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ISANTA elects 2009 officers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The International Staple, Nail and Tool Association’s (ISANTA’s) board of directors elected new officers, including Guenther Kram as chairman of the board. Kram is the business unit manager at Illinois Tool Works’ Paslode division, located in Vernon Hills, Ill. He has spent 23 years with ITW.

Tom Green was elected ISANTA vice chairman. Green is VP of Pneumatic Products for PrimeSource Building Products, based in Carrollton, Texas. Green has 27 years of experience in the fastening industry, seven with PrimeSource.

ISANTA also elected Chris Miller Secretary/Treasurer. Miller is president and CEO of Master Fasteners International, based in Long Beach, Calif. 

ISANTA has 19 member companies: BeA Fasteners USA; BlueLinx; Black & Decker; Bostitch; California Nail & Supply; Dubai Wire; ITW (Duo-Fast and Paslode); Falcon/Specialty Fasteners; Fasco/Beck; Hitachi Koki USA; Jaaco Corp.; Makita USA; Master Fasteners; Max USA; Millennium Steel & Wire; Prebena; PrimeSource; Senco Fastening Systems; and Tectronic Industries.

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HCN launches online Buyers Guide

BY HBSDEALER Staff

New York City — Home Channel News unveiled the online “Buyers Guide and Product Directory,” a new service that instantly connects users — at no charge — to the industry’s most comprehensive database of building products, tools and hardware.

Created in partnership with Edgenet’s Big Hammer division, the “Buyers Guide and Product Directory” features the widest assortment of product information available in the building materials and home improvement industry, from the widest variety of suppliers. The service provides access to rich data and images for more than 100,000 products from more than 2,000 suppliers.

The combination of Big Hammer’s rich product content and Home Channel News’ position as the leading media source for residential building and home improvement retailers is expected to jump-start the service and quickly establish it as a top-tier portal for home channel professionals. Homechannelnews.com hosts more than 38,000 visitors every week. Users can search the “Buyers Guide and Product Directory” by keyword, or browse by product features, categories or brands, save products to online lists for future reference or contact the supplier directly for more information.

“The Home Channel News ‘Buyers Guide and Product Directory’ will strengthen the home channel community by helping buyers gain easy access to an unprecedented amount of product information and enable them to use that information to build their businesses,” said Jeff Arlen, publisher of Home Channel News. “Our readers will find this new portal to be an invaluable business resource, a natural complement to the high level of news, insight and analysis they have come to expect from our Web site, e-newsletters and print publication.”

Big Hammer is well known in the home channel for powering the Web sites and stores of leading hardware, tool and building product retailers, distributors and showrooms. Its “Buyers Guide and Product Directory” platform was designed to help merchants discover and compare new or alternative products. For suppliers, this new functionality is the most efficient venue to showcase products to a broad selection of merchants throughout the industry. 

“When selecting a media partner for our product finder program, Home Channel News was the obvious choice,” said Tim Stafford, senior VP of Edgenet Interactive. “They have developed a strong reputation with merchants and suppliers alike by providing relevant and timely information to the marketplace.”

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Home shows strength at Wal-Mart

BY HBSDEALER Staff

It’s been a long time since Wal-Mart singled out the home or DIY categories as strong sales performers, but that was the case during March as the company reported a 0.6% same-store sales increase. While that figure isn’t impressive on a standalone basis and was short of analysts’ expectations, the home and DIY categories achieved a mid-single digit increase during March, according to the company. Other categories singled out for strength included health and wellness and grocery.

Overall, the relatively weak results in March were explained by a major swing in the timing of Easter, which falls on April 11 this year compared to March 23 last year. The shift made March results appear weak, but April results will appear strong.

“Based on the initial strength of our sales this week, we expect Easter to drive April sales performance,” said Wal-Mart vice chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright. “Clarity of offering, quality brands, unbeatable prices and strong operational execution are driving growth in multiple categories.”

Anticipated strength in April caused Wal-Mart to update its sales and earnings guidance by noting that it expects U.S. same-store sales to be around the high end of a previously forecast range of 1% to 3% and that earnings per share would be toward the high end of the range of $0.72 to $0.77 provided in February. Despite the affirmation of sales and earnings guidance, the market was focused on the 0.6% same-store sales increase announced Thursday morning. Shares opened sharply lower at $50.04 from the previous day’s close of $52.61.

Even so, Castro-Wright maintained Wal-Mart remains well positioned for today’s economy.

“People are choosing to spend money in key discretionary categories across the stores, and this is translating to improvement is several areas of our business, including home,” he said.

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