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A Purdy new paint tool

BY HBSDealer Staff

Purdy has designed a new folding prep tool designed for professional painters.

The Purdy Folding Tool can complete multiple tasks in one, ranging from surface preparation to project cleanup.

The tool features a rust-resistant stainless steel blade capable of cleaning caulk, scraping away peeling or loose paint and spreading putty over imperfections.

The blade also features a roller cleaner for quick cleanup after a paint project, cutter and bottle opener.

Additional features include a nail set end and a two-in-one paint can opener and flat head screw removal piece.

The tool is also designed to be stowed and carried in one's pocket.

“At Purdy, we are constantly pushing ourselves to create tools that make our pro customer feel like a true craftsmen while also making their life on the job easier,” said Bill Pavilonis, Director of Marketing.

“With the addition of the Folding Tool into our line of newly improved prep tools, we are providing skilled professional painters with another high-quality and innovative tool that will help them do their best work and ultimately, be most successful in their businesses," he added.

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Product Central: Jenn-Air Connected Wall Oven

BY Steph Koyfman

There’s a big wide world encompassing the spectrum between impulse buys and big-ticket products, but it’s fair to say that the SKUs with the highest price points get the credit whenever big-box retailers like Home Depot pull through with impressive quarterly numbers.

Having said that, even the smaller independents are getting some help from their co-ops: Orgill, for example, is rolling out on-demand custom POP signage for big-ticket categories like grills, where smaller dealers can compete with the big boxes.

Though dealers are generally more keen to lean into their most obvious strengths — often by prioritizing customer service over anything else — ticket size is worth considering.

Here is a product featured in a recent issue of HBSDealer:

 

Jenn-Air Connected Wall Oven

The Jenn-Air Connected Wall Oven is now integrated with the Nest Learning Thermostat, making for an appealing bundled package or an upsell. Now, homeowners can turn off their ovens remotely (or receive alerts when the oven is left on), among other performance features.
(jennair.com)

 

Check out other big-ticket items featured in the April 2017 issue of HBSDealer.

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Rent-A-Center’s back-to-basics comeback plan

BY HBSDealer Staff

Rental companies make their money renting, not retailing. But there’s an announced shift at Plano, Texas-based Rent-A-Center to turn more customers from renters into owners.

Or in CEO speak: “to enable higher rates of ownership.”

That’s one of the strategies taking shape at the nation’s largest rent-to-own operator, as the company unveils a new strategic plan and the return of Chairman and founder Mark Speese to the CEO role.

[Click here for more on the appointment of Rent-A-Center’s new CEO.]

The moves come following a disappointing 2016, in which the company’s total revenues declined to $2.96 billion, down from $3.28 billion in 2015. Before income taxes, the company lost $113 million in the last fiscal year.

Speese’s appointment took effect April 10, and he wasted little time before hammering on the company’s value proposition and core values.

"We recognize that significant improvement is needed," said Speese. "We are renewing our focus on what made Rent-A-Center an industry leader — starting with enhancing the value proposition of our offerings to increase customer satisfaction and enable higher rates of ownership."

The high-minded focus of the company, according to its boilerplate, is to improve the quality of life for its customers by providing them the opportunity to obtain ownership of high-quality, durable products such as consumer electronics, appliances, computers, furniture and accessories, under flexible rental purchase agreements with no long-term obligation.

Speese says the new plan renews the focus on what made Rent-A-Center a leader — “starting with enhancing the value proposition of our offerings to increase customer satisfaction and enable higher rates of ownership.”

One way it intends to boost the ownership rate is through improved early payout options and shorter terms that promote ownership. The company expects the moves to boost ownership from about 25% to 40%.

Other improvements include:

  • Optimizing the product mix to better meet customer demand;
  • Stabilizing and upgrading the workforce to improve customer relationships;
  • Improving account management practices to lower delinquency rates; and
  • Optimizing the exiting physical footprint — a step that includes “rightsizing the number of employees across locations.”

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