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Walmart named to Washington state green list

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Walmart announced that it has been selected as one of the Washington Green 50 list by Seattle Business Magazine as part of its annual Green Washington Awards competition. Walmart was a finalist in the retail category.

The Green Washington Awards program identifies and honors companies that are demonstrating an extraordinary commitment to making their business sustainable, according to a press release. Walmart was honored for its improved fleet efficiency by 65%; recycling more than 31,000 tons of materials last year in Washington; and commitment to sell more green products to customers — 52% of products have had a 25% reduction in energy consumption.

"Sustainability is a core element of who Walmart is," said Robyn Babbitt, senior manager of sustainability at Walmart. "We integrate sustainability throughout our entire supply chain in order to operate as efficiently as possible so we can continue to deliver everyday low prices to our customers."

Babbitt, who accepted the award on behalf of Walmart, participated in an event panel discussion on "Capital Strategies for Sustainability" with other industry experts from The Boeing Co., MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions and Unico Properties.

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Lowe’s pledges $4 million for education initiatives

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s has announced that for the 2011 to 2012 school year, it will donate more than $4 million to support education. 

Through its Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, the company is providing funds for school systems across America through Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grants, Teach for America, Project L.I.F.T., Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Lowe’s Scholarships and Carl Buchan Scholarships. 

This fall LCEF has awarded more than $1.35 million in grants to 18 schools for school improvement projects, including rebuilding and renovation projects, critical repairs and installation of SMART Board technology, among other projects. Additional LCEF grants will be awarded in subsequent grant cycles throughout the rest of the school year. 

“Lowe’s is proud to contribute more than $4 million to support education across the country, and we’re ready to see these dollars at work to improve schools for our future generations,” said Marshall Croom, chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “These dollars will help close the funding gap facing many schools today and expedite much-needed improvements and upgrades at schools throughout America so that our children have a comfortable, well-equipped environment for learning.”

To support disaster relief efforts in communities hit by severe weather and natural disasters this spring, more than $225,000 of the $1.35 million was granted to schools in Gloucester, Mass.; Hackleburg, Phil Campbell and Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Lee County, N.C.; and Ringgold, Ga. These grants are part of a larger $1 million commitment made by LCEF to rebuild schools affected by natural disasters.

LCEF awarded $750,000 to Teach for America to be distributed in Charlotte, Houston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, New Mexico, Rio Grande Valley and Louisiana.

Lowe’s is partnering with Project L.I.F.T. (Leadership and Investment for Transformation) to provide $500,000 in grants over five years to help Charlotte’s public school system. Project L.I.F.T. is a geographically targeted initiative whose goal is to increase the graduation rate and close the achievement gap for students in the West Charlotte High School corridor. Project funding will target four key areas of intervention: talent, time, technology and community support. In addition to Lowe’s funding, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation will contribute by making a $250,000 grant over five years to support Project L.I.F.T.

LCEF has also donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund, $250,000 to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and $100,000 to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. All funds will support emergency student aid scholarships.

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M.Costea says:
May-17-2012 06:53 pm

Their initiative is great. I
Their initiative is great. I think all major companies should invest in education as this is our biggest asset and it depends on the next generations for things to improve, but if we fail on educating them, then nothing is going to change. Working for a truck driving school Tucson made me realize that it is not a hard job to convince youngster to get a job done and if they are passionate about what they are doing, then nothing can stop them to be successful in whatever they want to do in their future.

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Faucets, by the numbers

BY HBSDealer Staff

Channel analysis
Year-over-year sales of faucets declined 10.8% in the 12 months from September 2010 through August 2011, according to consumer research from the Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group. The group estimated total sales during that period in excess of $1.2 billion. Unit volume also declined year over year, but only 4.6% — indicating consumers are shopping for bargains, and finding them.

Warehouse home centers continue to be the primary source for faucets, at 65.4% of sales, but specialty stores and mass merchants showed growth over the past two years. Hardware stores regained some lost dollar share, but unit share remained flat.

Product attributes
Chrome is king. NPD data also showed the growth and popularity of faucets with pullout spray spouts, stainless steel/nickel/pewter finishes, single-handle kitchen faucets and double-handle bathroom sink options. The bathroom was the most common room for a faucet project, maintaining a steady lead over kitchens in the past three years.

Demographic analysis
Faucet consumers spread themselves relatively evenly across age and income brackets. Low-income consumers showed a jump in 2011, as did the wealthiest. The 55-to-64 age group was the only one to show two consecutive years of increases, though very slightly in 2011.

Purchase motivators
When fashion combines with function, brand tends to rise in importance as a purchase motivator. So it is with faucets. “Brand” ran slightly ahead of “price” as a reason for purchase in 2009 and 2010, but was eclipsed by “price” in 2011.

Methodology: NPD data are based on monthly tracking of more than 30 home improvement-related  categories and 30,000 opt-in consumers.
*2011 data reflect the period September 2010 through August 2011.
**Key: WHC: warehouse home center; MM: mass merchant; DS: department store; SS: specialty store; HS: hardware store
***More than one answer accepted

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a.hasnain says:
May-11-2012 10:04 am

This is just the information
This is just the information I am finding everywhere.Me BMW X1 and my friend were arguing about an issue similar to this! Now I know that I was right.Thanks for the information you post. I just subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog.

P.Banik says:
Feb-24-2012 12:05 pm

Innovation would definitely
Innovation would definitely help change this trend; if consumers could access better products then they would feel tempted to buy these. It would be better to survey the market; this will help you to have the understanding of what the consumers want. I was looking for information on Debris Removal San Diego when I saw your post.

A.Burma says:
Jan-05-2012 11:16 am

As a consumer I also feel
As a consumer I also feel that a product like a faucet or any bathroom accessory must have the chic look, as well as it should have good quality. But despite getting the best accessories, sometimes plumbing problems could occur. For any plumbing problem, contact a good plumbing service; there are many quality plumbing services which provide efficient service such as Fort Washington Plumbing Service.

A.Burma says:
Nov-18-2011 11:27 am

It's really great to read
It's really great to read your informative post. While buying things I always prefer to choose reputed brands. And your statistics on purchase motivator are also showing that the percentage of people, motivated by brand only, is growing. I'm planning to remodel my bathroom. Your post will surely help me to choose right products for my vanity bathroom.

T.OMalley says:
Oct-10-2011 01:39 pm

Since the majority if not all
Since the majority if not all bath facuets are sourced off shore, specifically in China with the same true for the kitchens I'd suggest adding: 1). Where is the product made? 2). Where is the product assembled and packaged. There's an interest to buy American made where it exists, and although faucets don't offer much choice outside of China, consumers are interested to know when a brand has been in part assembled here. This is especailly revelant with the bath showroom side of the business which the study did not address, except to say SS (specialty stores). If a brand offers 30 plus finishes then that portion of the manufacturing process is done in the USA on parts made elsewhere.

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