Sherwin-Williams Foundation awards grant to MedWish
Sherwin-Williams has awarded its annual signature grant to MedWish International. The $50,000 grant will create the Sherwin-Williams Children’s Health Fund (SWCHF), which will expedite the shipment of medical supplies from Northeast Ohio to children worldwide.
The SWCHF will provide subsidies of up to $7,500 per 40-ft. shipping container to supply projects in developing countries throughout the world.
"Funding from Sherwin-Williams will make it possible to distribute 105 tons of medical supplies, such as ultrasound machines to ensure healthy births, microscopes for early detection of life-threatening diseases, and gloves and masks to protect patients and their caregivers," said Dr. Lee Ponsky, president and founder of MedWish. "Thanks to the generosity of Sherwin-Williams, all of these supplies and much more will be made available to children around the globe."
MedWish has already used the SWCHF to subsidize its first shipment of 2012: more than 20,000 lbs. of life-saving supplies to Honduras.
"The Sherwin-Williams Foundation is very pleased to support the inspirational work of MedWish," said Chris Connor, chairman and CEO of The Sherwin-Williams Company. "Their mission of reaching out to children around the world with life saving supplies shows how a public-private partnership can offer a helping hand to children in need.”
MedWish International is a Cleveland-based non-profit organization, which recovers, repurposes and redistributes donated medical supplies and equipment healthcare providers have discarded. The organization works with more than 50 hospitals, private practices and medical device companies.
Scotts sales drop in Q1
Scotts Miracle-Gro reported first-quarter net sales of $211.2 million, an 8% drop over sales of $230.2 million during the prior-year quarter.
Net loss for the industry’s largest lawn and garden supplier was $1.21 million for the first quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2011. This compares with a net loss of $1.02 million during the first quarter of 2010.
Sales in the global consumer segment were $149.1 million, compared with $188.8 million a year ago. The decline was expected, the company said, based on a planned shift of sales out of the first fiscal quarter as the company has worked with its retail partners to move shipments of its products closer to the start of the lawn and garden season. Consumer purchases of the lawn and garden products at its largest retailers (POS) have been strong in warm weather markets at the start of the new season. Since Jan. 1, these sales are up more than 20% overall, with strong increases in Texas and Florida, two important early season markets.
"We are encouraged to start the new season with year-over-year improvement in our early breaking markets," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO. "Our major marketing campaigns will launch later this month and, given our plans to increase our investment in advertising by $40 million, we remain confident that we will deliver company-wide sales growth of at least 6% this year."
Online sales show growth in Q4
E-commerce sales continue to grow, proving that more and more consumers are choosing to shop online in addition to or instead of shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Measurement firm comScore reported that online retail spending (excluding auctions, autos and large corporate purchases) for the fourth quarter reached $49.7 billion, up 14% versus year ago. This growth rate represented the ninth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates. For the entire 2011 year, U.S. retail e-commerce spending reached a record $161.5 billion, marking a 13% increase from 2010.
"The fourth quarter of 2011 capped off what was yet another strong year for online retail, one in which every quarter achieved double-digit increases versus the prior year," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "In the face of continuing uncertainty regarding the U.S. economy, consumers increasingly went online for their shopping needs. Price and convenience continue to be the critical value drivers for e-commerce, and unless those conditions change we can expect to see more channel-shifting to online in 2012 and perhaps even an acceleration in the current growth trend."
According to comScore, online sales were dominated by digital content and subscriptions, jewelry and watches, consumer electronics, toys and hobbies and computer software. The quarter was also marked by 10 individual days that surpassed $1 billion in online spending. They include Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) at $1.251 billion. Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, ranked second at $1.178 billion, followed by Green Monday (Dec. 12) at $1.133 billion.