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Majority of AHMA members say sales are up

BY Ken Clark

An American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) survey of members found 58% of respondents say sales were higher in March, compared with the year-ago period.

That’s up from 48% who said the same in February.

Timothy Farrell, AHMA president and CEO said: “It is encouraging to see 58% of our members reporting higher sales on a year-over-year basis, but we continue to feel that sales have a potential to be even better for our industry. When the housing sector recovers to pre-recession levels and the national employment situation improves, we expect to see much more robust sales growth for the industry.”

Looking forward one year, 79% of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 60% who felt that way in February. Eleven percent of March respondents project sales will be even one year from now, and 11% project sales will be below current levels.

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Orgill joins Home Improvement Research Institute

BY Ken Clark

Memphis, Tenn.-based hardlines distributor Orgill is the latest home improvement player to join the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI). 

HIRI, which ended 2012 with 77 members, is a membership-based, independent, not-for-profit organization of manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and allied organizations in the home improvement industry. 

Founded in 1847, Orgill describes itself as "the world’s largest independently owned hardlines distributor" and provides retailers across the United States and in more than 60 countries access to more than 60,000 products and retail services.

HIRI is managed by Lebhar-Friedman, the parent company of HCN.

 

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Haier America expands recall of chest freezers

BY Ken Clark

Haier America expanded a recall of chest freezers that the company said can overheat, posing a fire hazard. The recall affects about 41,000 freezers. An additional 67,500 freezers were recalled in November 2010. 

This recall involves the Haier models HNCM070E with 7.0 cubic foot capacity and ESNCM053E with 5.3 cubic foot capacity, and Black & Decker model BFE53 with 5.3 cubic foot capacity white chest freezers. “Haier” is printed on the upper-left corner of the freezer, or “Black & Decker” is printed on the front upper-right corner of the freezer.   

In addition to the 18 incidents reported in the November 2010 recall, which included four reports of fires with minor property damage, Haier America and CPSC have received 27 additional incident reports. This includes three fires that caused substantial property damage. There have been no reports of injuries. 

The products were manufactured in China.

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