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The NADA reports the average auto dealer selling domestic brands has upped spending only 1.5% to $244,835 this year, while the average import dealership has cut back spending by 1.2%, but still outspends its domestic competitor with an expenditure of $325,043. That equates to the average domestic seller spending 8.2% of his gross on advertising, while the average import dealer invested 8.5% of gross. Looking at mass-market brands versus luxury brands, the gap widens. Luxury brand dealers have cut back by 5.2% through June, spending $299,770, which is $762 per new vehicle retailed and 5.9% of their gross. Mass-market dealerships, however, have increased advertising by 3.9% to $288,344, which is 8.9% of gross and $630 per new vehicle retailed…. It’s natural to think of new vehicles first when considering automotive dealers, but the used vehicle department has almost as much to say about a dealership’s profitability as the new vehicle department does. Through the year’s first half, according to NADA figures, the average dealership did 56.48% of its total sales in the new vehicle department, and only 31.2% of its sales in used vehicles. But when looking at the dealership’s gross, the spread is much, much closer. The new vehicles department only amounts to 26.3% of the store’s total gross, while used vehicles contribute almost as much (25.2% of total gross) – on 45% less revenue….The Smart car never became anything near what Daimler had hoped it would become in the U.S., and Automotive News reports it will get even smaller. Smart is shifting to only offering electric vehicles in the U.S. and 58 of the brand’s U.S. dealers have chosen to stop selling the vehicle, leaving just 27 dealerships to sell the brand, mostly located on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts……Advance Auto Parts same-store sales were flat for the second quarter. The chain’s CEO cited “temporary industry softness” with factors like high new car sales and mild weather that cuts down the need for repairs. It now projects a 1-3% decline in comps for the full year……The Miller Pulse report confirms the earlier news from Black Box Intelligence that the restaurant business had a bad month in July, even in comparison to what had been considered to be a poor month last year. Same-store sales were down 0.4%, with traffic down by 1.9%, the 17th straight month with a traffic decline. And Quick-Service Restaurants saw an even worse fall in traffic, down by 2.5%...... Net sales at Constellation Brands’ beer division were up 8% in the second quarter, enjoying both volume growth and favorable pricing. Constellation says it’s the No. 1 growth driver in the high-end of the U.S. beer market and new brands Corona Premier and Familiar are doing well in test markets……Ace Hardware says same-store sales were up 3.2% for the approximately 3,000 stores that report daily sales to the co-op. During the quarter it added 27 new stores and ended relationships with 28 others, bringing the count of domestic stores to 4,357, 42 more than last year at this time……Furniture Today reports July sales for furniture and home furnishings stores were up 5.6% over July, 2016, reaching $9.68 billion. For the last three months, the segment has seen healthy 4.9% growth, beating the previous three months which had produced a more moderate 1.7% gain.