Danco acquires plumbing supplier
Danco, a maker of kitchen and bath fixtures and plumbing supplies, has agreed to acquire of MJSI Inc., a leading manufacturer of toilet repair products. The purchase price was not disclosed.
MJSI’s water-saving products include HydroRight dual-flush conversion kits, as well as HydroClean toilet fill valve and flappers. MJSI products are currently sold in Home Depot, Menards, Ace Hardware, True Value and Do it Best Corp., among other retail outlets.
"The acquisition of MJSI supports our company growth strategy to increase market share in current categories and strengthen our competencies for entering and winning in new categories through patented, consumer-driven product innovation," said Scott Thresher, CEO of Danco and LSP, its sister wholesale company. "Acquiring MJSI significantly strengthens our product offering in toilet repair, a key growth category for Danco."
Michael Schuster, the CEO and majority shareholder of MJSI, will join Danco and LSP. Schuster will work closely with the product and marketing teams to further strengthen the product innovation pipeline, the announcement said.
Danco will assume all responsibility for business operations of MJSI, including distribution, inventory management, customer service support, marketing and sales functions.
Headquartered in Dallas, Danco is one of the largest plumbing repair, replacement and remodel supplier in the home improvement industry. Its products are sold through Home Depot, Lowe’s and other retail locations.
A screwdriver designed to increase turns
When a product reinvents a tool as basic and time-tested as the screwdriver, it’s worthy of an endcap.
That’s the thinking of Lowe’s and other retailers that are promoting the new Black & Decker GYRO as the “world’s first motion-activated screwdriver.”
Introduced in October, the GYRO 4V MAX Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Screwdriver is expected to play well in the gift-giving season, according to Black & Decker executives. And it is particularly well suited for the video-game generation, they say. In Stanley Black & Decker’s most recent earnings statement, the launch of the Gyro — along with Matrix products — was credited with pushing organic sales up 4%.
“We’re taking a technology people are familiar with using in motion-sensing video games, smartphones and even toy helicopters, and using it in a new and innovative way to create a unique power tool,” said Matt Nestorick, product manager for consumer power tools at Black & Decker.
The tool’s utility is bolstered by variable speed capability — more twist equals more torque — and a built-in LED light. The MSRP is about $40.
A video on the Lowe’s endcap demonstrates the product benefits, which can be summed up simply: 1.) Hold the product; 2.) Turn to the right to activate forward motor; and 3.) Turn to the left to activate reverse motor. An actual gyroscope in the tool knows which way to engage.
Brand Building: Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand is a $14 billion global manufacturer with broad holdings, from Club Car golf carts to Schlage home security products to Trane air conditioning systems. These semi-related holdings allow IR to say, rather loftily, that the company “advances the quality of life by creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments.”
The company made another lofty claim during its investor presentations: Of 2011 revenues, $3.5 billion were generated from innovations introduced in the previous three years. But here’s something the company hasn’t tried before: selling its tools through the retail channel. That’s changing with the company’s new EDGE Series Air tools.
Before EDGE, IR brand tools were available through a mobile tool jobber or a Fastenal-like distributor. The Ingersoll Rand brand has been around more than 100 years, but not at traditional retail. And the company is going to market with the message that, if it’s good for the pros, then it’s gotta be good for the heavy DIYer.
“Every tool goes through the same rigorous testing process that our professional tools go through,” said Ashley Andrews, commercial product leader. “And they all offer the same ergonomic design for comfort and reduced operator fatigue.”
The EDGE Series tools are currently sold at Northern Tool and Equipment, Tractor Supply Co., Rural King, Lowe’s, Home Depot and Amazon.com, among others.
The EDGE Series contains 25 different models of bolting, cutting, painting and finishing tools.
“One surprise we’ve seen is the demand for spray guns in the retail channel,” Andrews said. “And the 259G ¾-in. impact wrench is one of our best sellers, which is unique because it’s a very large, heavy-duty tool.”