Dishwashers pull ahead in appliances sales
A study on major home appliances by The NPD Group showed overall growth in the category in 2010, with an 11% increase in dollar sales compared to 2009.
Although sales for most appliances did not reach pre-recession levels, dishwashers were one exception, showing a 22% increase in dollar sales over 2009, putting them on level with 2007.
Full-sized refrigerators and range hoods both experienced double-digit unit and dollar growth, with laundry appliances coming in just under 10% in dollar growth.
One of the smallest categories, ovens, showed significant growth in 2010, up 42% in dollars compared to 2009.
Peterman Goldman, president of NPD’s home division, attributed some of the gains to government rebate incentives and the abundance of promotional offers early in the year.
Lowe’s posts solid results
Fourth-quarter earnings at Lowe’s increased 39.0% to $285 million, as sales increased for the quarter and the year.
The earnings exceeded previous guidance, as the company increased comp-store sales and gross margins.
The Mooresville, N.C.-based home improvement giant reported fourth quarter sales of $10.5 billion, up 2.9% from the prior-year quarter. For the full year ended Jan. 28, sales increased 3.4% to $48.8 billion.
Comparable store sales were up 1.1% in the quarter, and up 1.3% for the full year.
"While uncertainty in the market remains, the economic recovery is continuing," Niblock added. "We are committed to delivering better customer experiences and expect to grow market share in 2011 as we make continued progress on our key initiatives."
For the full year, Lowe’s net earnings increased 12.7% to $2.0 billion.
The results came the day after rival Home Depot posted its fourth quarter and full year earnings, which also showed significant gains. Sales for Home Depot were up 2.8% for the year, and up 3.8% in the quarter.
During the quarter, Lowe’s opened 17 stores and closed two. At the end of the quarter, Lowe’s operated 1,749 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 197.1 million square feet of retail selling space, a 2.0% increase over last year.
In fiscal 2011, a year in which the company will enjoy an extra week of business, total sales are expected to increase approximately 5%, including the 53rd week. Lowe’s expects comparable store sales to increase 1% to 2%.
Also looking forward, the company expects to open 25 to 30 stores in 2011 reflecting total square footage growth of approximately 1.5%.
Green modular homes grow in St. Louis
St. Louis-based urban redevelopment firm EcoUrban is filling vacant lots in St. Louis with energy-efficient and affordable prefab and modular homes.
The redevelopment project involves a modular building manufactured off-site with green, sustainable features, then trucked to St. Louis, placed on a precast foundation and finished on-site.
The company’s latest redevelopment, Sullivan Place, is a partnership with a number of community and state housing, renewal, development and economic development organizations. The plan is for eight new homes to infill lots in the heart of metro St. Louis — a mile north of city center. The first house at 2332 Dodier St. recently went on foundation and is small at only 1,360 sq. ft., but features three bedrooms, two full baths and all kinds of building products that improve its performance — lowering the operating cost and making the indoor environment healthier, according to the company.
The house was built in Peoria, Ill., by Homeway Homes. It features: bamboo floors, cabinets made by a local green cabinetmaker, low-E Energy Star-rated windows, low-flow water fixtures, dual flush toilets, low-to-no VOC paints, highly efficient HVAC, humidity-controlling bath ventilation fans and ventilated range hoods — all designed to conserve energy, water and maintain excellent indoor air quality.