Leviton plants flag in South Africa
Melville, N.Y.-based Leviton announced the establishment of its first base of operations in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new South African facility, which will operate as Leviton Africa (Pty), will provide commercial lighting solutions to customers in one of the world’s most rapidly expanding markets.
With the opening, Leviton also furthers its global expansion efforts to now include a footprint on all seven continents.
“Over the past decade, Leviton has systematically and strategically grown our global presence to connect with the world’s most robust economies, insomuch that we now reach every continent around the globe,” said Bruno Filio, VP international business development for Leviton. “The Johannesburg facility has been a vital component of our global expansion efforts as it establishes the foundation for Leviton in South Africa and sets the stage for possible expansion to neighboring countries.”
The Johannesburg facility will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Leviton, while selling commercial lighting and networking products through specialized distributors. Michael Traynor, an executive with extensive experience in the regional market, will serve as the site lead.
BrassCraft packages new brand strategy
Novi, Mich.-based BrassCraft Manufacturing is launching a new look for its retail line of water and gas plumbing products as it brings all of the line under the BrassCraft label.
Over two years of focused research and customer feedback has been considered in the design of the new packaging which consolidates the company’s line of plumbing supplies under the BrassCraft brand. The new packaging began hitting store shelves in mid-January, with a complete rollout expected by April 2014.
The BrassCraft packaging is designed to be user-friendly and will be a bold and prominent feature in retail settings; the signature bright blue and yellow packaging is eye-catching. Simplified notes on the front and expanded information on the back label will allow consumers to make an informed buying decision. Each package contains detailed installation instructions to make installing products quick and easy.
"We are fired up about the new custom-printed packaging – it’s like being greeted in a whole new way by a familiar friend," said George Werner, VP, retail sales-BrassCraft Manufacturing. "The big news is that we are merging our retail line of plumbing products under the BrassCraft name and that consumers will be confident that they are buying top quality when they see the familiar BrassCraft logo on the new package. The new look and intuitive packaging now makes it not only easier to find products on stores’ shelves, but to match the right product to the job at hand.”
BassCraft says the space-efficient packaging allows retailers to place more product in less space, resulting in more sales and profit dollars per square foot of valuable in-store real estate.
Department headers, aisle dividers, sizing guides, product displays and consumer brochures are designed to make the BrassCraft plumbing area an easy-to-shop, self-sell aisle. A new easy-to-use catalogue helps ensure that finding and ordering the right plumbing products is faster and easier than before and places information right at the customer’s fingertips.
Sales up, earnings down for Toro in Q1
The first fiscal quarter of 2014 proved relatively constructive for The Toro Co.’s sales, but the equipment manufacturer backtracked in terms of net earnings.
Toro reported net sales of about $446 million for the three months ended Jan. 31, a 0.29% increase from the same period last year.
Meanwhile, net earnings weighed in at $25.9 million, down from $31.4 million in the first quarter of 2013.
The company attributed the sales growth to strong demand for snow products and confirmed its strong positioning (thanks to new product offerings) for the primary selling season.
"Golf course development and renovations continue to progress and customers and channel partners alike are excited about our innovative new equipment and irrigation offerings, including those featured at the recent Golf Industry Show," said chairman and CEO Michael Hoffman. "Landscape contractor equipment sales are poised to benefit from the additional revenues generated by contractors this winter, as well as the increased demand we expect for our zero-turn radius mowers featuring new electronic fuel injection and onboard intelligence technologies. Global food demand and increased water-use restrictions continue to drive the need for more efficient irrigation solutions for agriculture, including our new Neptune thin wall drip line with flat emitter technology."