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NRF sees ‘made in USA,’ even in imports

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A new report (titled "Rethinking Made in America in the 21st Century") from the National Retail Federation suggests that imports may contain more U.S. components than the label reveals.

That includes all imported products sold in the U.S., and the components could include any number of parts or content that support American jobs.

The reason why? Federal law provides that products can’t bear the "Made in America" or "Made in USA" stamp unless American workers manufacture the product and "all or virtually all" of the parts are made on home turf.

"This report looks at retailers’ worldwide sourcing of merchandise not just as a global supply chain but as a global value chain,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “It shows the value added at each step along the way, not just in manufacturing but from the initial concept to the finished product. Even in a product that says ‘Made in China,’ much of what goes into that product is ‘Made in America.’ That means millions of American jobs for American workers regardless of what the label might say.”

Among the study’s findings are some fairly staggering figures — apparel products contain over 70% U.S. value on average, and some foreign-brand automobiles contain up to 95% U.S. content, even though there are no U.S. cars with more than 75% U.S. content.

The iPod, as another example, has $162 in American content and $4 in Chinese content, though it’s labeled "Made in China."

Additionally, 11.2% of U.S. employment was sustained by global supply chains in 2008.

The report was prepared by Laura M. Baughman, a Washington economist specializing in international trade as well as president of The Trade Partnership.

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GE says LED bulbs shine better than before

BY HBSDEALER Staff

East Cleveland, Ohio-based GE Lighting says it has introduced its most incandescent-like consumer LED portfolio yet, including more than 40 new LED products and fixtures.

The company also says it is helping the homeowner fill every socket in the house with the appropriate, low-energy bulb.

“We know the light consumers love, and we’ve reinvented and perfected the LED to emulate incandescent light,” said John Strainic, general manager, Consumer Lighting for GE in North America. “We know that when consumers think about energy-efficient lighting, many are deterred by the memory of early CFL bulbs produced by some manufacturers, and we want them to know that with GE LED lighting, there are no tradeoffs.” 

The time is right for the new line, the company said. 

When the first CFL bulbs came to market nearly 30 years ago, consumer adoption was slowed by the fact that many of these products didn’t meet consumer expectations of light preference and home application needs. Technology and design have advanced to a new level.

GE says its LED bulbs provide instant brightness, energy efficiency, using 80% less energy than old incandescent bulbs, and long life, lasting 15 times longer — all with the same quality of light.

To calculate a home’s energy-saving potential by switching to LED lighting, GE Lighting has developed a new tool, an LED energy-saving calculator. This tool translates energy savings into relatable terms for consumers.

"While no other technology has enabled us to explore these exciting, new opportunities with lighting, we know we need to guide consumers through this fundamental lifestyle shift from the way they’ve lit their homes for more than 100 years," said Strainic. 

Consumers can find newly designed A-line Energy Star-qualified LED products at Walmart. A third generation 40- and 60-watt will be available in May, and second generation 75- and 100-watt replacement LEDs will be available this summer.

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Staples taps former Depot executive

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Former Home Depot marketing executive Frank Bifulco was named executive VP marketing for Framingham, Massachusetts-based Staples.

In the newly created role, Bifulco will lead marketing across the office supply company’s operations.

“Frank is a passionate leader who brings an immense wealth of marketing, analytic and sales experience at some of the world’s most-respected companies to Staples,” said Ron Sargent, chairman and CEO. “He will help us build on the success of our Make More Happen brand launch as we continue to let customers know that Staples has every product their business needs to succeed.”

Bifulco will report to Sargent and will be a member of the company’s executive committee.

Bifulco previously served as chief marketing officer at Home Depot. He has held marketing leadership positions at Coca-Cola and Timberland. In addition, he was president of North American sales at Hasbro. 

Bifulco is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds master’s degrees from Cornell University and Central Michigan University.

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