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DieHard enters alkaline battery arena

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Columbus, Ohio-based Dorcy, a flashlight and battery manufacturer, is introducing DieHard branded alkaline batteries to the market. 

The DieHard brand on an alkaline battery was on display at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. 

"It’s a natural," said Dorcy president and CEO Tom Beckett. "The DieHard brand has enormous goodwill, and this launch is a natural addition to our core business."

DieHard is a brand owned by Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings. Dorcy is a longtime supplier of flashlights to Sears.

 

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Lowe’s invests in solar panel provider

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s has announced a new partnership with Sungevity, an installer of residential solar panels, that will offer its retail customers same-day estimates using satellite images. As part of the agreement, Lowe’s has taken an equity position in Sungevity, which will begin rolling out the program in select markets this summer.

Based in Oakland, Calif., Sungevity utilizes a proprietary iQuote system that calculates installation quotes based on aerial photography, as well as satellite images. Customers then lease the solar panels, which come with monitoring, maintenance, repairs, insurance and a money-back performance guarantee. 

The solar program will begin with interactive Sungevity-branded displays in select Lowe’s stores and will continue to roll out at all Lowe’s stores in states where Sungevity provides services. Sungevity currently operates in eight states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. 

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Asian shipping lines under investigation

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The European Commission has launched an antitrust investigation of the world’s largest shipping lines over possible price fixing, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal

On May 17, European Commissioner investigators raided the offices of several major shipping companies in Denmark, France, Germany and Switzerland, conducting interviews and examining records. The commission’s suspicions were initially aroused, according to the article, when container shipping prices rose in 2009 as demand dropped and industry capacity expanded.

The index price for shipping a 40-ft. container was $1,603 in 2009. A year later, despite a slowdown in trade and a threefold increase in the number of container ships at sea, the price rose to $2,517.

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