AHMA hot topics: Sales, health care and international business
The American Hardware Manufacturers Association says fewer members reported higher February sales.
Manufacturers also reported plans for increasing international sales and a strong need for more affordable health care, according to the Schaumburg, Ill.-based association.
In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 48% of respondents said sales were higher in February versus year-ago levels, down from 62.5% in January. For February, 43% reported sales were even, and 9% said sales were below year-ago levels.
“Despite a very challenging macroeconomic environment and the lack of a clear future cost structure in terms of taxes, health care costs, etc., most of our members continue to produce positive sales results,” said Timothy Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA. “With economists predicting very slow growth for 2013, our members are concentrating on maximizing profits by managing their businesses as efficiently as possible.”
The AHMA also released results from its hot-topic survey on international sales and health care. Members were asked: “Do your plans for 2013 include increasing international sales?” The response: 57% “Yes,” 24% responded “Not Sure,” and 19% responded “No.”
A second question about health care was unanimous. A full 100% responded “Very important” to the question: “As a manufacturer, how important is it to your business that health care costs stop rising and become more affordable?”
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Klein offers reward for oldest pair of pliers
Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Klein Tools is searching for the world’s oldest pair of Klein Side-Cutting Pliers.
"Our customers are very loyal and some have tools that have been handed down from one generation to another," said channel sales manager Thomas Barton. "So, we thought it would be interesting to see exactly how long our pliers soldier on.”
The winning pliers will be selected by Klein Tools’ engineering team based on the above requirements. The tool owner will receive $2,500 in cash and approximately $2,500 in new Klein Tools. All photo entries must be uploaded to the company’s website or mailed and postmarked by May 31, 2013.
Customers can see if their pliers are eligible by determining if their tool is the standard side-cutting type, bears the original Klein trademark and has ‘code markings’ that will be found inside the handle.
Plug-and-play technology brightens LED line
EnvironmentalLights.com, an online resource for LED lighting systems, recently added a premium line of modular LED under cabinet lighting to their line of LED under-cabinet lighting systems. The Environmental Lights Modular Premium LED under-cabinet lighting line features three interchangeable lighting options: Ultra Thin LED light bars, Angled LED light bars and surface mount LED puck lights.
“This new plug-and-play system makes it easy for anyone to create sleek and professional quality LED lighting projects in their home or business, without hiring a professional electrician,” said Lauren Rueda, product engineer. “We provide all the compatible connectors, dimmers and power supplies you need, plus we have created a detailed product installation document that shows you exactly how to build a system to fit your space.”
The company’s video explains the system on YouTube.
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