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Study: Homes are getting smarter, by a lot

BY HBSDEALER Staff

According to a new ABI Research study, there will be over half a billion wireless smart home monitoring devices installed in homes worldwide by 2018.

“Combined, over 84 million contact and motion sensors will ship annually by 2018; however, it is smart plugs, smart door locks and connected smoke & CO detectors that will see the greatest shipment growth,” said senior analyst Adarsh Krishnan.

According to ABI, sales of wireless embedded smart home monitoring devices — which includes contact and motion sensors, smart thermostats and smart plugs — reached 17.23 million in 2013, nearly double that of shipments in 2012. Of these, contact sensors that can determine whether windows and doors are closed were the most popular last year, with motion sensors coming in second place.

ABI noted that there will be sustained competition between wireless protocols, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart and Zigbee.

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Klein Tools rolls out punchdown tool

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Klein Tools introduced a new Cushion-Grip Impact Punchdown Tool and Blade. 

Marking an expansion of the company’s Voice/Data/Vido punchdown tool line, the  Dura-Blade is a newly designed metal injection molded punchdown blade designed to deliver long-lasting cutting performance. 

“Most current punchdown tools follow the same traditional, square-based pyramid style that is difficult to maneuver and requires additional accessories to reach into tight spaces,” said Sean O’Flaherty, senior product manager. “Klein Tools’ new punchdown tool naturally overcomes these hurtles with its comfortable screwdriver-shape design that includes a long, narrow shaft that eliminates these limitations and provides easy, precise access to panels and blocks.”

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Obituary: Robert Rickel of Rickel Bros.

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Robert Rickel, the co-founder of northeastern home center chain Rickel Brothers, died at the age of 90.

Robert and his two brothers, Alvin and Morty, opened their first hardware store in 1945, and the Rickel Brothers’ “Buy Direct and Save” approach to home center retailing showed tremendous growth through the late 70s, growing to about 100 stores at its peak.

The stores operated in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and embraced a combination of ease of shopping and DIY advice. The phrase “Rickle helps you do it better,” was a slogan, a memorable jingle and a pioneering attitude for home improvement retailing.

Robert was the last surviving Rickel brother. Morty died in 1980 and Alvin in 2008. 

Robert served in World War II, as did both of his brothers, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross. 

The Rickel brothers sold the business in 1969, but Robert stayed on as CEO. 

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