New Product Showcase: Going to the Show
The National Hardware Show has a reputation as the place for retailers of all sizes and affiliations to scout out new products, many of which won’t be unveiled until show time (May 10 to 12). But Home Channel News editors made a few calls to put together this new product showcase — from the garden to the grill.
Outside-in Designs’ clocks can be displayed inside the home or outside in the garden. The varied designs have a British feel, according to the company, which is currently working on a new clock that can be branded with a company name or message. Display stands are available in different sizes for small shops up to large garden centers. The company supplies the U.K. gift and garden center market with a number of other European countries, and distributors are now being sought in North America. (westmeters.co.uk/outside.htm)
The new and improved One2flush’s dual flush design helps save 30 gallons a day for the averagefamily. The chamber knows how much water to use during each flush based one which way the handle is pushed — one way for liquids and the other way for solids. The new version is now easier to install. (one2flush.com)
Intertape Polymer Group Bloc-it Painter’s Tape
Intertape Polymer Group’s Bloc-it, a professional-grade painter’s tape prevents paint “bleeding” and is specially treated to repel paint and prevent bleed-through, allowing the painter to achieve a clean, smooth paint line when the tape is removed. The tape has UV resistance for performance up to 14 days of direct sunlight and longer when used indoors. It also has a specialty fine crepe-paper backing that conforms around difficult areas, such as light switches, moldings, window sashes and door frames. (bloc-it.com)
Channellock High-Leverage Linemen’s Plier
Channellock has introduced its new 8-in. 368 high-leverage linemen’s plier, with high-leveragecapability that is achieved by positioning the rivet fractions of an inch closer to the laser heat-treated cutter. Measuring 8.38 in. in length and weighing less than 1 lb., it also features knife-and-anvil cutters to ensure proper cutting edge alignment. The bottom line: Less force is required to cut through high-tensile-strength fish tape or wire. The tool is built with high carbon C1080 steel and an electronic coating for rust prevention (www.channellock.com)
Laura Ashley Garden
Catering mostly to women, Laura Ashley Garden products feature stylish prints with exclusive Laura Ashley patterns or a coordinating color. Products include Wellingtons, gloves, garden aprons, kneeling cushions, trugs, hand tools, hammocks, picnic baskets, barbecue sets, colored screening and edging, outdoor casual seating, umbrellas, hanging baskets, garden features, patio sets and metal decorative ornamentation. (lauraashley.com)
Jordan Manufacturing Co. Eco-Friendly Wooden Patio Furniture
Jordan Manufacturing Co. guarantees its Eco-Friendly Wooden Patio Furniture will not decay for 15 years. The flexible, strong furniture is made in the U.S.A., FSC-certified and built from Mid-Western Hardwood. The furniture features knock-down construction for reduced shipping costs and drop-ship availability. (jordanmanufacturing.com)
Lokkii Insta-Light Infrared Heat Diamonds
Made from 100% natural ingredients and infused with a plant-based accelerant, Lokkii Insta-Light Infrared Heat Diamonds charcoal briquettes are nitrate-free, low VOC and ozone friendly. And because Lokkii products do not contain petroleum, chemical residue is not transferred during the grilling process. Lokkii products are made from wood waste and recycled materials. Lokkii Insta-Light Infrared Heat Diamonds are available in 7.2-lb. and 13.5-lb. bags. (lokkii.com)
Hyde Tools offers display kit for its 14-in-1 tool
Southbridge, Mass.-based Hyde Tools introduced a point-of-purchase display for a product it calls "the ultimate junk drawer tool."
The 10-5/16 in. by 9-3/16 in. cut-case style merchandiser shows a full-size diagram of the 14-in-1 multi-tool’s functions — including the storage and use of four screwdriver bits in the handle.
“According to the Retail Hardware Association, adding shelf merchandisers in a key area increases sales substantially,” explained Corey Talbot, Hyde’s VP marketing and product development. “Combine that statistic with the growing demand for multi-tools — which account for 30% of sales in the putty knife category. It only makes sense to create a display that helps retailers increase sales and educate customers on the many benefits of what we call ‘the ultimate junk drawer tool.’ ”
D.C. Hotline: Swipe fees and debit dollars
"It is one of the most active lobbying efforts I have ever seen,” quipped Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) recently when asked about the fight over debit card swipe fees.
And that’s saying a lot, considering he’s been on Capitol Hill for 28 years.
The “Swipe Fee Fix,” which was passed as part of the sweeping financial overhaul legislation last year, caps the debit card fees that banks may charge retailers, requiring such charges to be “reasonable and proportional” to underlying costs. Retailers had long sought limits on these "interchange fees," which represent billions in revenue for banks — $14 billion in fact.
The Federal Reserve is considering a proposal due to be finalized in April that would force banks to reduce their debit interchange fees to 12 cents per transaction, down from roughly 44 cents — a difference that amounts to about $14 billion annually. This is why the banks are spending heavily on misleading ad campaigns that state the following: “Washington is helping giant retailers clean out your wallet; Washington is about to hand giant retailers a $14 billion pay day funded by you — and your debit card.”
It’s part of the banks’ latest scare tactics to make the big bad retailers the boogeyman. Unfortunately for the banks, however, thousands of local businesses — from restaurants to florists, convenience stores to lumberyards — like the newly passed law just the way it is. The banks’ hope, of course, is to overturn this provision in the law. But once Congress has done something, it is not easy to turn it around.
Jeremy Stine is manager of government and public affairs for the NLBMDA (dealer.org).