Industry Dashboard for June 16, 2014
Monthly sales shot up in April in keeping with seasonal patterns, though the year brought progress for the industry. Certain stocks also fell into the negative quadrants.
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Samsung injects innovation into retail display
Beginning in July, Samsung intends to make a splash in retail stores with a high-tech appliance display called CenterStage. The new concept showcases Samsung’s portfolio of appliances in what it calls “an ultra-realistic and life-size display with an intuitive touch-screen interface.”
More than just whiz bang technology, the idea is grounded in consumer data. According to Samsung research, consumers find appliance shopping confusing and uncomfortable. Thirty-six percent are overwhelmed by too many choices, and 77 percent say the current in-store experience doesn’t provide enough product information.
“By blending the physical with the digital, we are transforming the way consumers experience our products and making it much easier for them to shop for appliances,” said Yoon C. Lee, VP, Samsung Electronics. “With retail floors getting more and more cluttered, CenterStage offers virtual access to every Samsung home appliance on the market with an immersive UHD display, engaging graphics, and clear explanations of product features and benefits. It’s a one-stop-shop for all appliance needs, and we believe it will appeal to consumers by enhancing and making their home appliance shopping experience easier than ever.
CenterStage is designed with in-depth product details and explanation of features. Consumers can actually envision what Samsung’s products will look like in their homes, according to the company. In addition, an intuitive and user-friendly touch-screen interface has been integrated to leverage people’s familiarity with smartphone gestures and interactions.
The retail display also allows consumers to imagine how the appliances will look in their homes through the “scene selector” feature, which populates the specified product and color options into a range of kitchen and laundry room settings – from modern to Mediterranean.
Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for June 13, 2014
*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.
Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report.
Lumber: SPF lumber producers in the West and East again came off quotes to sell volumes. Sales improved moderately on Thursday, influenced by the first gain in futures for the week. Chart watchers tried to purchase western 2×4 #2&Btr close to the $300 mark. The degree of uncertainty among Southern Pine lumber buyers and sellers increased as flat prices seemed to waver and more volumes opened to discounts. Buyers perceived some items beginning to buildup at mills, but producers exhibited little urgency to move off any volumes with deep discounts. Weak pricing continued to exist throughout the Coastal species lumber market. Downward price momentum kept buyers from purchasing whenever they could hold off. Narrow widths in dry Hem-Fir took a beating, as mills felt more pressure to compete with SPF volumes and prices. Inland lumber producers spent the week putting a bottom on the lumber market. Prices have begun to show firmness, and buyers are floating more inquiries past mills. Radiata Pine industrials are in good balance, as they have been for some time, and the supply is relatively tight. The lower grades of Ponderosa Pine, #3 Shop and P99, do show some available stock among sellers. Ponderosa Pine board producers continue to report that #2&Btr Common is still the slowest of the three Common grades. Weakest of the #2 items is 1×8, followed by 1×6 and 1×4. Retailers must renew buying activity in order for it to change. Both #3 and #4 Common are reported to be moving at a good pace. Eastern White Pine seems to be following the sun to more improvement. Buyers of Western Red Cedar continued to purchase strong volumes. This continued to place pressure on mills to produce the volumes needed to keep up with orders.
Panels: OSB markets seem to be finding a bottom, and trading was done within a tight range. Mills stuck close to their numbers. A little spike in activity was reported late week, as OSB tried to follow a surge in plywood. Although some traders sensed the potential for an increase in Southern Pine plywood sales, producers lowered rated sheathing prices early in an effort to keep volumes flowing. Trading increased abruptly Wednesday, prices reached a bottom and producers began to raise prices. Western Fir plywood mills experienced solid demand after activity had picked up the week prior. As a result, producers increased quotes and sold sheathing at the higher price levels. Downward pressure in the Canadian plywood market was felt in the market from last week, triggering a one-point drop according to most players. Fir remains tight — most volumes committed — with little to none on the market. Buyers scrambled to find MDF supplies from other producers after news that an explosion and subsequent fire at a Montana MDF mill would halt production. Particleboard mills in both the West and East reported a satisfactory sales week. Enough sales took place to maintain order files.
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