Obama calls out Master Lock in national address
Addressing the need to keep jobs from moving offshore, President Obama singled out Master Lock as an example of a company that moved jobs back to the United States — and should be rewarded for it.
“A few weeks ago, the CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs back home,” Obama said in his Jan. 24 “State of the Union” address before the U.S. Congress. “Today, for the first time in 15 years, Master Lock’s unionized plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity.”
A Master Lock spokeswoman said that CEO John Heppner, along with several other CEOs, met with the president, the vice president and cabinet members in an “Insourcing American Jobs” forum on Jan. 11 at the White House.
Since mid-2010, Master Lock has brought back approximately 100 jobs from China to its Milwaukee factory, which is unionized. Increasingly higher labor and logistics costs in Asia contributed to the decision. Milwaukee provided a more competitive overall cost structure, better control and the ability to better serve customers, according to a statement from the company.
Obama returned to the theme of insourcing a little later in his speech when he addressed the tax code.
“Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it,” Obama continued. “If you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it. That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies like Master Lock that decide to bring jobs home.”
In his prepared statement, Heppner stressed that the federal government also needs to improve access to skilled labor and improve the supply chain structure in North America.
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Lowe’s forms partnership with social media site
Lowe’s and Houzz, a website for home remodeling ideas, design and social interaction, has announced a marketing relationship that kicks off with a "Dream Kitchen" sweepstakes. The winner of the contest will receive a “dream kitchen,” valued at $50,000, designed and built by Houzz’s top designers and contractors with materials from Lowe’s.
"We’re proud to announce a first-of-its kind marketing alliance with Houzz," said Gihad Jawhar, VP Lowes.com. "With Houzz’s impressive community of designers and renovators and Lowe’s innovative online retail experience, we will provide the best possible tools and resources to improve homes at every stage of a project, from inspiration to completion."
Houzz enables consumers and remodeling professionals to collaborate using visual, mobile, local and social tools. The Houzz site and mobile apps feature more than 250,000 high-quality interior and exterior photos, thousands of articles written by design experts, product recommendations, and a directory of residential remodeling and design professionals across the United States, Canada and other countries.
By May 2012, Houzz’s image gallery and articles will be integrated into the MyLowe’s site, allowing consumers to add inspirational content to their home improvement projects. For more information about MyLowe’s, visit lowes.com/myLowes.
The new partnership follows Lowe’s recent acquisition of ATG Stores, an online retailer of home improvement and lifestyle products based in Kirkland, Wash.
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HD tests commerce-enabled ads
Home Depot is running a mobile ad campaign that allows consumers to click on ads to make a direct purchase, according to an article in Mobile Commerce Daily.
The ads, which are focused on flooring products, runs with Pandora’s iPhone application. The Atlanta retailer also has several different banner ads running that advertise the flooring promotion. One reads: “Top-quality tile at prices that’ll floor you.” Others promote specific brands of flooring.
By tapping on the ads, users are taken to homedepot.com to view the retailer’s flooring options, brands, prices and product ratings. Consumers can also make purchases directly via their mobile devices.
Those in a hurry to pick up their purchases can enter their zip codes to find the nearest Home Depot store, or use their device’s own GPS system.
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