Home improvement stores get slice of bridal registries
A survey of 12,500 couples conducted by the Knot Wedding Network found both conventional and not-so-traditional results when it looked at bridal gift registries.
The top three favored retailers — Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and Macy’s — retained their dominant positions, with nearly 70% of couples creating their primary registries in these stories. But 3% of the future brides and grooms also registered with Lowe’s, and 2% registered with Home Depot.
Kitchen, bed and bath remain the most popular categories on a couple’s wedding registry, with kitchen appliances/electrics topping the list at 91%. Less traditional gift items like power tools (18%), outdoor gear (20%), lawn care/patio items (19%), and grilling/outdoor entertainment (39%) were also being registered for at a variety of stores, including Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Wal-Mart, Sears and Amazon.com.
As expected, the Internet played an increasing role in registry setup and management, although in-store registry setup still dominated at 57%. The economy may have influenced the decisions of the engaged couples, all of whom had weddings scheduled for 2009. The survey saw a 50% increase in couples registering for honeymoon-related expenses, and more than four out of 10 couples claimed that the current stage of the economy affected their registry choices, meaning that they were considering their guests’ budgets.
The survey was fielded in July and August 2009 by DRI on behalf of the Knot Wedding Network, parent company of TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com.
Rona earnings and revenues down in Q3
Retailer and distributor Rona, Canada’s biggest home improvement chain, reported sales of C$1.32 billion for its third fiscal quarter, a 4.4% decline from sales of C$1.38 billion posted in the third quarter last year. Same-store sales suffered a 5.3% reduction in the corporate and franchise store sector, while distribution sales dropped 1.6%.
Net earnings, excluding one-time costs like store closings, were C$53.3 million in the third quarter 2009, compared with C$58.9 million in the same period of 2008.
The Boucherville, Quebec-based company blamed the declines on a slowdown in housing construction and home renovations in Canada, although it noted that sales to commercial and professional customers in Ontario were strong.
Earlier this week, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said housing starts rose 5.4% in October, signifying an upward trend.
Newell Rubbermaid adds to board
Newell Rubbermaid has announced that Michael B. Polk has been elected to the company’s board of directors, bringing the number of directors to 12. Polk is president of Unilever Americas.
Polk joined Unilever in 2005 and has streamlined the company’s Americas organization and optimized its mix of food, hygiene and personal care items. Under Polk, Unilever was named Wal-Mart’s Supplier of the Year in 2008.
“Michael brings outstanding global marketing, consumer innovation and operations leadership to our board,” said William D. Marohn, chairman of Newell Rubbermaid’s board of directors. “He has overseen billion-dollar brands, managed portfolios of diverse product categories and navigated complex geographies — all very relevant to the growth and transformation of Newell Rubbermaid.”
Before Unilever, Polk held positions at Altria Group. He began his career at Procter & Gamble in industrial engineering and product development.