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Furniture groups get their online act together

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Furniture chains of North America have united, at least in the form of a relaunch of Furniture.com.

Described as a “unique online shopping experience powered by the merchandising and service capabilities of top brick-and-mortar furniture chains,” the partnership includes RoomsToGo, Schottenstein Stores and Leon’s Furniture of Canada.

The retailers will provide sourcing, warehousing and delivery capabilities for the e-commerce site, planned to be relaunched later this year.

“Furniture has been called the last remaining $1 billion e-commerce opportunity,” said Carl Prindle, president and CEO of Furniture.com. “Capturing this complex opportunity requires a ‘wow’ customer experience that can only be delivered by marrying leading technology with the scale and expertise of world-class furniture chains. We’re excited to bring together the best in the business and make this a reality.”

Jay Schottenstein, head of Schottenstein Stores, said that this new partnership “enables e-commerce innovation and collaboration between the largest furniture retailers in North America.” He added that furniture’s migration online reminds him of another industry — shoes — where he owns leading offline and online retailer DSW. “For years, we were told no one would buy shoes online,” said Schottenstein. ”It took the right model to catalyze the online shoe industry. Furniture.com is that catalyzing model for furniture.”

The site uses e-commerce technology from Blueport Commerce, an e-commerce solution for the furniture industry.

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Hot tool trends from CPO Outlets

BY HBSDealer Staff

Based on its own June sales records, tool retailer CPO Outlets has released a trend report following this year’s Father’s Day season. 

The number one seller for Dad in 2013 was the Black & Decker LST136 – 36V Cordless Lithium-Ion 13-in Straight Shaft Electric String Trimmer. Runners-up were a drill driver kit from Skil, a cordless lithium-ion kit from Makita, a cordless worksite radio and charger from DeWalt and a Greenworks electric lawn mower.

Popular gift categories included drill drivers, combo kits, jobsite radios, string trimmers and pressure washers. 

According to CPO founder and CEO Rob Tolleson, much of the data comes from online sales.

"Every year more and more Americans are buying gifts for Dad online, and this year was no exception," said Tolleson. "Consumers love the selection and convenience of e-commerce, and this year we saw lots of free shipping promotions." 

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Legrand touts its dimmer as the industry’s most advanced

BY HBSDealer Staff

Legrand has just announced the addition of the Pass & Seymour Harmony Tru-Universal Dimmer to its product line, a light switch add-on that the company is touting as the industry’s most advanced.

The universal dimmer is compatible with all lamp types and comes with a self-calibration feature to take the guesswork out of the installation process and to help eliminate flickering and poor performance. The dimmer has a green LED light to help locate the switch in the dark, and it works in Single Pole and 3-Way applications.

"We have spent a significant amount of time researching the issues that distributors, contractors and end users have with the quickly changing lamp technology," said Keith Falkenberg, marketing manager at Legrand Electrical Wiring Systems. "The Harmony Tru-Universal Dimmer now makes it easier for distributors to provide a dimmer that simply works. It also lets them manage and reduce their inventory, as they can replace as many as 30 current SKUs with one. Contractors can install with confidence and end users have a hassle-free experience. It also brings added benefits of an extended lamp life and energy savings for all types of light sources."

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