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Pfister fixtures simplify bathroom projects

BY Ken Clark

Lake Forest, Calif.-based Pfister is rolling out a product designed to make bathroom fixture upgrades easier for the homeowner.

Pfister has launched the first Universal Tub and Shower product in the faucet category, a tub and shower fixture that is compatible with eight different water valves from three of the leading manufacturers in the plumbing industry — Pfister, Moen and Delta.

“Until now, replacing an outdated tub and shower fixture meant homeowners needed a big budget and professional help for a total renovation, or they were limited to finding a replacement that fit the old valve behind the wall. Unfortunately the second option usually meant limited style choices and basic functionality,” said Trent Harrington, senior brand manager, Pfister. “By introducing Universal Tub and Shower, we are giving consumers multiple style and finish options, which coordinate with any décor and that fit several of the leading manufactures valves.” 

Pfister’s Universal Tub and Shower comes in traditional and transitional architectural styles and provides three different finish options, including Chrome, Brushed Nickel and Tuscan Bronze.

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RONA reports rise in Q2 net earnings

BY Brae Canlen

Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA, the Canadian hardware retailer and distributor, saw a distribution sales increase of 8.7% in its second fiscal quarter of 2012, while retail and commercial sales rose 1.8%.

Beginning with the quarter, RONA changed the way it measures comparable-store sales. For the first time, the company is including distribution sales to affiliate dealers, and on that basis, same-store sales rose 1% in the second quarter.

Before the revision, the company had reported seven consecutive quarters of same-store sales declines.

In RONA’s retail and commercial business, same-store sales declined 0.9%. The company attributed the decline to cautious consumers and the mix of products sold.

Excluding unusual items, net earnings rose to C$43.6 million, compared with C$37.0 million in the second quarter of 2011.

In a prepared statement, president and CEO Robert Dutton said the company’s new business strategy, which focuses less on big boxes and more on smaller “proximity” stores, is working.

“The second-quarter results again prove that RONA remains a preferred source for renovation and building contractors and specialists,” Dutton said. “We have, for example, seen 10.5% growth in sales to plumbing specialists, while our affiliate dealers, who count a high percentage of building contractors among their clientele, have increased same-store sales by 11.4%.”

Although the RONA statement referenced the “unsolicited and non-binding proposal [received] from U.S.-based Lowe’s,” it quickly dismissed the offer as “not in the best interests of RONA and its stakeholders.” The proposal was not discussed during the quarterly earnings conference with analysts and investors.  

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Sherwin-Williams promotes design contest

BY Ken Clark

Designed to promote its new Emerald Paint brand, Sherwin-Williams launched the Emerald Paint Design Contest.

The company invited nterior designers to enter the contest for the chance to win up to $5,000 and have their work showcased in STIR magazine. The contest runs through Nov. 30. 

Zero VOC Emerald interior acrylic latex paint was introduced earlier this summer, and was described as the company’s highest-quality and most environmentally friendly paint.

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