Housewares sweet spot: Muffin tins
The craze for cupcakes has helped boost retail sales of muffin baking pans 14% in the 12 months ending September 2010, according to a study from the NPD Group. This is the largest growth among all bakeware types, the market research group reported.
Metal muffin/cupcake pan sales grew 21% compared with last year, representing 90% of all sales in the 12-month period. According to NPD’s National Eating Trends survey, 59% of the cupcakes or muffins were eaten as a carried snack, with 34% reserved for dessert.
Kathleen Cella, director of the NPD Group’s Housewares and Home Textiles divisions, notes that the opening of cupcake bakeries and the popularity of cupcake decorating accessories have helped boost sales.
Lowe’s closes two SoCal stores
The North Carolina retailer, which operates more than 1,725 home improvement retail outlets in the United States, Canada and Mexico, cited inadequate past sales and bleak projections as its reasons for shuttering stores in Apple Valley and San Bernardino. The units are located in the southeastern portion of the state, which has been particularly hard hit by the recession, foreclosures and the building slowdown.
Aspokeswoman for Lowe’s said there would be no closeout sale at either store. Merchandise will be returned to a distribution center or moved to other locations, she said.
MDC announces CFO departure
Denver-based home builder MDC Holdings announced SVP and CFO Christopher Anderson has concluded his employment, effective Nov. 5.
The company, which builds homes under the name Richmond American Homes, said Anderson will provide consulting services to the company for 90 days.
The company did not announce a replacement.
“For the past two and a half years, Chris has been an integral part of our team,” said Larry Mizel, MDC’s chairman and CEO. “As a leader in the company, Chris’ ability to identify and solve key business issues has led to long-lasting improvements to our operations. As the leader of the finance organization, he has been an excellent steward of our investment grade balance sheet and has consistently demonstrated strong financial integrity. We regret seeing him go and wish him well.”
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to spend the past few years with MDC,” Anderson said. “I am grateful to senior management, the board of directors and the investment community for their support during my tenure, and I will do all that I can to ensure a smooth transition of my responsibilities over the next several months.”