Duracell charges into the generator category
Las Vegas — Eastern Tools and Equipment unveiled its line of Duracell generators to the home improvement market during the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.
The familiar copper-colored equipment represents a deal about a year-and-a-half in the making, and follows some long negotiations with Procter & Gamble, which owns the Duracell brand.
"It took us almost four months to get a hold of the Procter & Gamble people to even sit down and talk to them," said Paul Adams, national sales manager for Eastern Tools & Equipment, based in Ontario, Calif.
The products received a "soft introduction" in November of last year at the APEX automotive-after-market show in Las Vegas. At the National Hardware Show May 10-12, the products were well received, he said.
Price points run from about $299 for a 28-lb. inverter generator to $999 for a heavy-duty portable unit.
Licensing the name from the consumer goods giant was no easy matter, Adams said. "P&G is a big company. They want to make sure everything is perfect."
It turned out that independent of Eastern Tools’ search for a licensing partner, P&G was actively looking to license its Duracell brand to a generator company, as long as the company could control quality and was able to produce a premium engine and premium features, Adams said. Several units have electric start with the battery included.
The Duracell generators operate at less than 5% total harmonic distortion — a measure of the cleanliness of the power — allowing for use with sensitive electronic equipment such as computers.
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Lowe’s posts sales and earnings declines in Q1
The country’s second largest home center chain posted sales of $12.2 billion in its first quarter ended April 29. That’s down 1.6% as the one-two punch of bad weather and the weak economy took its toll.
The company’s earnings also declined — down 5.7% to $461 million. Comparable-store sales were down 3.3%.
"We delivered earnings per share within our guidance for the quarter, despite lower-than-expected sales,” commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and CEO. “During the quarter, we faced ongoing economic pressures, unfavorable weather conditions and tough comparisons to last year’s government stimulus programs. While we are focused on competing effectively in the current environment, we are also working diligently on our commitment to deliver better customer experiences. We are building momentum in 2011 behind our transformation from a home improvement retailer to a home improvement company.”
Looking ahead to the second quarter, Lowe’s expects sales to increase about 4%, and it expects comparable-store sales to increase about 2%.
During the quarter, Lowe’s opened four stores, including one relocation, and closed one store that was damaged by a tornado. The company operates 1,751 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Is this less than $300 per
Is this less than $300K per store? I don't feel so bad today.