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Skil relaunches website

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Skil has unveiled its redesigned website, skiltools.com, which helps make projects easier for do-it-yourselfers and handymen. The new site features a revamped layout; updated images; and tips, tricks and product reviews.

An enhanced navigation system and expanded accessories section offers consumers an easy-to-use resource. In addition, the website offers improved ‘buy’ links, giving the user the ability to cross-reference projects and match tools to accessories. 

Skiltools.com also allows browsers to easily share from the website to social media sites viaFacebook and Twitter.

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Q1 loss widens at Central Garden & Pet

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Central Garden & Pet posted a first-quarter net loss of $13.1 million, compared with a net loss of $9.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

Net sales for the first quarter ended Dec. 24, 2011, totaled $302.1 million, up 7% from $281.7 million in the same period a year ago.

“We continued to drive solid revenue growth this quarter, with gains in both our Garden and Pet businesses,” said Bill Brown, chairman and CEO. “As expected, it was a challenging quarter, as raw material costs remained high and the mix of sales favored lower-margin products which impacted our bottom line results. 

“We are dually focused on managing our operations in this challenging economic environment, while moving forward with the transformation of Central into an integrated, multi-brand company. We believe our strong portfolio of products and talented employee base will be keys in achieving our goal of sustainable long-term growth and improved profitability." 

Net sales for the Garden Products segment increased 8% to $102.8 million. The Garden Products segment’s branded product sales were $89.9 million, and sales of other manufacturers’ products totaled $12.9 million.

First-quarter net sales for the Pet Products segment increased 7% to $199.3 million. The Pet Products segment’s branded product sales were $156.6 million, and sales of other manufacturers’ products were $42.7 million. 

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Partnership with Lowe’s powers Online Rebate Center

BY HBSDealer Staff

Young America, an incentive marketing firm, has partnered with EcoRebates, a Web and mobile rebate solutions provider, to create an online tool that compiles utility energy rebates with available manufacturer or retailer-specific offers. Customers can easily find, apply and submit the incentive offers on a wide range of products.

Through this partnership, consumers can use the Lowe’s Online Rebate Center to search for combined utility and manufacturer offers to find lower prices for energy-efficient products, including appliances, light bulbs and paint. EcoRebates integrates incentives from manufacturers and merchants with more than 3,800 utility and state rebate programs, matching them with more than 200,000 product SKUs at the zip-code level. This gives Lowe’s customers access to multiple discounts in one platform.

"We are pleased to partner with Young America and EcoRebates to launch the Lowe’s Rebate Center," said Harry Gardner, manager store policy and promotion at Lowe’s. "By integrating savings opportunities from multiple sources and simplifying the process, we’re providing our customers a better informed shopping experience."

The Rebate Center allows consumers to search, submit and check the status of rebate submissions online. This is integrated with Lowe’s point-of-sale system, which alerts store associates of rebates on qualified purchases so they can let customers know at checkout.

“Many shoppers are unaware that utilities and state governments offer consumer rebates for buying energy-efficient products, or that multiple incentives can be combined to maximize savings,” said Joe Custer, president of Young America. “This new technology brings those offers into one single-page view, making it easier to find and apply all available discounts.”

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