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Topic of CEO conversation: The weather

BY Ken Clark

The weather is always a popular topic in discussions of retail performance, but it seems this recent quarter has produced a storm of exceptionally intense meteorological commentary.

The following are just some of the examples of CEOs talking about the weather taken from news reports of the past several days:

• "For the second quarter in a row, very poor weather conditions, especially in April and May, and fragile consumer confidence significantly impacted our quarterly results," said Robert Dutton, president and CEO of RONA

• "The challenges we saw from weather this year are unparalleled during my life-long tenure in this industry," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO of Scotts Miracle-Gro.

• "The continued significant escalation in raw material input costs, together with extreme weather conditions that suppressed our chemical and controls business and altered our product mix, negatively impacted our gross margin and bottom-line results," said Bill Brown, chairman and CEO of Central Garden & Pet.

• "We are very pleased with our solid performance during the second quarter despite unfavorable weather conditions in April and May,” said Ray Griffith, Ace president and CEO.

• "As previously announced, second-quarter sales were less than expected due to poor weather in much of the country and, to a lesser extent, the challenging macroeconomic environment," said Ronald Kaplan, Trex chairman, president and CEO.

Home Depot and Lowe’s are due to report second-quarter earnings next week. There is a high probability that the topic of weather will cast a shadow over the discussions. 

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Lowe’s promotes dorm-room ideas

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Mooresville, N.C.-based home center giant is promoting its back-to-campus merchandise as the summer draws to a close.

Some of the items that appeared in the company’s home-and-dorm organization "cheat sheet" press release are:

• An allen + roth 10-ft. solid wood closet organizer;
• Under-the-bed storage units with dual flip-top lids;
• Rubbermaid shoe cubbies;
• Over-the-door storage bags;
• A cord organizer starter kid;
• Surge protectors;
• IdeaPaint, for turning walls, doors or other surfaces into a dry erase surface;
• Valspar Chalkboard Specialty Enamel and Interior Flat Magnetic Primer; and
• The back-to-college favorites: compact fridge and compact microwave.  

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Window opens wider on green awareness

BY HBSDealer Staff

The J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Windows and Patio Doors Satisfaction Study indicates that consumers have increased their desire for energy-efficient windows and patio doors over previous years. 

The proportion of consumers who indicate they purchased Energy Star-qualified windows averaged 95% in the most recent study, demonstrating a high level of importance and awareness of energy-efficient window features and technologies.

The prestigious J.D. Power and Associates customer study for windows and patio doors was created in 2007. Since that time, the research has identified key areas of interest to homeowners related to their window and patio door purchasing decisions.

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