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Lowe’s sales feel the chill in Q1

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s reported net earnings of $540 million for the quarter ended May 3, 2013, a 2.5% increase over the same period a year ago. 

Sales for the quarter decreased 0.5% to $13.1 billion from $13.2 billion in the year-ago quarter. Comparable-store sales for the quarter decreased 0.7%. 

“Results for indoor categories were solid for the quarter, a testament to the team’s continued focus on improving our core business through cross-functional collaboration and consistent execution in stores and across other selling channels,” said Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. 

“Cooler than normal temperatures and greater precipitation resulted in a delayed spring selling season, which impacted our results in exterior categories,” Niblock added. “While overall performance in the month of March was particularly soft, April improved significantly, and we have maintained that positive momentum through the first few weeks of May.”

The company repurchased $1.0 billion of stock and paid $178 million in dividends in the first quarter of 2013, moves that it described as "delivering on the commitment to return excess cash to shareholders."

As of May 3, 2013, Lowe’s operated 1,755 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing 197.5 million sq. ft. of retail selling space.

Lowe’s said it expects to open about 10 new stores this year.

Lowe’s reported its results the day after rival Home Depot announced first-quarter sales of $19.1 billion, up 7.4%.

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People in the News: Promotion at Arrow Fastener Co.

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Saddle Brook, N.J.-based Arrow Fastener Co., manufacturer of manual and electric staples, nail guns, and glue and rivet tools, has named Roberto Izaguirre as VP sales.

Just prior to receiving his new appointment, Izaguirre served as VP international sales, responsible for pursuing the addition of new distribution channels, new partners and new business opportunities for Arrow in Europe, the Pacific Rim, Asia and Latin America. In his new position, Izaguirre will be responsible for all domestic and international sales. Arrow sells its products through home centers, mass merchants and specialized retailers. 

He will continue to report directly to Arrow Fastener president Gary DuBoff. 

“I am very excited to have Roberto leading our sales organization," said DuBoff. "His strong track record in international sales and category expertise are tremendous assets for Arrow as he continues to drive sales. He has the right combination of creativity and pragmatism to guide differentiated customer-focused solutions and integrated communications." 

Prior to joining Arrow, Izaguirre was VP sales and marketing for Signature Control Systems (previously L. R. Nelson Corporation, Peoria, Ill.), a manufacturer of professional underground irrigation products. He also was director general of México, Ace Hardware International. 

Arrow operates as a subsidiary of Masco Corp.

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Home beverage products quench consumer thirst

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Research from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group shows that in the 12 months ended March 2013, sales of home beverage appliances were more than $2.6 billion.

Home beverage appliances include home soda machines, single-serve coffeemakers, drip coffeemakers, espresso makers, countertop blenders, juice extractors, citrus juicers and tea makers.

“Innovation in categories like home soda machines and single-serve brewing systems is attracting consumers and spurring new product introductions,” said Debra Mednick, executive director and home industry analyst for NPD.

Sales of home soda machines are more than double what they were last year, with the average selling price up slightly in the 12 months ended March 2013. “In addition to the brisk sales of the machines, sales of the accessories and flavorings are increasing exponentially,” Mednick said.

In the countertop blender area, website sales represented 15% of sales and nearly a third juice extractor sales. Each of these product types experienced significant increases over the previous year.

The largest appliance segment among hot beverage options, single-serve brewing systems served up more than $900 million in sales for the 12-month period. But the growth has slowed compared with performance of recent years. Much of the gain in single serve came from online sales, with a 40% dollar increase in the 12 months ended March 2013 against the previous year, despite a slight decline in average selling price.

Website sales brought in 17% of the single-serve brewer dollars between April 2012 and March 2013. “After years of strong double-digit growth, single-serve coffeemaker dollars are now more than 60% larger than sales of the traditional drip coffeemakers. However, traditional drip coffeemakers still dominate in unit sales, at 2.5 times that of single serve,” said Mednick.

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