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AHMA survey helps Congress look for red tape

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A survey of members of American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) reveals a majority believe health care reform will negatively impact their business.

The survey questions were prompted by Congressman Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) solicitation for input from the AHMA to help identify existing and proposed regulations that have negatively impacted job growth. Issa is chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Regarding the Health Care Act,  71% expect a negative impact; 10% do not; and 19% weren’t sure.

Regarding VOC-related regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, 52% expect a negative impact; 32% did not; and 16% were not sure.

Regarding Cap & Trade legislation, 61% expect a negative impact; 16% do not; and 23% were not sure.

According to AHMA CEO Timothy Farrell, the AHMA is "encouraged by signals from Washington that a more realistic, pro-business legislative agenda will exist in the new Congress and we were happy to respond to Congressman Issa’s request for input from our association.”

 

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Sales rise but profits fall at Central Garden & Pet

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Central Garden & Pet has posted its first-quarter sales for 2011, reporting $282 million, an increase of 5% over the same period a year ago. The company reported a net loss of $9.6 million for the quarter, which ended on Dec. 25, 2010. This compares with a net loss of $2.9 million in the corresponding period a year ago.

“Our revenues grew for both our garden and pet segments in a quarter that is seasonally a slow period for the garden category,” said Bill Brown, chairman and CEO, in a prepared statement. “We were pleased with the first-quarter revenue growth, although our quarterly results were impacted by rising input costs and our strategic investment in brand building.”

Based in Walnut Creek, Calif., Central Garden & Pet is a supplier of lawn, garden and pet products under a variety of brands, including Pennington, Kaytee, Amdro, Sevin, Ironite, Norcal and New England Pottery.

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Expect more Martha at Home Depot

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot will make a bigger push for the female shopper this spring, largely through the introduction of coordinating Martha Stewart merchandise, company merchant Gordon Erickson told the New York Times in a Jan. 28 interview.

Erickson, the senior VP merchandising and decor, acknowledged that Home Depot is sometimes perceived as “male-oriented,” even though 50% of its customers are women. The Atlanta retailer wants to persuade its female shoppers to take on more home improvement projects with a design theme. And that’s where Martha Stewart comes in.  

“We’re basically taking categories and merchandise that are underperforming and working with Martha and her design team to add Martha products, replacing things that aren’t working,” Erickson told the Times.

Home Depot already carries a Martha Stewart line of patio furniture, cabinets, draperies, carpets and paint; this spring, her brand will extend into lighting, vanity tables and bathroom decor.

The Martha Stewart merchandise is designed to coordinate across the different categories, thereby increasing a woman’s spend on a particular project or a trip to the store, according to Erickson.

“We want the whole basket — we want the complete project,” he said.  

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