Industry Dashboard for July 23, 2012
Sherwin-Williams and Fastenal lead the gainers on the Home Channel Stock Roundup. Elsewhere on the Dashboard, the residential construction dials show big improvements, while existing-home sales declined from May.
Lowe’s to offer new line of sheds
Lowe’s will begin carrying a line of outdoor sheds made of structural insulated panels (SIPS) at its 1,700 retail locations, as well as through its website. But unlike traditional SIPS – rigid foam insulation between two panels of oriented strand board (OSB) – the new product will be made with sheets of magnesium oxide, often referred to as MgO.
Vantem Outdoor Living, a division of Vantem Composite Technologies, will manufacture the backyard product line, known as GreenOx. According to the company, GreenOx sheds deliver high levels of insulation and are not drafty like traditional sheds, thereby improving energy efficiency by up to 50% when heated or cooled.
“The use of SIPs and a proprietary framing system offer benefits far beyond the typical wood, metal or resin structures, and the result is small, very durable buildings that you’ll actually want to spend time in,” said by Jay Thompson, president of Vantem Outdoor Living. “While the concept of SIP technologies has been around for years, the limitation has always been the wood component used for the exterior of the panel. Our exclusive use of MgO in replacement of OSB enables us to achieve the same strength and efficiency gains in a configuration that will not rot, mold and is essentially fire and pest resistant.
Lowes.com currently offers three models, 8×8, 8×10 and 8×12, that range in price from $2,700 to $3,500.
Social networking strategies may be age specific
Not surprisingly, there’s a big gulf between the under-35 and over-35 age group when it comes to using technology to make purchasing decisions, according to a recent survey by Today Info Retail, an Atlanta-based strategy and design agency. But while both groups have integrated technology into their shopping habits, 54% of all 18-34 year olds surveyed have used Facebook as an information source in shopping, compared to only 15% of those 35 and older. Similarly, 35% of the younger age group used mobile devices, versus 12% of the older consumers.
With respect to social media, the 18 to 34 age group used Facebook for shopping information, significantly more than other social technologies: 64% for Facebook vs.17% for Twitter and approximately 8% for Pinterest.
On the issue of touchpoint integraton between brands, retailers, and manufacturers, older consumers were much more likely to rate their shopping experiences as “seamless” or “good” than younger respondents. The Millennials (ages 8-35) felt that the integration needed improvement.
“Younger shoppers have higher expectations for touchpoint integration. There’s a big gap between the expectations of younger and older adult shoppers,” said Florian Vollmer, senior VP and principle of Info Retail. “These have to be managed to create a successful experience.”