Police nab trailer of hot appliances
A semi-trailer full of washers, dryers and television sets — most of them allegedly purchased from Home Depot and Lowe’s using stolen credit cards — was pulled over by sheriff deputies in Parma, Mich., according to an article in the Jackson Citizen Patriot.
Two unnamed Alabama men were arrested and questioned about the merchandise, valued at $30,000, which is believed to have been purchased from a Home Depot store in Benton Harbor and a Lowe’s store in Kalamazoo, according to authorities.
The Combined Organized Retail Enforcement Task Force also questioned the suspects and may be putting together a larger case involving additional suspects in several other states, police said.
Readers Respond: The Made-in-the-USA trend
"We are a single store that has recently won the Best of Long Island (N.Y.) award for a hardware store. Since there are 3 million people on Long Island, we are very proud of that. One of the things we strive for besides unmatched customer service and having products in stock when others don’t is having unique items.
"One unfortunate thing we found was ‘Made in the USA’ was becoming a unique thing. We now have a program in the store where we identify on each hook if an item is Made in the USA. We use a simple Made in the USA sticker placed onto the scanning tag. When we were at the 2010 National Hardware Show, we noticed that domestic manufacturers were placing more of an emphasis on being made here in the USA.
“We also found that customers are willing to pay a higher price on an item if they see it is made here in the USA. That is something we did not think we would see, especially in a down economy, but many see it as helping their own."
— George Uribe
"[Made in the USA] will be a part of our 2011 marketing campaign. We will highlight products that are ‘Made in the USA’ by stickers attached to the product shelf labeling, and identifying them in our circular and radio promotions."
— Tom Hardman
"We have found our customers prefer Made in the USA. Partly for patriotic reasons, but mainly because they are smart enough to know that price is comparable, quality is as good or better, and delivery and in-stock positions are much better.
“Any U.S. company that is following Lean principles will be able to deliver products better. No one has yet to perfect any software to accurately plan for three-month delivery times versus domestic-finished goods positions. Those companies that import and have good fill rates also have too much inventory, which is a true carrying cost. Bottom line: Why do global auto makers build factories close to their customers?"
— Randy Boonstra
Dog poisoned after chewing house palm
The poisoning of a golden retriever has brought attention to warning signs — or lack thereof — on plants that can kill pets.
A golden retriever in Dublin, Ohio, is dying of liver failure after its owners bought a Sago Palm in a local home improvement store, according to a report by NBC4-TV.
The dog’s owners, Beth and Dennis Radcliff, said the 1-year-old dog, named Francine, chewed up the potted plant, which looks like a miniature palm tree. According to the website of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, just one seed from the plant can kill an animal.
Francine suffered liver failure, and doctors reportedly gave the dog only several weeks to live.
The Radcliffs have complained that the palm had no warning tags on it. The store, which was not named, and plant distributor were friendly at first, according to the Radcliffs. But the couple has since received a letter denying any claims or changes with how the plant will be tagged, according to the report.