Got Super Bowl marketing ideas?
Not many hardware stores have millions of dollars to burn on a 30-second commercial during the broadcast of the Super Bowl. But they can still participate in the marketing festivities.
Case in point: Woydziak Do it Best Hardware of Lyons, Kansas. Here, two teams of store employees set up a pair of competing grill displays in the end zones of an imitation football field laid out in the store's power aisle. On one end of the field is Team Traeger, on the other is team Big Green Egg.
The competition is real. Customers are being invited to vote for their favorite display. And the team that gets the most votes wins a home-cooked breakfast from the owner, Jason Huddleston.
"In the face of a competitive retail market in Lyons, this event built team work and morale while promoting great products to customers," said a Do it Best spokesman.
Is your store getting marketing mileage out of the Super Bowl? Take the survey here.
Lumber Liquidators settles with DOJ for $13.2 million
Lumber Liquidators has been handed its penalty by the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations of illegal sourcing, which will amount to $13.2 million in fines and forfeitures.
“The case against Lumber Liquidators shows the true cost of turning a blind eye to the environmental laws that protect endangered wildlife,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This company left a trail of corrupt transactions and habitat destruction. Now they will pay a price for this callous and careless pursuit of profit.”
A federal judge sentenced the company to $13.2 million in penalties and five years of probation on Monday in a federal court in Norfolk, Virginia. That's $7.8 million in criminal fines, $969,175 in criminal forfeiture, $3.15 million in civil forfeiture, and more than $1.23 million in community service payments.
Part of the organizational probation will entail independent audits and an environmental compliance plan.
In terms of community service contributions, money will go toward conservation nonprofits such as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the USFWS Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund.
The retailer had already agreed in October to plead guilty to violations of a customs law and the Lacey Act, having been accused of illegally importing wood from protected forests in Russia. The $13.2 million settlement is the largest Lacey Act penalty on record, according to a DOJ statement. This is also the first felony conviction related to the import or use of illegal timber.
Lumber Liquidators received a felony charge of importing goods through false statements and four misdemeanors for breaking timber laws in a foreign country and transporting the falsely labeled timber into the U.S.
“By knowingly and illegally sourcing timber from vulnerable forests in Asia and other parts of the world, Lumber Liquidators made American consumers unwittingly complicit in the ongoing destruction of some of the world's last remaining intact forests,” said Director Dan Ashe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Along with hastening the extinction of the highly endangered Siberian tiger and many other native species, illegal logging driven by the company's greed threatens the many people who depend on sustainable use of these forests for food, clean water, shelter and legitimate jobs. These unprecedented sanctions show how seriously we take illegal trade, and I am grateful to the Service special agents and wildlife inspectors, Homeland Security agents, and Justice Department attorneys who halted Lumber Liquidators' criminal acts and held the company accountable under the law.”