Stat Flash: NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator
Consumer research from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group shows consumers are feeling a little better about the economy, but not as good as they felt last year at this time.
The November 2011 NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator, a measure of consumer confidence, increased slightly to an index reading of 37.4, on a scale of 0 — "very concerned" — to 100 — "very confident."
The November reading is up from 35.9 in October. A year ago, the perception indicator index was at 40.5.
The NPD Group’s U.S. Economic Perception Indicator measures consumer beliefs about the current and near-term state of the U.S. economy.
Source: The NPD Group Inc./The Economy Tracker
Lowe’s to establish support center in Albuquerque
Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s announced plans for a new Customer Support Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
The center is expected to be operational during the first quarter of 2012, complementing the company’s existing center located in Wilkesboro, N.C.
“We chose Albuquerque because of the talented and experienced work force and availability of a suitable building to house our operations,” said Don Easterling, Lowe’s VP contact center. “Albuquerque’s location in the Mountain Time Zone offers an ideal complement to our Customer Support Center in North Carolina. The support of state and local officials made this a win-win project.”
The project is estimated to create 250 jobs by March and a total of 600 jobs by the end of 2013.
Lowe’s plans to invest more than $15 million to renovate leased space in a 65,000-sq.-ft. building at 6301 Jefferson Ave., NE. The new center will provide multiple support functions for Lowe’s, including customer care, store support, Internet sales support and repair services for customers.
Lighting options expand at Lowe’s
Lowe’s has added two new brands to its bulb assortment, one a new manufacturer in the LED residential market and the other utilizing a new lighting technology.
Samsung Electronics will release its first LED lighting solutions for the U.S. consumer market through Lowes.com and at select Lowe’s home improvement retail stores nationwide. The bulbs include A19, PAR20/30/38 and MR16 bulbs — all designed to replace traditional incandescent, halogen and CFL bulbs throughout the home.
The A19 bulb is a directional bulb that is sized to fit lamps, vanity lights and wall sconces. Because it is fully dimmable, consumers can recognize even more energy savings by selecting the most appropriate brightness depending on the time of day or the task at hand.
PAR bulbs and MR 16 bulbs are designed for track and recessed lighting. Samsung’s MR16 bulbs are also suited for vanity lighting, and are offered in two different base types and brightness levels to accommodate a wide range of applications.
Vu1 Corp. will also bring one of its new products to Lowe’s, the company announced. Vu1 will introduce its R30 Electron Stimulated Luminescence (ESL) light bulbs to the U.S. consumer market through Lowe’s. New York-based Vu1 will sell the bulbs at Lowe’s 1,725 retail stores beginning in February and on Lowes.com starting Dec. 1.
The ESL R30 reflector bulbs are a direct replacement for the 65-watt incandescent flood bulbs commonly found in recessed lighting fixtures throughout U.S. households and businesses. Vu1’s ESL bulb is energy efficient without the high price-point of LED bulbs or the hazards of CFL bulbs containing mercury. The bulbs will retail for approximately $14.98 at Lowe’s.
The company’s ESL lighting technology uses accelerated electrons to stimulate phosphor to create a warm light, making the surface of the bulb glow with an energy-efficient natural light that lasts up to 11,000 hours.