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Federal Brace Stainless Steel Island Countertops

Stainless steel is rapidly gaining popularity in residential applications.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Federal Brace has announced the return of Stainless Steel Island Countertops to its product line.

Stainless Steel Island Countertops are a solution for island prep surfaces or sterile work centers.

Each stainless island countertop is 1-1/2″ thick with finished square edges. Cabinet grade plywood substrate is included for installing your countertop. The stainless steel countertop is 16 gauge and has a 304 brushed finish. The standard island top shown here for purchase is 50″x26″x1.5″.

Custom stainless steel countertop sizes are also now available.

While primarily found only in restaurants & commercial kitchens, stainless steel is rapidly gaining popularity in residential applications for homeowners who have similar needs: a durable, stain-resistant, non-porous, & heat-tolerant surface – with a contemporary, modern flair

There is no need to fear food coloring, oils, beets, acids, wine or grape juice any longer. When accidents happen, put worries aside because clean up is fast and easy while avoiding residue, fingerprints, stains and odor.

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Deloitte: 71% of consumers plan to shop during Thanksgiving weekend

BY Marianne Wilson

It looks like retailers will have plenty to be thankful for this holiday — online and in stores.

Seventy-one percent of consumers plan to head to the stores and online during the Thanksgiving weekend (Thanksgiving Thursday – Cyber Monday), according to a new survey from Deloitte. People expect to shop almost evenly online and in stores throughout the weekend: Eighty-nine percent plan to shop in-store and 91% plan to shop online.

The busiest day for brick-and-mortar will be Black Friday, with 70% of respondents planning to shop in the stores (and 50% online). Most Black Friday shoppers say they’ll be early birds: Seventy-two percent intend to be in the stores before 9 a.m. Top shopping destinations for in-store shoppers include mass merchants (45%), department stores (43%), and electronics/office supply stores (33%).

Cyber Monday also continues to gain momentum, according to the survey. Nearly three-quarters (73%) plan to shop online Cyber Monday, which is also poised to take 47% of all online spending that occurs over the course of the weekend. Cyber Monday is also gearing up to take the most dollars at an average of $170, higher than all other shopping days.

In other findings:

• Holiday shoppers say they’ll spend an average of $420 between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, and 88% expect to spend more or the same on the holiday season than they originally intended.

• The No. 1 reason respondents said they shop in the stores on Black Friday is to take advantage of the deals (82%).

• On Thanksgiving Day, 26% of weekend shoppers plan to head to the stores, and 29% will shop online. The main reasons people plan to shop in the stores on Thanksgiving is to get a jump on the deals (68%) and because they enjoy shopping with family and friends or it’s become a Thanksgiving ritual (55%).

• Fifty-one percent of shoppers say they’ll go to another retailer if a site has technical issues; 41% indicate they would buy something online while in-store if they get better pricing; and 27% would check out while using their mobile device in the store to avoid long lines at the register.

“The signs are in retailers’ favor heading into the weekend, with traffic spread over multiple shopping days and both online and in-store channels,” said Rod Sides, vice chairman, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. retail and distribution leader. “We’re finding that people who plan to start shopping earlier on major shopping days tend to be those who spend more, which should encourage retailers to connect with people early and often with information people want most this time of year: promotions. That can also make a difference with undecided shoppers. This year, 45%, or nearly half, of people in the survey told us they remain undecided which retailer they’ll shop over the weekend.”

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Builder confidence stumbles on affordability

Rising mortgage interest rates and higher prices causing housing demand to stall.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Housing affordability is being blamed as the main culprit behind a drop-off in builder confidence.

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell 8 points to 60 in November on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

“Builders report that they continue to see signs of consumer demand for new homes but that customers are taking a pause due to concerns over rising interest rates and home prices,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La.

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz says a number of factors are putting a crimp in housing sales.

“For the past several years, shortages of labor and lots along with rising regulatory costs have led to a slow recovery in single-family construction,” Dietz said. “While home price growth accommodated increasing construction costs during this period, rising mortgage interest rates in recent months coupled with the cumulative run-up in pricing has caused housing demand to stall.”

With the prospect of future interest rate hikes in store, Dietz said that builders have adopted a more cautious approach to market conditions and urged policymakers to take note.

“Recent policy statements on economic conditions have lacked commentary on housing, even as housing affordability has hit a 10-year low,” said Dietz. “Given that housing leads the economy, policymakers need to focus more on residential market conditions.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All of the major HMI indices posted declines. The index measuring current sales conditions fell 7 points to 67, the component gauging expectations in the next 6 months dropped 10 points to 65 and the metric charting buyer traffic registered an 8-point drop to 45.

Looking at the 3-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose 2 points to 58. The Midwest edged a single point lower to 57, the South declined 2 points to 68 and the West dropped 3 points to 71.

 

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