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Home Depot looks to fill pro’s need for convenience

BY Ken Clark

Atlanta-based The Home Depot recently began rolling out is First for Pro initiative designed to boost service for pro customers.

Among the service differentiators, according to Ted Decker, Home Depot’s senior VP, U.S. Retail, are dedicated cashier staffing, unique "power hours," loading assistance and a simplified returns process.

"Power hours" refer to the busiest periods of the day when the store emphasizes having a greeter at the front of the store and store associates at the front of each aisle. The busy period for contractors differs from the busy period for DIYers. 

The retailer’s average pro customer currently spend about $5,000 per year at the Home Depot, clearly indicating that the stores are used by them as a "convenience pickup," said Decker, speaking at the recent Oppenheimer & Co. Consumer Conference.

"So if we are a convenience pickup, we need to be convenient to the pro," Decker said. "They need to be able to get in and get out."

The company’s First for Pro initiative reflects an effort to more efficiently respond to the pro customer — boosting their Home Depot spending to an average of $6,000 or $7,000, he said. The program does not chase a false vision of the retailer as the pro’s principle supplier, he added.

"We are happy in our own skin now of what our service to the pro is, and we are going to execute that flawlessly in giving them the service they want," Decker said.

 

 

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The Rockwool Group signs distribution deal with Lowe’s in the U.S.

BY Brae Canlen

The Rockwool Group, a Danish supplier of stone wool insulation and other building materials worldwide, has signed an agreement with Lowe’s to supply products in 227 stores across 13 states in the United States, primarily in the East.

The products will be manufactured by Roxul Inc., the North American operations of Rockwool International, and distributed exclusively by PrimeSource. They include Roxul’s Safe ‘n’ Sound fire and soundproofing insulation that significantly reduces noise transfer between rooms. Roxul’s thermal insulation ComfortBatt R15 will also be readily available, which offers a maximum R-value performance in 2×4 wood studs and is aimed at the renovation market. Additional Roxul products will be available by special order at Lowes. 

Roxul, which currently sells its products in Lowe’s Canada stores, operates two Canadian manufacturing facilities, one in Milton, Ontario, and the other in Grand Forks, British Columbia. They produce residential products as well as industrial, commercial and marine stone wool insulation products.

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Mar-30-2012 04:18 pm

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Warning issued for log splitters

BY Brae Canlen

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Lowe’s and its import division, LG Sourcing, has issued a recall notice for approximately 20,000 electric log splitters sold nationwide from January 2008 through March 2011.

The product, which sold for about $300 under the brand name Task Force 5-ton electric log splitter, poses a danger to consumers because its hydraulic arm can slide under the handle used to move the machine. The moving hydraulic arm poses a laceration or amputation injury hazard to individuals who place their hands on that handle while the splitter is in operation. There have been two reports of injuries so far. 

The product was manufactured by Changzhou Globe Tool Group.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled log splitters and contact Changzhou Globe Tool Group to receive a free set of warning labels, including placement instructions. 

“The issue was with the warning labels,” a CPSC spokesperson explained to HCN. “Consumers should stop using it, get the new warning labels, read them and put them in place [on the log splitter].” 

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