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Sharp Electronics appoints new marketing exec

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sharp Electronics Corp. has announced that Mark Viken has been named VP marketing. He will report to John Herrington, president, Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America.

In this position, Viken will oversee U.S. marketing of all Sharp consumer electronics products, including appliances and health and environment-related products, as well as audio and video categories.

Most recently, Viken served as VP consumer electronics/marketing for MarketSource (Allegis), where he developed customer-centric and vertical strategies, including marketing, branding, services and communications. He also has 20 years of experience as a senior executive with Sony Electronics, where he provided strategic leadership in product and corporate marketing, as well as new business development and integrated product planning. 

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Scotts plans phosphorus phaseout

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. said it will phase out phosphorus from lawn fertilizers, including the market-leading Scotts Turf Builder brand, by the end of 2012.

Additionally, the Marysville, Ohio-based company said it will sharpen its focus on more efficient and optimized ways to use nitrogen in its lawn fertilizer products. 

"We want to provide consumers with the tools they need to create the lawn and garden they want, while also being stewards of the environment," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO. "What better time to announce these initiatives than on World Water Day, and also at the start of another lawn and garden season." 

The company said it has concluded that most lawns in the United States can flourish without supplemental phosphorus applications. Because phosphorus is essential to the initial root development of grass, the nutrient will remain in the company’s starter fertilizers, which are used for new lawns. Phosphorus will also remain in Scotts Miracle-Gro’s lines of organic lawn food, as it naturally occurs in the organic materials contained in the products. The company’s enhanced exploration of nitrogen technology will commence immediately, anticipating that the initiative will lead to a more efficient use of nitrogen in lawn fertilizers.

Hagedorn also said a central part of Scotts Miracle-Gro’s new initiative is a multi-year commitment to new consumer communication, education and grassroots outreach regarding water quality and conservation.

The move was applauded by several environmental organizations, including the Alliance for the Great Lakes. "Today’s choices by Scotts Miracle-Gro are a smart commitment to putting business to work for clean water," said Joel Brammeier, president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, in a press release. "We look forward to continuing a partnership that helps put the Great Lakes on a healthy path for generations to come."

A more tempered approval came from Paul Tukey, founder of Safelawns.org, who said that Scotts’ decision came as anti-phosphorus legislation was either passed or pending in upwards of 14 states around the country. "Scotts can see the writing on the wall," Tukey said. The move is a welcome change, "but I wish they did it decades sooner," he added.

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LED product finds way to shelves at Lowe’s

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Nexxus Lighting’s Array brand of LED light bulbs will be offered on Lowes.com and in 1,100 Lowe’s stores across the United States beginning June 2011.

Lowe’s will offer 17 different Array products, including Par 38, R30, R16, GU10 and MR-16 bulbs that have qualified for the Energy Star rating.

"Lowe’s is proud to offer consumers a wide selection of energy-efficient options for their homes, and the Nexxus Array products provide our customers with many choices to help save energy and money over the lifetime of the bulbs," said Karena Bailey, Lowe’s merchandise VP lighting.

Lowe’s has been recognized every year since 2002 with an Energy Star award. In 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named Lowe’s a winner of the Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award in Retail for the second consecutive year.

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