Optimus recalls portable electric heaters
Optimus Enterprises of Anaheim, Calif., announced a recall Portable Infrared Radiant Quartz Electric Space Heaters due to a fire hazard.
The recall affects some 355,000 units that were sold at Northern Tool, Best Buy Market Place, Family Dollar, Heartland, Rite Aid and other stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, ebay.com and Walmart.com from October 2011 through December 2012 for between $25 and $30.
The heater design can fail to prevent ignition of nearby combustible materials that come in contact with the unit, posing a fire hazard to the consumer. No incidents or injuries have been reported.
The product was manufactured in China by Dongguang Hong-Hwa Electric Co., according to the recall announcement.
Haier names new sales and marketing executive
Haier has named Rian Cain senior VP of sales and marketing for Home Appliances and Home Comfort. Mr. Cain comes to Haier with over 30 years of experience in the appliances industry, including 22 years with Maytag Corp.
He will report to Ma Chunyu, COO of Haier America, and will lead all product marketing, sales and branding initiatives for Home Comfort and Home Appliance products.
“Rian Cain brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his 30 years in the industry and we are excited for him to continue our commitment to provide innovative home solutions to consumers,” said Chunyu. “We are confident that his exceptional ability to build context and meaning behind our brand combined with his deep understanding of the retail industry uniquely qualify him to lead our sales and marketing teams through this next phase of our growth.”
Most recently, Mr. Cain served as VP of sales and marketing with American TV & Appliances. Prior to American, he was VP sales and marketing for Sharp Electronics for the Home Appliance division. Previous to Sharp, Mr. Cain spent the first 22 years of his career with Maytag where he held progressively increasing roles of sales and marketing responsibility.
Builder confidence improves in May
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes improved three points to 44 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for May. This gain, from a downwardly revised 41 in April, reflected improvement in all three index components — current sales conditions, sales expectations and traffic of prospective buyers.
“Builders are noting an increased sense of urgency among potential buyers as a result of thinning inventories of homes for sale, continuing affordable mortgage rates and strengthening local economies,” said NAHB chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “This is definitely an encouraging sign even amidst rising challenges with regard to the cost and availability of building materials, lots and labor.”
All three HMI components posted gains. The index gauging current sales conditions increased four points to 48, the index gauging expectations for future sales increased a single point to 53, and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers gained three points to 33.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, no movement was recorded in the Northeast, Midwest or South, which held unchanged at 37, 45 and 42, respectively. Only the West recorded a decline, of six points to 49 in May.
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.