Lincoln Electric acquires Torchmate
Lincoln Electric Holdings, a manufacturer of welding and soldering equipment, has announced the acquisition of Applied Robotics, known in the welding industry by its brand name, Torchmate. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Based in Reno, Nev., Torchmate offers a wide selection of CNC plasma and oxyfuel cutting tables and systems to small and medium-sized fabricators. The company’s annual sales are approximately $13 million.
"Metal cutting is closely aligned with arc welding, and the addition of Torchmate will bolster our ability to provide cutting process solutions for our customers," said John Stropki, chairman and CEO of Lincoln Electric.
Lincoln Electric is a leading supplier of arc welding products, robotic arc welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment, and has a leading global position in the brazing and soldering alloys market. Headquartered in Cleveland, Lincoln has 41 manufacturing locations, including operations and joint ventures in 19 countries and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering more than 160 countries.
Staten Island stores donate fans
Several retailers on Staten Island, including two hardware stores, have donated fans to low-income senior citizens who may be at risk because of the heat wave in New York, according to an article in the Staten Island Real-Time News.
The “Fans for Seniors” programs began with a call to the office of City Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore) by a non-profit senior agency asking for help in securing donated air conditioners. But local retailers were all sold out. So the councilwoman’s staff asked for fans instead.
Doody’s Home Improvement, Ace Hardware, Best Buy and Target all stepped forward with box fans, which are being distributed by Richmond Senior Services and Meals on Wheels of Staten Island.
Service outweighs price in appliance survey
A customer satisfaction survey by J.D. Powers and Associates found that sales, delivery and installation service are slightly more important than facilities, product assortment and price when it comes to buying major appliances.
Combined, the importance of the sales staff, delivery and installation service factors slightly exceed the combined importance of the store facility, merchandise and price factors (51% versus 49%, respectively). Courtesy of the sales staff is the most important aspect within the sales staff and service factor, while courtesy of delivery personnel is the most important element of delivery service.
"Appliance retailers often try to compete on price and merchandise, but the main differentiator when it comes to satisfaction is having knowledgeable and courteous staff available to assess and help meet customer needs," said Jim Howland, senior director of the real estate and construction practice at J.D. Power and Associates.
Lowe’s ranked highest in customer satisfaction with appliance retailers for a second consecutive year, achieving a score of 807 on a 1,000-point scale. The North Carolina home improvement chain performed particularly well in four of the six factors: store facility, price, delivery service and installation service. Following Lowe’s in the ranking were hhgregg (799), Sears (793) and Home Depot (783).
The 2011 Appliance Retailer Study is based on responses from more than 4,400 customers who purchased a laundry or kitchen appliance within the previous 24 months from a major appliance retailer. The study was fielded between March and April 2011.