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Domestic profile: DAP points to U.S. jobs

BY Ken Clark

One of America’s original garage start-up success stories, DAP points to its made-in-the-USA mind-set as a key component of corporate culture. “DAP is dedicated to keeping jobs in the United States, with more than 500 associates nationwide to support its sales, marketing and manufacturing operations,” reads the company’s press release.

DAP’s history dates back to 1865, when the first product was produced out of the founder’s garage in Dayton, Ohio. Today, the maker of caulks, sealants, construction adhesives, insulating foams, spackling, glazing and other general patch and repair products owns and operates manufacturing plants and distribution centers in Dallas and Baltimore, where its headquarters are located.

Among the American-born innovations over the years: developments in latex caulking compounds, latex polymer foam technology, wall repair products that change color when optimum dry time is achieved and advanced sealant technologies.

History is present at DAP in other forms, as well. For instance, the manufacturing facility in Baltimore is located near where the Battle of North Point occurred. In the battle, American skirmishers and British Regulars fought the day before the bombardment of Ft. McHenry in the War of 1812.

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Bulb maker TCP plans initial public offering

BY HBSDealer Staff

An initial public offering is in the works for Shanghai, China-based TCP International Holdings, maker of energy-efficient light bulbs.

The supplier to Home Depot and Wal-Mart Stores (among many others) makes about 3,500 kinds of compact fluorescent light bulbs, about 275 varieties of even more efficient LEDs and 12 kinds of halogen bulbs.

The company hopes to raise $100 million through an offering of its common stock, according to a TCP filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It’s not yet known which exchange will be used.

TCP sales were $281 million in 2011, a decline of 2%. 

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Hardware Show adapts to domestic trend

BY Ken Clark

Richard Russo has seen more than his fair share of new products in his career with the National Hardware Show. And in recent years, he’s seeing an increasing number of made-in-the-USA products along with research indicating the trend is real.

"It came up pretty strong in our research," said Russo, director of the National Hardware Show. "Made in the USA was trending strong on the consumer side. And the retailers were clearly interested in what we at the National Hardware Show would be able to expose them to at the event."

Based on the feedback and the trends, this year’s show in Las Vegas May 1 to 3 will offer a little more red, white and blue, he said. For the first time at the show, a "Made in the USA Pavilion" will showcase domestic-made products, which will also be marked throughout the exhibit floor with banners. (Sponsoring the pavilion, appropriately, is the Made in the USA Brand and Logo Certification Mark.)

Determining what companies pass the made-in-the-USA test is part art, part science, with some subjectivity involved. For the purposes of the National Hardware Show, Russo described a combination of criteria from various groups, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce. "We’re not the judge and jury of what is made in the USA," Russo said. "But what we’re going to do is provide full disclosure of what that product is." In a nutshell, if 80% or more of a product is manufactured domestically, it counts.

The changes have some positive feedback from retailers and attendees, Russo said. And vendors are knocking on the door for inclusion. So far, 65 companies are in the pavilion, and the show expects about 100 will be showcased in May.

There are many causes for the interest? Russo points to pocketbook patriotism. "There is definitely a correlation between the decline in the economy and consumer interest in doing whatever they can to boost the domestic economy. This pavilion has given us an opportunity to showcase our made-in-the-USA products to give the retailers the opportunity to make that choice."

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