Selection trumps expertise in shopping survey
A study of consumer shopping habits in the tools and storage categories indicates a willingness to trade advice from knowledgeable staff for a wider assortment of goods. These were the conclusions from a survey conducted this month by The NPD Group, a market research firm based in Port Washington, N.Y.
Eighty-four percent of respondents indicated they prefer purchasing storage/organization and tool products at larger stores with many offerings, rather than at smaller stores with consultative sales staff, but limited stock.
“When it comes to holiday-related items, consumers seem willing to forego advice in favor of selection with the time-starved nature of the holiday season surely playing a role,” said Mark Delaney, director of The NPD Group’s home division. “Retailers who can meet their needs quickly, and in one stop, will win what is an extremely competitive game this year.”
Survey participants were also asked about shopping for holiday decorations for their homes, both interior and exterior. Consumers indicated the stores where they planned to, or had already made, purchases of seasonal decor. The top five, listed in alphabetical order, are: Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target and Walmart.
Rugs Direct introduces online videos
Rugs Direct, a leading e-retailer of area rugs, has introduced videos to its website as an online selling tool. The company has produced nine high-definition videos that concentrate on single-area rug collections. The products are shown in a variety of room settings, highlighting colors, weaves and other details.
“We’re focusing on the most popular collections and the ones with the most variety,” Rex Creekmur, director of marketing for Rugs Direct, told Home Channel News. “[Consumers] can see all 40 styles by watching the video instead of having to look at 40 different images.”
Each video is approximately one minute and 30 seconds long. Online shoppers can click on either a video icon or a “play video” box. The videos are configured to play in a pop-up window that appears on the Rugs Direct website. They are also available for viewing on YouTube.
More product videos are in pre-production, with launch dates scheduled for the first quarter of 2011.
Headquartered in Winchester, Va., Rugs Direct sells area rugs, window treatments, lighting and home decor accents. The company also operates a showroom in Fredericksburg, Va.
Deere to build new plant in China
Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Co. announced it will build a construction equipment manufacturing plant in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) in northern China.
The new facility will produce four-wheel-drive loaders and excavators for sale in China and for export. The company said the facility represents a $50 million investment and is the company’s sixth manufacturing location in China and the second in the TEDA.
"This new factory will enhance our opportunity to serve Chinese customers, as well as customers in other markets," said Samuel Allen, chairman and CEO. "This action represents a meaningful expansion of Deere’s construction equipment division in China."
According to the company, China represents the world’s largest and fastest growing market for construction equipment. Deere has been dealing in agricultural equipment in the country for 30 years, and began a joint venture to produce construction equipment there in 2008.
"This announcement is an example of our strategy to expand the global presence of Deere in the construction equipment industry,” said Mike Mack, president of Deere’s Worldwide Construction and Forestry Division. “Deere believes that we enhance our service to customers when we manufacture products, when possible, in the market where they are sold."