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No clear winner in grills, patio furniture sales

BY Ken Clark

A market share analysis of outdoor living products by The Stevenson Co. shows that consumers pick and choose their retailers when it comes to outdoor power equipment, grills, mulch, and other lawn and garden merchandise.

The TraQline Quarterly report, the results of a survey that measures brand shares, retailer shares and consumer behavior trends, indicates that Walmart, Lowe’s and The Home Depot all vie for the top spot selling charcoal grills. While Walmart is the share leader for charcoal grill purchases at 23%, Lowe’s and The Home Depot follow closely behind at 20% and 19%, respectively. 

Other highlights from the report include:

• Compared with other retailers, more consumers choose to buy lawn and garden items from The Home Depot and Lowe’s.

• Consumers rely on Sears over any other retailer for purchasing lawn mowers, but Lowe’s, having eclipsed The Home Depot, is catching up.

• The Home Depot is the clear leader for bag mulch purchases, selling more than one-third of all mulch to U.S. consumers.

• Consumers showed no strong preference for patio furniture shopping, with "other outlets" combined leading the pack ahead of individual, larger retailers and big-box stores. 

"For many categories, Lowe’s, The Home Depot and Walmart compete with each other for the lawn and garden customer," said Eric Voyer, VP of The Stevenson Co. "From a trend perspective, we’re seeing an increase in the big-box home improvement stores’ ability to attract customers. To increase market share and remain viable, retailers and manufacturers must continually look at the factors that drive consumers’ purchasing habits and address these preferences in a meaningful way. Promotional activities and assortments play a huge role in winning the battle for the consumers."

Based in Louisville, Ky., The Stevenson Co. produces market intelligence for retailers and manufacturers selling in North America.

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Channellock announces promotion

BY Ken Clark

Pliers and hand-tool manufacturer Channellock has promoted Erin Bahurinsky to online account representative/data coordinator.

In her new position, Bahurinsky will be responsible for maintaining and enhancing all aspects of internal and external data as they relate to the sales, marketing and customer service departments. Bahurinsky will develop and maintain online distributors as an account representative and refine online social media sites.

“Erin is an integral part of the sales and marketing team,” said Mark Yoder, national sales manager. “We are excited to put her skills to work in new capacities. This is an opportunity for Channellock to bring all aspects of content and Web under one position.”

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WaterSense tags irrigation controllers

BY Ken Clark

Marking the first time an outdoor technology has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense label, Cyber-Rain, of Encino, Calif., announced that its full line of weather-based controllers has been independently certified to meet the WaterSense specification for weather-based irrigation controllers. 

Homeowners, municipalities, businesses and irrigation professionals can now select WaterSense-labeled controllers that operate like a thermostat for sprinkler systems.

Operating like a thermostat for sprinkler systems, these controllers use local weather data to turn a system on and off depending on when the landscape needs water, reducing water waste and runoff. Across the country, these controllers have the potential to save home and building owners 110 billion gallons of water annually and roughly $410 million per year on utility bills.

Cyber-Rain’s innovative “sprinkler controllers with a brain” use the Internet to check local weather conditions and automatically adjust run times for a property’s irrigation system. According to Cyber-Rain, users can save up to 40% on their water bills, and the system can often pay for itself in one to two years.

WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers can be standalone controllers, add-on devices and plug-in devices used to control watering in both residential and commercial/institutional applications. With more than 13.5 million landscape irrigation systems currently in use across the United States, upgrading these systems to include properly installed and programmed WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers can significantly reduce water waste, provide convenience and meet plants’ water needs while promoting healthy landscapes.

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes and services. Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save 125 billion gallons of water and more than $2 billion in water and energy bills.  

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