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Gould applauds deal with Water for People

BY HBSDealer Staff

A partnership between American Standard Brands and Water For People will focus on improving quality of life and access to safe sanitation around the globe, according to both companies.

In early 2013, American Standard unveiled the SaTo (pronounced SAH-toh, derived from Safe Toilet) sanitary toilet pan, invented to work without sewer infrastructure and originally designed for use in Bangladesh. The SaTo pan uses simple mechanical and water seals to close off pit latrines from the open air, thereby reducing the transmission of disease and odor.

"Our partnership with Water For People will have a positive impact on the lives of an estimated three million people over the next few years. In fact, the first shipments of SaTo pans to be distributed by the Water For People team are arriving in Malawi and Uganda (Africa) shortly,” said Jay Gould, president and CEO of American Standard Brands. "It is so gratifying to see how lives can be improved, and saved, by successful partnerships like this connecting businesses."

Over the next five years, American Standard will donate 600,000 SaTo sanitary toilet pans to be distributed by Water For People to help save lives and prevent the spread of disease from open pit latrines.

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Menear breaks down $23 billion in sales

BY Ken Clark

The Home Depot’s President of U.S. Retail Craig Menear had plenty of positive numbers to discuss from a merchandising standpoint after the company reported comp-store sales growth of 5.8% in the second quarter.

All three U.S. divisions had positive comps, and also beat their sales plan, Menear said. Additionally, all departments had positive comps for the quarter, in which Home Depot reported sales of $23.8 billion.

“The core of the store continued to perform well as we saw strength in maintenance and repair categories across the country,” Menear said.

Better-than-average departments for the second quarter were tools, millwork, outdoor garden, electrical and kitchen. 

Also strong were transactions for tickets over $900 – up 8.4%. This growth was caused by sales of appliances, windows, water heaters, wood and laminate flooring, he said.

One of the few blemishes on the Home Depot scorecard was the lost sales in air movement categories, a decline Menear chalked up to the cooler summer weather. However, sales in exterior stains, water sealers, grills, seed, soils, mulch and live goods more than made up for the loss, he said.

Looking into the third quarter, Menear pointed to LED technology as a potential bright spot. The company is launching a new light bulb reset that will expand the presence and capacity of the category, bringing an additional 26 skus to the assortment. 

“We’re also introducing new products for the connected home, including garage door openers, thermostats, water heaters, and light bulbs,” he said. 

And as the stores roll out the next generation of the FIRST Phone –  a customer service tool for store employees – they will also roll out special deals for Labor Day and Fall Clean up events, he said.

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HCN Stock Watch: HD still rides a high

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot (HD) was still feeling the effects of its positive quarterly earnings report Wednesday. Lowe’s stock also did better than most as a result of its similarly strong financials this morning. 

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