Weber deals with Made-in-USA fallout
A settlement to a class-action lawsuit launched against grill-manufacturer Weber over its “Made-in-USA” claims is heading to a final approval hearing July 20 in San Diego.
The original lawsuit filed in February last year alleged that Weber violated the law by designating Weber grills and certain accessories as "Made in USA."
On its web site, Weber denies any wrongdoing: “Weber believes that because all Weber grills and the disputed accessories are designed and engineered in the USA, and all grills save for one line are manufactured and assembled in the USA using component parts primarily made in the USA, it did nothing wrong.”
Still, the case winds on. Among the important dates is an April 30 deadline for consumers to file a claim. The proposed settlement provides: a payment of $2.00, $5.00, or $9.00 to class members composed of those who purchased a Weber grill or accessory between Feb. 15, 2007 and Feb. 15, 2012.
Weber also agreed to pay costs of the settlement process.
In the original complaint, lawyers for a California resident who bought a grill alleged that certain Weber’s grill products “are substantially made, manufactured or produced from component parts that are manufactured outside the United States.”
The complaint pointed specifically to charcoal grate and the charcoal separator (both made in China) and the hinged grilling grate, made in Taiwan.
In the future, Weber may describe certain products as “Made in USA, incorporating globally sourced component parts” on products that have foreign made component parts.
Also part of the settlement was an agreement that Weber would request that Home Depot and Lowe’s post a summary notice of the settlement at each of its stores for the duration of the claims period.
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Epicor goes mobile with software solution
Dublin, Calif.-based Epicor has made available mobile versions of its software solutions for manufacturing, distribution and retail.
Developed by the dedicated Epicor mobile development team, Mobile Manager for Catalyst and ECS Pro allows storeowners and managers to get more done by serving them real-time information on their Android or Apple smartphone or tablet. Managers can respond to customer inquiries, track the health of the business and make informed decisions with their mobile device.
Mobile Manager is available for Epicor Catalyst and ECS Pro. The company also announced a new hosted solution for companies that do not want to maintain their own computer infrastructure, and an Epicor Payment Exchange for handling card payments.
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Sales decline at AERT
Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies (AERT), the maker of ChoiceDek decking products, announced that its net sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 were $8.8 million, down 37.1% from $14.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. The Springdale, Ark. manufacturer attributed $4.6 million of the quarter’s reduction to an accrual for the refresh of inventory at Lowe’s.
AERT’s net loss for fiscal 2011, which ended Dec. 31, 2011, was $8.0 million, as compared to the 2010 net loss of $5.9 million.
The inventory refresh entails replacing the existing ChoiceDek boards at Lowe’s 1,700 stores with a new line called ChoiceDek Foundations, which is the fourth product introduction since the decking program with Lowe’s commenced in 1998. The new ChoiceDek Foundations is being launched in all Lowe’s stores for the 2012 deck building season.
In addition to ChoiceDek, a plastic and wood composite that is sold exclusively at Lowe’s, AERT also manufacturers MoistureShield decking for the professional market. AERT said it continues to refine its advanced recycling operations in Watts, Okla. to provide a hedge against rising plastic feedstock costs. The company hopes to position itself for sales of recycled plastic to other manufacturers as well as improving the consistency of the plastic being used for its own decking.
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