Fiberglass insulation demand will continue to rise
Demand for fiberglass insulation is forecast to grow 2.9% per year to 4.6 billion pounds in 2021, valued at $4.4 billion, according to a new study from the Freedonia Group.
In its new “Insulation Market in the US, 12th Edition” study, the Cleveland, Ohio-based research firm says fiberglass is projected to remain the most widely used insulation material due to favorable characteristics such as installation and handling advantages over other insulation materials; high R-values; and superior resistance to mold, moisture and insect damage.
Residential buildings are projected to be the fastest growing market and maintain the largest share of demand through 2021. Homeowners looking to increase energy efficiency through a a low-cost, high R-value solution for attic reinsulation and improvement projects are expected to help drive the market.
Demand for all types of insulation, excluding reflective insulation and radiant barriers, is forecast to rise 2.9% per year to 9.4 billion pounds in 2021, equal to 320 billion sq. ft. of R-1 value.
According to analyst Matt Hurley, “Fiberglass and foamed plastics together account for the bulk of demand (75% in volume terms), supported by advantages such as low cost, good performance qualities, and ease of installation.”
Westlake goes to Washington (state)
Westlake Ace Hardware will acquire the Dennis Company, a five-store retail hardware chain in coastal southwest Washington. With this acquisition, expected to close in late March, Westlake will own 121 stores across ten states.
The Dennis Company has five locations in Washington: Aberdeen, Elma, Long Beach, Montesano, and Raymond. According to Westlake officials, it will be a seamless transition of ownership and the stores will retain the Dennis Company name, management, personnel, and the current product mix.
Upon acquisition, Dennis Company stores will become part of the Ace network, and will be a division of Westlake Ace Hardware.
The Dennis Company opened in 1905, and has been operated by four generations of Dennis family members. The Ace deal was arranged through the current Dennis co-owners, Brent and Randy Dennis.
“Westlake is a growing and vibrant brand,” said Joe Jeffries, president and COO of Westlake Ace Hardware. “We are excited to welcome the Dennis Company into the Westlake family, expand our relationship within the communities they serve, and continue their proud tradition of outstanding customer service.”
Westlake has followed a course of steady expansion in recent years. Most recently, Westlake expanded into Chicago with the acquisition of Buikema’s Ace Hardware.
Eye on Retail: Small retailers loom large on Amazon
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) selling on Amazon Marketplace rang up big sales in 2017.
In 2017, more than 300,000 U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses joined the Amazon Marketplace — a network comprised of companies that operate in every state in the U.S., and more than 130 countries around the world. More than 140,000 of these small and medium-sized businesses surpassed $100,000 in sales on Amazon in 2017.
Customers ordered “billions of items” from these businesses through Amazon’s Marketplace. More than one billion items were purchased during the holiday season, and more than 140 million items were ordered between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to the company.
Other SMB milestones achieved in 2017 include:
- Fulfillment by Amazon shipped billions of items worldwide.
- Amazon Lending, a program launched in 2011, surpassed $3 billion lent to small businesses on Amazon.
- Amazon Handmade expanded to encompass 10 categories offering customers more than one million handcrafted items from thousands of artisans and small business owners across all 50 states, and more than 60 countries.
“More and more small and medium-sized businesses are choosing to join the Amazon Marketplace and sell alongside Amazon to reach customers around the world,” said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. “Entrepreneurs and small business owners are succeeding on Amazon, and reinvesting in their local communities, efforts which create jobs and support local suppliers.”