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Nolan Pike to lead Electrolux North American cooking business

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Electrolux has named Nolan Pike as senior VP and general manager for its North American cooking business, effective Dec. 2.

Pike most recently worked for Sears as its Kenmore Brand VP and general manager and as the top merchant for Sears Home Appliances. He also spent many years in manufacturing and led the development, launch and product management of several cooking lines. 

“We produce one out of every three ovens shipped in North America,” said Jack Truong, president and CEO of Electrolux Major Appliances North America. “When you align a strong talent like Nolan with North America’s largest cooking business, it is a win for consumers and the appliance market." 

Pike holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and an MBA from Lehigh University. He will report directly to Truong and will be a member of the company’s North American leadership team.  

In other company news, Electrolux also announced that John Terzo, current head of the cooking business, is retiring after 32 years with the company.  

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Existing-home sales continue decline, prices stay strong

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Existing-home sales declined for the second consecutive month in October, the National Association of Relators reported. Still, home prices stayed strong thanks to tight inventory.

Total existing-home sales were down 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.12 million. Nevertheless, this is still a 6.0% improvement over October 2012, and the 28-month streak of year-over-year improvement remains unbroken.

Single-family home sales were down 4.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.49 million, but remained 5.2% above year-ago figures.

Meanwhile, the national median existing-home price was $199,500, up 12.8% year-over-year. Part of this gain is attributed to fewer distressed home sales in 2013.

“The erosion in buying power is dampening home sales,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Moreover, low inventory is holding back sales, while at the same time pushing up home prices in most of the country. More new home construction is needed to help relieve the inventory pressure and moderate price gains.”

Total housing inventory was down 1.8% to 2.13 million homes available for sale, marking a 5.0-month supply up marginally from September’s.

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Retail sales up 0.4% in October

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Advance estimates for retail and food service sales came in at $428.1 billion for the month of October, a larger-than-expected increase of 0.4%, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. September sales also enjoyed an upwardly revised boost from -0.1% to an increase of 0.5%.

Retail trade sales largely mirrored that of total retail and food service sales, both of which were up 3.9% over last year.

Adjusted totals for building material and garden equipment & supplies dealers (NAICS 444) were $25.8 billion, a 1.9% decrease since September. However, the figures maintain an edge over October 2012 by a margin of 4.2%.

Auto and other motor vehicle dealers realized the largest year-over-year improvement at 11.9%, with nonstore retailers close behind at 8.2%. 

Many economists expected sales to flatline or decline in October due to the steep drop in consumer confidence caused by the government shutdown. The relatively optimistic report suggests that holiday sales may be higher than expected this year, though Gallup just issued a rather uninspired forecast.

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