Home Depot partners with 360Buy.com
Home Depot has reached an agreement with 360Buy.com, one of China’s biggest Internet retailers, to launch its own Chinese e-commerce sales effort, according to an article in the Morning Whistle.
The Atlanta retailer announced on Sept. 13 that it will close its seven remaining big-box stores in China in order to focus on specialty stores and online offerings in that market. The company said it was in the beginning stages of developing relationships with several of China’s leading e-commerce websites, but it did not name which ones.
But Carol Tome, Home Depot’s CFO, told the Reuters Retail and Consumer Summit that Home Depot has already started selling goods on 360buy.com in China and is looking for opportunities to partner with other e-commerce sites.
Home Depot and 360Buy.com had been working together for about 10 days, Tome said on Sept. 14. Home Depot is also in discussions with Alibaba Group’s Tmall.com, a competitor of 360Buy.com, she reported.
According to the agreement so far, 360Buy.com will provide Home Depot with a platform to open its online stores, according to the Morning Whistle.
Demand for windows, doors to rise almost 10%
U.S. demand for windows and doors is expected to rise 9.3% annually through 2016, according to a study conducted by the Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research firm. The forecasted growth is attributed to a rebound in housing completions and gains in building construction from a depressed 2011 base.
Plastic windows and doors will see the fastest gains through 2016, advancing nearly 12% per year. Growth will be driven by consumer perception that plastic is energy efficient and provides a high degree of value. Plastic windows and doors have taken market share from wood and metal products in recent decades and will continue to do so over the forecast period. Efforts by manufacturers to improve the aesthetics of plastic products by offering fiberglass doors with wood grain textures or vinyl windows in a wider range of colors will promote demand in both unit and value terms.
Metal windows and doors accounted for the largest share of window and door demand in 2011, and are expected to continue to lead the market in 2016. Rebounding housing activity will also increase demand for metal products. Population growth in the South and West will contribute to gains, as metal products are often installed in those regions because there is less concern about heat loss through fenestration products. Increased spending on nonresidential building construction will also boost metal window and door demand. Metal products are often installed in nonresidential structures because of their durability and low cost.
Demand for wood windows and doors is forecast to rise 10.2% per year through 2016. Consumer perception of wood as an aesthetically pleasing material that adds value to a home will help boost sales. Many builders and homeowners, especially in the mid-range and high-end housing markets, will continue to specify wood products.