PPG sells Illinois glass factory
PPG Industries has completed the sale of substantially all the assets of its Mount Zion, Illinois, glass manufacturing facility to automotive glass manufacturer Fuyao Glass America.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Fuyao plans to rebuild and retrofit the facility’s two production lines to manufacture automotive glass. PPG will continue to operate the plant for up to one year, producing Sungate coated glass and clear glass.
The sale of the Mount Zion facility is consistent with the strategic initiative by PPG’s flat glass business to focus on its higher-technology, coated glass capabilities for residential and commercial construction applications, the company said.
PPG’s flat glass business manufactures high-performing coated glass, tinted and clear float glass primarily for the residential and commercial segments of the construction industry, as well as other specialty glass markets. The Mount Zion facility was built in 1959 and converted for float glass production in 1978.
Measuring the new economy
CHICAGO — Online retailing research continues to support the theory that staying ahead of the online movement is just keeping up.
Consider that since 2012, the number of e-commerce retailers jumped over 14% to more than 100,000. And an even bigger jump — up 17% from 2012 — was recorded for those generating sales of more than $100,000.
There’s little question that online retail represents the biggest industry-wide competitive force to hit home improvement retailers since the arrival of the warehouse home center back in the late 1970s, according to Jim Robisch, senior partner of the Farnsworth Group, who recently presented the firm’s latest research on online shopping during the Orgill Chicago Fall Dealer Market in August. But in the home improvement industry, brick-and-mortar stores are protected to a certain degree.
“Online, they can’t touch and feel the product,” he said. “That’s one of the differentiators for our industry.”
While some sectors are more susceptible than others to the online invasion (think music), the same is true for categories within home improvement.
Farnsworth’s survey asked consumers who have purchased a product in each of 20 home-improvement categories to describe their purchases as: online only, in-store only or both. The highest level of online activity came from the tools and tool accessories category, followed closely by home decor. Automotive supplies had the third-lowest incidence of in-store-only purchases. Least impacted (no surprise) is lumber, followed by paint (and paint supplies) and plumbing products.
Farnsworth’s research was conducted online in May 2014 and drew from 1,063 respondents — all homeowners of various levels of DIY proficiency.
Hardware may be insulated, but it’s not immune to the online trend. Farnsworth found that 20% of homeowners say they will purchase more hardware, home improvement or building supplies in the future, compared with only 9% who say they expect to purchase less. (7% say they plan to purchase “a lot more” online.)
- The primary reasons for shopping online are prices, convenience and product selection.
- “Independent hardware, home improvement and building supply dealers should aggressively embrace online shopping and prioritize continuous improvement in their online presence, or risk losing more market share,” Robisch said.
- Younger homeowners are more active online shoppers and purchasers, but will continue this shopping behavior as they age, Robisch said.