Grilling survey: Don’t try desserts
Desserts topped the list of “most challenging to grill” in the 22nd annual GrillWatch survey conducted by Weber-Stephen Products. Fish and pizza tied for second place, followed by shellfish and fruit.
Seven percent of Americans reported spending more than 10 hours each week cooking outdoors during their "grilling season," with almost half (49%) of all study respondents reporting that they grill or smoke-cook year-round, including 37% at or below freezing temperatures.
Not surprisingly, hamburgers were the favorite food to grill, followed by steak, chicken, hot dogs and ribs.
Currently, 71% of all Americans (21 and older) own an outdoor grill and/or smoker, based on the survey results, and the majority (67%) own a gas grill. But a sizeable number of the survey respondents — 46% — said they owned charcoal grills. Some households (36%) owned two or more outdoor grills and/or smokers.
Headquartered in Palatine, Ill., Weber-Stephen Products makes charcoal, gas and electric grills, grilling accessories and other outdoor room products.
Bad driver arrested for shoplifting
A man with 22 traffic warrants and 25 suspensions on his driver’s license was arrested for shoplifting at a Lowe’s home improvement store in Michigan, according to an article in the Livingston Daily.
Sheriff deputies were called to a Lowe’s store in Genoa Township on March 8 after a 50-year-old male filled his shopping cart with three vacuums, six backpack blowers and four chain saws. The suspect, who was not named, then disabled an alarm and destroyed the handles on an emergency exit door, according to police. He allegedly left the store with the merchandise, which was valued at approximately $4,600.
Authorities apprehended the suspect, who faces charges in Detroit for 22 traffic warrants. His license has expired with 25 suspensions, police said.
The man is believed to have also stolen from the Woodhaven Lowe’s store, according to authorities.
Williams-Sonoma reports earnings growth
Williams-Sonoma announced that net revenues for the fourth quarter of 2010 increased 9.7% to $1.2 billion from $1.09 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009, including Internet net revenue growth of 27.2% and a comparable-store sales increase of 5.2%.
Williams-Sonoma reported that net revenues for the 2010 fiscal year increased 12.9% to $3.5 billion from $3.1 billion in 2009, including Internet net revenue growth of 26.9% and a comparable-store sales increase of 9.8%.
Laura Alber, president and CEO, said: “Fiscal 2010 was a record earnings year for Williams-Sonoma. Each of our brands is stronger today than a year ago, and we made substantial progress on our longer-term growth and profitability initiatives. We are particularly pleased with the progress we made in merchandising, marketing, customer acquisition and customer service, as it is these competitive advantages that allowed us to attract new customers to our brands and gain profitable market share all year, including Internet revenue growth of 27%.”
Going forward, Alber said she expects growth in the company’s e-commerce business.
"In fiscal 2011, we expect e-commerce to once again be our most profitable and fastest growing channel. As such, our direct-to-customer segment is expected to reach 43% of total company revenues in fiscal 2011 versus 41% in fiscal 2010."