added.

Simpson’s new, two-bedroom apartment was fully furnished by Winner Furniture. A GoFundMe page was also set up to help take care of things like dental work and rent.

“Thank y’all so much,” Simpson said.

After a few hours, the apartment was ready, with one last detail.

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America’s Favorite Home Improvement Store Might Surprise You

Home Depot and Lowe’s might be the best-known home improvement retailers in America, but neither is the favorite of consumers.

a man standing in front of a building: shutterstock_121625794

© sirtravelalot /

That honor goes to Ace Hardware — again.

Ace ranked No. 1 for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study, marking the 13th time in 14 years that the retailer outscored the competition.

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The 2020 study was based on a survey of more than 2,600 customers who had purchased home improvement-related products from a home improvement retailer in the prior 12 months.

The overall customer satisfaction scores are based on five factors:

  • Merchandise
  • Price
  • Sales and promotions
  • Staff and service
  • Store facility

Speedy service from friendly, knowledgeable staff is key. Christina Cooley, director of the @Home practice at J.D. Power, explains:

“The one-on-one engagement a customer has with the retail staff continues to be the largest driver of overall customer satisfaction with home improvement retailers. Now, more than ever, customers are looking for the guidance they need — but they’re also looking to get in and out of the store quickly.”

All of the retailers included in J.D. Power’s 2020 study, and their scores, are:

  1. Ace Hardware: Overall customer satisfaction score of 844 out of 1,000 points
  2. Menards: 841
  3. Lowe’s: 838
  4. True Value: 832
  5. Home Depot: 827

The average overall customer satisfaction score this year was 834, meaning True Value and Home Depot scored below average.

Ace Hardware also has a leg up when it comes to savings. Its loyalty program landed the chain a spot in our story “10 Retailers That Give You Rewards on Every Purchase.” As we report:

“Sign up for Ace Rewards, and you’ll get

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