National Hardware Show held in Las Vegas
Las Vegas The 2008 National Hardware Show was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, featuring about 3,500 exhibitors in 150 product categories and including Lawn & Garden World, the Homewares Show and an expanded new product section.
About 30,000 members of the home improvement retail community are expected to attend the three-day show, which represents a 10 percent jump from last year. Dean Russo, group vp-Reed Exhibitions and head of this year’s National Hardware Show, said this is a nice vote of confidence during some trying times for the home improvement industry.
“I think they understand that when market conditions are tough, it’s time to get more aggressive, not only to get through the bad times in the next 12 to 18 months, but to put themselves in a good position for when we come out of it,” Russo added.
Other highlights of the show include Inventor’s Spotlight, where attendees can look at newly patented or patent-pending products; the new Green Product World highlighting the latest in green, eco-friendly products; Global Hardware Expo, with more than 1,200 international vendors; and a series of educational seminars addressing challenges and trends in the industry.
In addition, Home Channel News’ Golden Hammer Awards — honoring retailers and manufacturers who have excelled in strategic partnerships — was presented in a special ceremony May 6.
The show, in its 62nd year, ran through May 8.
Weyerhaeuser counts a loss in the first quarter
Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s largest forest products companies, reported a net loss of $148 million for the first quarter of 2008, a large drop from the $720 million in earnings recorded in the same period last year.
Net sales for the first quarter were $3.4 billion, down 24.4 percent from $4.5 billion last year.
“Business conditions are extremely challenging,” said Daniel Fulton, president and CEO. “The number of single-family housing starts is now below the previous lows of 1979-82. Since many of our products are dependent upon single-family housing starts, we’ve experienced record low product prices when adjusted for inflation.”
The company has reduced its capacity for oriented strand board (OSB) and softwood lumber, Fulton said, and the company “will continue to take action as necessary to balance production to demand.”
The company is putting stock, however, in selling assets to maintain a “focus on our long-term strategic direction,” he added. One example has been the sale of Weyerhaeuser’s containerboard packaging and recycling assets to International Paper for $6 billion.
Declining prices and rising costs have hit the company, with prices for OSB and engineered wood products on the decline. Log costs, fuel costs and costs related to silviculture (replanting forests) have all risen, causing further strain, the company said.
Based in Federal Way, Wash., Weyerhaeuser had 2007 sales of $16.3 billion.
IKEA plans first Latin American location
According to a press release from the government of the Dominican Republic, IKEA has set its sights on that country for its first Latin American store, to be opened in early 2009.
The retailer plans to invest about $65 million on a store location near the country’s capitol of Santo Domingo, according to a report in Dominican Today.
The Dominican Republic has been one Latin American country targeted by international retailers in recent years because of its entry into trade agreements with the United States and the European Union.
Wal-Mart is one retailer that has reportedly had interest in the Dominican Republic — the world’s largest retailer has eyed a number of Central American locations. Rumors of the impending appearance of Home Depot, Sears, JC Penney and other retailers have persisted in media outlets and message boards catering to residents of the Dominican Republic. The IKEA announcement, however, has been the only entry officially confirmed by the country.