Hitachi names new sales exec
Hitachi Power Tools has appointed Tim Hawkins as its director of home center sales for North American business, effective June 1. Hawkins previously served as director of outdoor power equipment for Hitachi Power Tools & Tanaka Power Equipment (a brand within the Hitachi Power Tools group). Prior to then, he was regional manager over the central United States for Hitachi. Hawkins first joined the company in 1998.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Hitachi Power Tools (Hitachi Koki USA) offers an extensive line of professional grade power tools and accessories for woodworking, metalworking, drilling and fastening, concrete drilling and cutting, outdoor power equipment products, as well as a complete line of pneumatic nailers, staplers, compressors and collated fasteners.
Retail sales slip, but not for NAICS 444
The U.S. Census Bureau announced this morning that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May were $387.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis. That’s down 0.2% from the previous month, and up 7.7 % compared with May 2010.
Total sales for March, April and May were up 7.5% from the same period a year ago.
Looking specifically at NAICS classification 444 — Building material & garden equipment & supplies dealers — the adjusted advance estimate for sales in May were $25.017 billion, up 1.2% from last month and up 7.0% from last year.
The Advance Monthly Sales report also revealed general retail trade sales were down 0.3% from April 2011, but 8.0% above last year. Gasoline stations sales were up 22.3% from May 2010, and nonstore retailers’ sales were up 15.9% from last year.
All the figures above are adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.
Survey says green definitions vary
A recent survey conducted on behalf of Whirlpool Corp. and Habitat for Humanity International by the NAHB Research Center showed that 74% of consumers believe that less than a quarter of their home can be categorized as “green.” The complete study reported opinions from consumers and builders on various topics related to green home building.
In response to a related question, 34% of consumers felt that the most common definition for a green home is that it reduces energy and/or water consumption by a significant percentage. Another 23% felt that a home could be considered green when the entire home is green. Responses for this question were similar across all income levels.
Builders who participated in the survey had similar feelings about the definition of green homes — 35% preferred the definition of reducing energy and/or water consumption. However, an additional 35% defined homes as green if they are built to certification standards.
“These survey results demonstrate that many consumers recognize their homes can be more environmentally sound,” said Tom Halford, general manager, contract sales and marketing, Whirlpool Corp. “Whirlpool Corp. remains committed to understanding our customers in order to develop information they need to become greener and to make energy-efficient appliances to address the needs suggested in these survey results.”
With regard to green certification programs, consumers overwhelmingly responded that Energy Star qualification is important for residential builds (78%). The National Green Building Standard was also considered important by shares of respondents (44%), as well as state certification programs (40%).