Smoke detectors, by the numbers
Consumer data show smoke-detector sales rising steadily over the past two years, with a double-digit increase on top of a double-digit increase. The category — inclusive of carbon monoxide detectors — plays out largely in the big boxes, with 54.1% of sales from September through August occurring in the warehouse home centers, according to the data from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group.
Products that combine the function of smoke detection and carbon monoxide detection have been a popular choice in the category for a few years, according to NPD Group. The latest data show the combo-package at 37.9% penetration. Hardwired detectors are growing, but not nearly as common as battery-powered varieties.
Males are more likely than females to purchase a smoke or carbon-monoxide detector. Purchase patterns also skew toward younger and lower-income consumers.
Price ranks first among factors that lead a consumer to a certain retailer. Second consideration is proximity to home, which is growing in importance. When it comes to the smoke detector itself, brand stands out as the most important consideration.
Methodology: NPD data are based on monthly tracking of more than 30 home improvement-related categories and 30,000 opt-in consumers.
*2012 data reflects the period September 2011 through August 2012.
**Key: WHC: warehouse home center; MM: mass merchant; DS: department store; SS: specialty store; HS: hardware store
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ITC ruling favors U.S. washer industry
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has unanimously ruled that unlawful pricing by certain large residential washers caused injury to the U.S. clothes washer industry. This was the ITC’s final ruling in the international trade investigations related to clothes washers from Korea and Mexico.
“As a result of the USITC’s affirmative determinations, Commerce will issue a countervailing duty order on imports of these products from Korea and antidumping duty orders on imports of these products from Korea and Mexico,” according to the ITC’s website.
This vote follows a U.S. Department of Commerce ruling last month that foreign manufacturers were selling clothes washers in the United States at less than fair value.
Whirlpool applauded the decision, which is in response to antidumping and anti-subsidy petitions filed by the company in December 2011 on behalf of the U.S. appliance industry.
"The actions taken today by the U.S. government represent a great victory for the U.S. appliance industry, especially for our employees and consumers," commented Marc Bitzer, president, Whirlpool North America. "We invest in U.S. manufacturing because we believe in our 22,000 U.S. employees and the innovative products we produce. Today the government made the right decision. We expect this ruling will restore a level competitive playing field that enables Whirlpool and other U.S. manufacturers to continue investing in America to produce the high-quality, innovative products that consumers deserve."
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District of Columbia tops 2012 ranking of new LEED certifications
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its annual list of the top 10 states for new LEED certifications in 2012.
The per-capita list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional buildings certified under LEED. About 2.2 billion sq. ft. of space has been certified worldwide through 2012.
“Securing a spot on this list is a remarkable achievement for everyone involved in the green building movement in these states,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the USGBC. “From architects and designers to local chapter advocates, their collective efforts have brought sustainable building design and use to the forefront of the national discussion on the environment, and I applaud their efforts to create a healthier present and future for the people of their states.”
The District of Columbia tops the ranking, with 36.97 sq. ft. of LEED space certified per resident in 2012.
Virginia moved into the position as the top state, with 3.71 sq. ft. certified per resident in 2012. Virginia overtook Colorado, with 2.10 sq. ft. certified per person.
Other top states include Massachusetts, Illinois and Maryland.
The full ranking, which includes 10 states plus Washington, D.C., is as follows:
“Buildings are a primary focus of our Mayor’s Sustainable DC initiative,” said Keith Anderson, interim director, District of Columbia Department of the Environment. “We are indeed thrilled to be leading the nation in per-capita LEED certified space. Our private and public building sectors are boldly leading with the development of high performing green buildings, and we have aligned governmental policies to support such innovation.”
Projects that certified in 2012 include:
- Atlantic Wharf, the first LEED Platinum skyscraper in Boston
- Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, Va., the first winery on the East Coast to achieve LEED Platinum
- National Football League (NFL) corporate headquarters in New York City, LEED Gold
- Levi Strauss headquarters in San Francisco, LEED Gold
- The Chicago Center for Green Technology, a LEED Platinum existing building
- Dallas Convention Center Hotel, the first LEED Gold hotel in Texas
- The U.S. Mint Building in Washington, D.C., LEED Gold
- Denver Police Crime Lab, LEED Gold
- Montgomery College Science Center in Rockville, Md., LEED Gold
- The Center for Urban Waters in Tacoma, Wash., LEED Platinum
- Bonneville Transit Center in Las Vegas, LEED Platinum
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