Research points to opportunities in outdoor entertaining
More than 75% of home entertainers prefer the more laidback approach and spacious feeling they get from entertaining in the great outdoors, according to Outdoor Entertaining Trends 2010: Consumers Bring the Indoors Out, a report from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group.
The top outdoor entertainment items currently owned by consumers cross a variety of industries. Outdoor furniture, gas barbecue grills and plastic (non-disposable) tableware are items, in addition to outdoor lighting, that continue to thrive as staple purchases for outdoor entertaining.
According to NPD’s Consumer Tracking Service, in the 12 months ending April 2011, dollar sales of acrylic/plastic beverageware grew by 3%, with the largest growth coming from sets of glasses/stemware/tumblers and drinking glasses/tumblers. Another positive sign for the industry is that more acrylic/plastic beverageware purchases are being made by consumers for their own use, rather than as a gift.
About a quarter of home entertainers told NPD they power wash outdoor spaces in preparation for their outdoor events, as well as purchase themed or decorative items.
“Consumers emphasize product availability and selection as the key shopping considerations when selecting a retailer for their outdoor entertaining purchases," said Peter Goldman, president of NPD’s home division. "Despite a challenging economy, consumers are on the lookout for that new item that will spruce up their outdoor living space each year. It’s just a matter of where they can find it."
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Epicor names management team
Epicor Software Corp., a provider of business enterprise solutions, has named Pervez Qureshi as its CEO, effective immediately. Qureshi served as CEO and president of Activant Solutions Inc., which was combined with Epicor following the acquisition of both companies by funds advised by Apax Partners. The deal closed on May 16, 2011.
Qureshi has served in the role of president and CEO at Activant since 2006. In 2004, he was named Activant’s chief operating officer and executive VP. Prior to Activant, Qureshi was president and founder of a management consulting company. He has also held senior positions at Harvest Software, Metaphor Computer Systems, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.
Epicor also announced the appointment of Kathy Crusco as executive VP and CFO. Crusco joined the former Activant in May 2007, and brings more than 20 years of experience serving in a variety of financial roles at Documentum Inc., Adaptec and Price Waterhouse. Previously, Crusco served as VP of Worldwide Finance for Polycom.
Former Epicor chairman, president and CEO George Klaus will retain the role of chairman and continue to play an important part in the company’s strategic development, according to the announcement.
Epicor Software Corp. delivers business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail and services industries. Its products include enterprise resource planning (ERP), point of sale (POS), supply chain management (SCM) and human capital management (HCM) solutions.
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Lowe’s begins rebuilding in tornado-wrecked Sanford, N.C.
Lowe’s will break ground today on a new Sanford, N.C., store to replace the one destroyed by a tornado more than a month ago, according to press reports.
The 103,000- sq.-ft. store is expected to be completed by September.
The store was hit by one of more than 200 tornadoes that struck 13 states in three days in April. For his quick-thinking during the storm, the store’s manager received a call from President Obama.
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