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Thermador finds new, high-profile outlet in Kansas City

BY Ken Clark

Luxury appliance maker Thermador and Portfolio Kitchen & Home, the Midwest’s kitchen and home design resource, announced today the launch of the Thermador Culinary Studio with more than eight live professional appliances at Portfolio’s Flagship Store in the heart of Kansas City.

The Portfolio Flagship Store will also house a striking kitchen by Gaggenau, a sister brand of Thermador in the BSH Home Appliances family. While both BSH kitchen displays are prominently featured, the Thermador studio will be used as the facility’s showcase kitchen where the home-design company will host cooking classes, demonstrations and culinary events.

The 7,000-sq.-ft. store is the new anchor in the Pershing Building, a historic Kansas City structure and one of the jewels in the Midtown architectural crown that includes Union Station, Liberty Memorial, the original Kansas City Post Office and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Thermador, itself a brand rich in culinary history credited with 11 decades of kitchen innovations, is showcased in the Portfolio Flagship Store as the premier culinary brand. Portfolio Principal and CEO Geri Higgins is also a member of Thermador’s prestigious National Design Council — a council of top designers from across the nation dedicated to product development and refinement.

“The pairing of Thermador, a brand known for its deep history of innovation in the kitchen, and Portfolio Kitchen & Home, the premier kitchen design resource in the Midwest and one of our most valued partners, is a perfect match,” said Zach Elkin, director of the Thermador brand. “To be positioned in the Flagship Store as the featured appliance brand is truly an honor and representative of what Thermador stands for — real innovations for real cooks.”

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August brings big drop in consumer confidence reading

BY Ken Clark

After an uptick in July, the Consumer Confidence Index issued by The Conference Board fell to 44.5, down from a downwardly revised 59.2 reading in July. 

The August figure is the lowest since April 2009 when the index was 40.8.

"Consumer confidence deteriorated sharply in August, as consumers grew significantly more pessimistic about the short-term outlook," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "A contributing factor may have been the debt ceiling discussions since the decline in confidence was well underway before the S&P downgrade. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, on the other hand, posted only a modest decline as employment conditions continue to suppress confidence." 

Consumers claiming business conditions are "bad" increased to 40.6% from 38.7%, while those claiming business conditions are "good" inched up to 13.7% from 13.5%.

More troubling metrics were reported in the measures of the short-term outlook. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased to 11.8% from 17.9%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen surged to 24.6% from 16.1%.

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Green and the real estate market: Signs of success

BY HBSDealer Staff

An article in the Washington Post looked at the findings of the Earth Advantage Institute, which sees an 8% boost to resale values of certified, energy-efficient and sustainable homes.

The study took place between May 2010 and May 2011 in the Pacific Northwest.

The article also reported that during the past two years and in order to keep up with the green movement, the Appraisal Institute has sponsored what it called "green" courses for some 2,300 appraisers. The courses help identify value-adds related to sustainability and energy efficiency.

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