Floor care, hot beverage makers lead small appliance sales
Small kitchen electrical appliances showed a 16% sales growth this past October, compared to a year ago, and sales of home environment appliances increased 7%, last month, according to industry analysis prepared by the NPD Group.
The top-selling small appliance categories for October 2009 included floor care (uprights, deep carpet cleaners, and canister vacuums) and such hot beverage categories as drip coffee makers. Leading categories showing strong dollar growth in year-over-year comparisons were specialty hair stylers, roaster ovens, and juice extractors.
Key small appliances categories that drove 2008 Black Friday dollar sales included upright vacuums, stand mixers, and automatic drip coffee makers, according to the NPD research.
American Woodmark down in Q2
American Woodmark, the Winchester, Va.-based maker of kitchen cabinets, posted a second-quarter loss of $5.3 million, a bigger loss than analysts expected. The company posted a loss of $488,000 in the same quarter last year.
Net sales for the quarter were $104 million, down 23% compared with the second quarter of the prior fiscal year.
The company’s namesake American Woodmark brand is available exclusively at The Home Depot; it’s Shenandoah Cabinetry is available exclusively at Lowe’s; and its Timberlake Cabinetry is sold through the new construction channel. The company’s sales declines in each of its sales channels approximated the overall rate of decline during the second quarter.
American Woodmark’s wider second quarter loss amounted to about 37 cents per share, while Wall Street was expecting a loss of 17 cents per share and revenue of about $105.3 million.
American Woodmark particularly feels the pressure and concerns over unemployment, which hovered at 10.2% according to the latest government statistics. The specter of unemployment has a chilling effect on kitchen and bath renovations more than the typical home repair project.
To cut costs, the company put in motion several initiatives during its fourth quarter last year, including the closure of two plants and the suspension of operations at a third. The number of salaried personnel were reduced.
The company operates 11 manufacturing facilities in Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Builders FirstSource loses CFO
In a filing late yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Builders FirstSource announced that its SVP and CFO Charles Horn has resigned, effective Nov. 23, to take a position as a chief financial officer at an unnamed technology company.
Horn has been with Builders FirstSource since 1999. He leaves in the midst of an acrimonious battle that was launched when two of the company’s major shareholders proposed a recapitalization plan for the Dallas-based pro dealer.
Horn will be replaced by Chad Crow, who previously served as the company’s VP and controller since May 2000. Crow joined Builders FirstSource in 1999 as an assistant controller. Prior to that, he served in a variety of accounting positions at Pier One Imports. Crow also spent four years at PriceWaterhouse.
Listed ninth on the Home Channel News Top 350 Scoreboard this year, Builders FirstSource operated 55 lumberyards and 51 manufacturing plants in nine states. Sales in 2008 were $1.03 billion.