Feeney enters Capital Lumber warehouses
Feeney, Inc., a manufacturer of stainless steel and aluminum railing systems announced a partnership with LBM distributor Capital Lumber to bring Feeney architectural products to dealers in California, Utah and Arizona.
The deal initially calls for Feeney products to be stocked at three of the eight Capital Lumber warehouse locations: Healdsburg and Chino, California; and Salt Lake City. Pointing to the expanded capabilities offered by Capital, Feeney expects to quadruple its sales representative count using the Capital Lumber infrastructure — adding capacity for in-store visits, product knowledge sessions and job-site programs, as well as lead generation and follow-up projects.
“Coupled with the need for distribution and on-time delivery of our products, Capital Lumber has a notable reputation in the industry that aligns with our company’s value proposition,” said Del Leutbecher, VP business development for Feeney. “Furthermore, Capital Lumber has the ability to provide sales support and be in front of customers weekly.”
The move will also expand distribution of Feeney’s product offerings and provide corporate support, including customer service, faster shipping times and increased brand awareness through Capital’s existing marketing programs.
Headquartered in Arizona, Capital Lumber is described as the leading provider of specialty products in the western United States. Capital Lumber will sell two of Feeney’s popular products, including the CableRail line of standard and custom fabricated stainless steel cable assemblies used for railing infill, and the complete line of DesignRail of powder-coated aluminum railing systems.
Study sheds light on Amazon’s strength
A recently released report, titled “Building Up to Home Improvement Season,” from research firm 360pi shows Amazon.com is — no surprise — a tough company to beat on price.
In fact, Amazon was the price leader or co-leader on 96% of the items measured, including fixtures, faucets, outdoor lighting and power tools, from the period May 1 to June 16 (shipping costs omitted).
In second place on the report’s list of price leaders, Home Depot held the lowest or same-as-lowest price about 68% of the time. Depot was followed by eFaucets and Wayfair, which at least tied for lowest price on about 55% of items measured (see chart above).
The study measured online prices, not prices found in brick-and-mortar stores.
In another takeaway from the report, Home Depot was seen as narrowing the gap with Amazon on price. Several of the sampled retailers became more competitive with Amazon during this time period: Wayfair and Home Depot both narrowed the gap in the sample. Home Depot was the most aggressively priced category killer, with an average price of just over 5% above Amazon. The other major category killer, Lowe’s, was pricing the sampled assortment at an average of 11% to 13% higher than Amazon.
Also, the report shined analysis on outdoor lighting. ATG stores and Lowe’s were priced much more competitively than Amazon in this category, likely using it to drive customers into their physical stores, according to 360pi. Several of the retailers lost some of their competitive positioning throughout May. Wayfair, however, narrowed the gap to Amazon from approximately 13% to around 10%.
Carrier flips switch on rent-to-own
HVAC giant Carrier has a new plan to bring equipment to the people, in three words: “rent to own.”
The company signed a strategic agreement with Microf LLC to provide an alternative to traditional financing for qualified Carrier heating and air-conditioning customers.
Microf now offers its rent-to-own solution through Carrier’s extensive distributor and dealer network, enabling an additional option for homeowners to obtain quality products. Carrier, a world leader in high-technology heating, ventilating and air-conditioning solutions, is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
“Carrier is pleased to work with Microf to provide a rent-to-own HVAC option to our customers,” said Matthew Pine, VP marketing, Carrier residential HVAC. “This strategic business relationship benefits customers and dealers by giving them the broadest range of options to meet their heating and cooling needs.”
Microf will support dealers and their customers with a quick and user-friendly application process, a flexible product offering and specialized HVAC expertise. The rent-to-own option will be available for customers who meet minimum financial standards. Microf’s alternative to traditional financing enables more customers to enjoy improved comfort and air quality with an affordable monthly payment.
“We at Microf are excited about working with Carrier and the opportunity to expand our dealer network and customer base,” said Jay Kimbro, Microf co-founder. “Our unique rent-to-own concept will ensure more consumers are able to meet their heating and cooling needs with an affordable monthly payment.”