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Deck the halls with lots of housewares

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Some small kitchen electric products rose in popularity in the “Black Friday” post-Thanksgiving shopping season this year.

Stand mixers, blenders, waffle irons, deep fryers and electric skillets showed double-digit dollar growth in the small kitchen electric products category on the week of Nov. 23. Slow cookers were the top selling kitchen electric based on the number of units sold.

The three small kitchen appliances with the highest year-over-year unit sales growth on Black Friday were waffle irons, with unit sales up 92 percent; stand mixers, with unit sales up 66 percent; and electric skillets, up 33 percent.

In terms of dollar sales growth, waffle irons saw a 78 percent rise compared with Black Friday 2006. Electric skillets saw dollar sales growth rise 25 percent, while stand mixers were up 21 percent.

More traditional housewares still dominated unit share, however. Of all kitchen electric items sold on Black Friday week, slow cookers held 19 percent of unit share, followed by drip coffeemakers at 17 percent and electric griddles at 8 percent.

In terms of dollar share, stand mixers were most lucrative, commanding 22 percent of total dollar share for housewares sold on Black Friday week. Drip coffeemakers made up 15 percent of dollar share, followed by food processors at 10 percent.

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Snap-on names new CEO

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Kenosha, Wis.-based Snap-on has named president and COO Nicholas Pinchuk to the post of CEO, replacing Jack Michaels.

Pinchuk, 61, will continue to serve as president, while Michaels, 70, will remain chairman of the board, the company said.

“Nick’s leadership as COO reaffirms that he will guide the corporation’s continued success,” said Michaels.

Pinchuk has been with the company since 2002 and was named president and COO in April.

Snap-on is a global manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics and equipment for professional users.

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Pier 1 narrows losses in third quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Specialty retailer Pier 1 Imports greatly narrowed its losses in the third quarter to $9.96 million, an improvement over $72.72 million in losses in the same quarter last year.

Sales fell 7 percent to $374.2 million compared with $402.7 million in the same period last year.

Pier 1’s new president and CEO Alex Smith said the narrower losses resulted from a greater emphasis on sustainable margins and lower ticket impulse items in stores.

“We are pleased with our third-quarter margin results, which would have been higher had it not been for the clearance of our Pier 1 Kids merchandise,” Smith noted.

The retailer saw cost savings to the tune of $21.2 million on marketing expenses, $10.8 million in payroll savings and $5.4 million in savings on other general administrative costs.

Smith further said the retailer saw improvements in conversion rates and units per transaction, as well as in total transaction value.

“This is only the beginning; we still have a lot of work to do,” he said. “However, the fact that we achieved these results with less than perfect execution gives me great optimism about our ability to return to profitability and beyond.”

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