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Interior designers battle over name

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The National Kitchen and Bath Association has decided to allocate $750,000 in funds to oppose “interior design title” legislation in fiscal year 2008. In a prepared statement, the national trade organization said it is attempting to stop a concerted effort “by a handful of interior designers” to restrict consumers’ choices when it comes to choosing kitchen, bath or other type of design services.

“Our members are happy to compete on the merits of their skill or expertise,” said NKBA general counsel Edward Nagsky. “But the state governments should not mandate who a consumer must hire to provide design services, which will limit the free market and increase the cost of design services.”

The Alabama Supreme Court recently struck down that state’s interior design practice regulations, declaring that, “The average citizen is [capable] of choosing a competent interior designer without the State’s help.”

Last October, a bill was introduced in the Ohio state legislature that would regulate the use of the term “interior designer.” Illinois is considering amending its law, which prohibits individuals from calling themselves “interior designers” unless they are licensed.

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Orchard Supply names new execs

BY HBSDEALER Staff

San Jose, Calif.-based Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) has announced the appointment of Robert Burgess as associate vp-consumer marketing; and Janis Healy as associate vp-visual merchandising.

Burgess has a 20-year career in developing consumer strategies, having held senior marketing positions with Verizon, West Marine and major consumer marketing agencies, including Rupp Collins and Bunn Forbes.

Healy has a 30-year career of leading store theater and visual brand positioning at several retailers, including Petco, West Marine and Best Buy. Healy most recently served as associate vp-visual merchandising and store design at West Marine.

Both positions will report to Tom Carey, chief marketing officer at OSH.

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Sears launches ‘ReImagine You’ campaign

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears has launched a new marketing campaign in an effort to boost excitement about the brand in the wake of the company’s less-than-optimistic year-end financial results.

The campaign, called “ReImagine You,” launched March 1 and will run to the end of May. The push is aimed toward helping consumers find interesting and economical ways to improve their homes.

“ ‘ReImagine You’ aims to inspire imaginations and provide the tools and advice to make practical dreams a reality,” the company said in a release. Specifically, the company plans to use spokespeople including Eric Stromer, host of HGTV’s “Over Your Head,” and Ty Pennington, handyman for ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Sears has launched a Web site, reimagineyourself.com, featuring tips from Stromer, Pennington, NYC interior designer Eric Cohler and an expert on “green” home improvements, Deborah Barrow.

The company also plans to renovate the homes of 70 veterans of the armed forces on April 26 as part of National Rebuilding Day.

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