Ply Gem looks to 2015, and windows
Ply Gem bought Simonton Windows from Fortune Brands for approximately $130 million back in August of 2014. Since then, the designers have been working to improve the offering.
“Last year was an eventful one at Ply Gem, with continued growth due in part to the acquisition of Simonton Windows, ongoing expansion of our Canadian product and distribution offerings and our commitment to innovation,” said Gary Robinette, president and CEO of Ply Gem Industries.
At the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, some of Ply Gem’s newest offerings were on display.
The Simonton Windows Reflections 5500 series is a highly customizable replacement window line, allowing customers to select from operating styles; exterior, interior and hardware color; and glass and grid options.
The Brickmould 600 series, a new construction window and patio door line, offers the classic styling of wood windows with a multi-tiered exterior. Premium designer options and high performance glass packages enhance this series, which offers low-maintenance.
The Simonton DaylightMax windows, available for replace and remodel projects for western regions, have less frame and more glass than typical replacement windows.
And Simonton Madeira windows and doors are the ideal replacement window for traditional, classic architectural styles.
“We believe that 2015 will be even better as we continue to invest wisely in people, products, brands, innovation and strategic market opportunities to further our growth,” Robinette said.
Also in 2015, Ply Gem intends to re-launch the Great Lakes Window brand. “The new program, coming in 2015, will transform Great Lakes Window into the premier business solution partner,” the company said.
Spectrum sales hurt by currency rates
Paced by its Home and Garden business, Spectrum Brands reported first quarter sales of $1.07 billion, down from $1.10 billion in the same quarter last year.
After adjusting for currency rates and port slowdowns, the company’s net sales increased in the low single-digit range, the company said.
Net income for the quarter was $49.8 million, down from $54.3 million in the same quarter last year.
“We delivered a solid first quarter,” said Dave Lumley, Chief Executive Officer of Spectrum Brands Holdings. “Our Home and Garden business reported a record first quarter, our small appliances business delivered a solid performance, and Europe was again a bright spot with solid constant currency growth in batteries, personal care and small appliances. These results were achieved in the face of a significant negative impact from foreign exchange and lower sales and margin from prolonged port delays.”
The company’s brands include Kwikset, Pfister, Iams, Remington, Black Flag, George Foreman and many more.
Early in the second quarter of fiscal 2015, the Company completed accretive, bolt-on acquisitions of the IAMS and Eukanuba European pet food business and Salix Animal Health, the world’s largest vertically integrated dog treat company.
Earlier this week, the Company’s global battery business announced the North American launch of Rayovac’s Fusion, its highest-performance and longest-lasting alkaline battery that is designed to meet the needs and wants of the “Always On” consumer.
West Coast Port slowdown could become shutdown in less than a week
A breakdown in contract negotiations between labor and management at America’s west coast ports is threatening to turn a work slowdown into a full-scale strike, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) warned.
On Wednesday, talks between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) representing port management, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) officially broke down. Without an agreement, experts have suggested that nearly 30 west coast ports could be shut down within a week. According to reports, the two sides remain at odds on several issues, including wages, pensions and arbitration to settle contract disputes.
A work slowdown during contract negotiations over the past seven months has already created logistic nightmares for American exporters, manufacturers and retailers dependent on an efficient supply chain. The congestion has been most pronounced at Los Angeles and Long Beach, Reuters reported, with port authorities reporting more than 20 freighters left idled at anchor, waiting for berths to open up, over the past two days.
A complete shutdown would be catastrophic, with hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk if America’s supply chain grinds to a halt, according to RILA.
"A west coast port shutdown would be an economic disaster," said Kelly Kolb, VP of government affairs for RILA. “A shutdown would not only impact the hundreds of thousands of jobs working directly in America’s transportation supply chain, but the reality is the entire economy would be impacted as exports sit on docks and imports sit in the harbor waiting for manufacturers to build products and retailers to stock shelves. For retailers specifically, a shutdown will have dire consequences for those dependent on spring inventory demand.”
The last prolonged port shutdown of the West Coast ports was the 10-day lockout in 2002 which was estimated to cost the U.S. economy close to $1 billion a day. The companies imposed a lockout that was lifted 10 days later under a court order sought by President George W. Bush.
“A port shutdown of even a short duration could de-rail economic growth and cause long-lasting damage and job losses across the country,” said Kolb. “There needs to be a greater sense of urgency at the White House, before it’s too late.”
[This article first appeared in HBSDealer's sister publication Chain Store Age.]