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Wolf Home Products reinvents its look

BY HBSDealer Staff

Wolf Home Products has unveiled its new look after completing its rebranding effort, which includes a new logo.

The signature "howling wolf" silhouette is still intact, but now with a cleaner design and a more dominant "W." According to the company, the wolf represents the company's commitment to independence (and independent building materials dealers).

According to Wolf president and CEO Craig Danielson, the new logo captures the company’s innovation and forward-looking spirit.  The rebranding will also continue to boost Wolf’s profile among contractors and homeowners, who have fueled the company’s recent growth.

“Wolf has successfully established itself as a leading supplier of American-made products available through independent dealers. Our Wolf-branded product lines have enabled us to rapidly expand our geographical footprint,” Danielson said. “This is the ideal time to introduce a new look-and-feel that represents the spirit of a company on the move.”

This is the first rebranding the company has gone through in some time, and also the most extensive in decades.

The rebranding effort is the company’s first in years and the most extensive in decades. Soon, there will also be new product packaging, sales materials, a new company website, displays and much more.

Wolf Home Products delivers Wolf-branded lines and other high-quality cabinetry and building materials to more than 4,000 dealers. Its history goes back to 1843.

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NRF calls for a halt to overtime changes

BY HBSDealer Staff

The National Retail Federation has renewed its call to the government to prevent the proposed changes to federal overtime rules from taking effect.

“Under this administration, employers have witnessed a deluge of labor regulations that have had real consequences on economic growth and job creation,” NRF senior VP government relations David French wrote in a letter to the committee.

“The pending changes are clearly excessive and will have sweeping negative consequences for employees,” French said. “The Department’s one-size-fits-all rule will curtail career advancement opportunities, diminish workplace flexibility, damage employee morale and lead to a more hierarchical workplace. Many employees who currently enjoy the benefits associated with salaried, exempt status may be forced to take a step back in their careers when they are converted to hourly, non-exempt status as a direct result of this rule.”

French said DOL’s proposal to raise the wage level under which most workers automatically receive overtime to $50,440 a year – more than double the current $23,660 – “is artificially high and breaks sharply with DOL’s recent precedents in setting the salary level.” A $47,000 level reportedly being considered by DOL as an alternative is “equally unworkable.”

“Throughout the rulemaking process, NRF and others have expressed significant concerns with DOL’s failure to consider regional differences in costs of living and the lack of transparency in the agency’s impact analyses,” French said. “Despite stakeholders’ widespread opposition to the rule and a record number of meetings with administration officials, it is clear DOL is not willing to reconsider the rule in any meaningful way absent congressional action.”

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Trex revenues grow 9% in Q1

BY HBSDealer Staff

Trex got off on a good foot in 2016 thanks to a strong first quarter that brought solid top- and bottom-line growth to the company.

Net sales for the first quarter were $132 million, 9% above last year's $121 million.

Meanwhile, net income came in at $23.4 million, up 33% from last year's $17.6 million.

Additionally, a gross margin of 43.8% represented a 390 basis point increase from the 39.9% reported in the first quarter of 2015.

“First quarter results represented an exceptionally strong start to 2016 thanks to several factors that came together in the period,” commented James Cline, president and CEO.

“Revenue growth was in line with our expectations and demonstrated the success of our strategy to build market share for Trex’s high-performance outdoor living products. The company’s recent market recognitions for brand and green building, together with our new, targeted advertising and marketing campaigns, position us to further advance our growth initiatives. In support of our growth strategy, we successfully launched Trex University in the first quarter, an interactive educational and training center for dealers, distributors and contractors."

“Operating leverage drove significant upside in our first quarter results. The combination of lower input costs and manufacturing cost savings resulted in a substantial expansion in gross margin to 43.8% for the quarter. At the same time, we made a strategic decision to defer a portion of our marketing spend to the second quarter, which reduced SG&A as a percentage of sales to 15.7% from 17.0% in the comparable period last year."

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