Industry Dashboard for March 21, 2011
Unadjusted retail sales for home centers and hardware stores for January show improvement over the same month last year.
Elsewhere on the Dashboard, the housing-starts needle swings in the wrong direction to a pace of 479,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. Single-family starts slip to 375,000, the lowest level since March 2009.
Irwin Tools crowns the 2011 Ultimate Tradesman
Bristol, Tenn. — A carpenter from Halifax, England, outlasted some 16,000 tradesmen to win $10,000 in the finals of a tradesman skills competition held at the Bristol Motor Speedway during race day on Sunday.
The event was part of a larger campaign by Irwin Tools to elevate and support the often underappreciated tradesman, according to organizers. "Tradesmen keep America running strong, and this is our way of saying thanks for what they do for our country," said Curt Rahilly, VP marketing for Irwin Tools.
Of the 16,000 competitors in the Irwin Ultimate Tradesman Challenge, Dan Shepherd won the event by cutting, gripping, drilling, measuring and sawing faster and more accurately than anyone else. The contest culminated here at the Bristol Motor Speedway on March 20, coinciding with Nascar’s Jeff Byrd 500 race.
A companion promotion for consumers runs through July 8 and offers people a chance to win a trip to the Bristol Speedway in August — and $1 million if driver Jamie McMurray wins the race — for saying "thanks" to a tradesman through Irwin.com.
The tool manufacturer, a division of Newell Rubbermaid, will also promote a National Tradesemen Day Sept. 16, 2011, Rahilly said.
Sears takes aggressive approach to advertising
An article in the New York Times reports that Sears’ aggressive "Turf Wars" advertising campaign is part of a trend toward mentioning competitors by name.
Described as a marketing platform including social media and online video clips, The Sears Turf Wars campaign brings Lowe’s and Home Depot into the picture.
In the promotion, Sears is guaranteeing the lowest price for its Craftsman tractors and mowers.