Where’s Wilma?
Filthy Wilma’s, a small art gallery that for more than 20 years was at 10 Ruxton Ave. in Manitou Springs, has received a facelift, along with a new location.
Starting May 1, its new home will be 729 Manitou Ave. and its new name will be Green Horse Gallery. The Green Horse signifies growth, rebirth and renewal, and the horse represents strength, beauty, and sensitivity — all attributes the artists’ hope the new gallery will embody.
The new location increases the gallery size to 1,560 square feet, with a dedicated area for special monthly showings, a larger retail gallery space and larger working studios for two full-time potters.

March retail sales show solid growth

According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales for March, which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, rose 3.7 percent unadjusted from last year and a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent from February.
March retail sales released this week by the U.S. Commerce Department show that total retail sales, including non-general merchandise categories like auto dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent from last month and increased 3.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
Clothing and clothing accessories store sales saw the strongest gains, with a 10.7 percent increase unadjusted compared to last year and a 2.4 percent increase, seasonally adjusted, from February.
General merchandise stores sales also fared well, with a 6.6 percent increase unadjusted from last year and a 1.1 percent increase seasonally adjusted from February. Furniture and home furnishings stores sales rose 4.2 percent unadjusted from last year and 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted from the previous month.
Building material and garden equipment supplies stores sales continue to decline with unadjusted year-over-year sales falling 5.7 percent. With a little help from the arrival of spring, sales increased 1.4 percent seasonally adjusted from February.

Traffic climbing at major retail ports

With the slow season finished, traffic at the nation’s major retail container ports is climbing and should hit an all-time record in July, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Global Insight.
All U.S. ports covered by Port Tracker — Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma and Seattle on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast — are currently rated “low” for congestion, the same as last month.
Nationwide, the ports surveyed handled 1.28 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units of container traffic in February, the most recent month for which actual numbers are available. February is traditionally the slowest month of the year, and the figure was down 1.1 percent from January but up 14.9 percent from February 2006.
One TEU is a 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.
Volume was expected to begin to move upward again in March, forecast at 1.36 million TEU (up 4.7 percent from March 2006). April is forecast at 1.44 million TEU (up 4.3 percent from April 2006), May at 1.45 million TEU (up 6.2 percent from May 2006), June at 1.48 million TEU (up 5.6 percent from June 2006), July at 1.55 million TEU (up 11.4 percent from July 2006) and August at 1.59 million TEU (up 6.7 percent from August 2006).
The July number would be an all-time record, topping 1.51 million TEU set last October. The August number would set another new record.
Joan Johnson covers retail for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.