Tina Settecase

The Effects of Low-Interest Rates on Major Appliance Sales By Natalie Hope McDonald According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), annual sales of new homes totaled 976,000 units last year, with average selling prices reaching $227,500. The NAHB predicts that as home loan rates decrease over the next year, new home sales will grow with fixed interest rates forecast at a low 6 percent. For major appliance retailers, it means that among new home owners, more money is being pooled for big-ticket items. According to NAHB's February "Eye on the Economy" study, "The single-family housing market, supported by mortgage rates that have

By Tatyana Sinioukov With the impending energy supply problems this year, a home appliance that conserves energy is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Appliance manufacturers and retailers are aggressively promoting Energy Star products, now that the program has gained critical mass with stricter standards and more product categories. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary Energy Star ratings program geared up in 1996, with products hitting retail showrooms in 1998. Manufacturers and utilities participated first, and the program didn't see significant retail involvement until late 1998. Now, with Energy Star ratings commonly associated with premium appliance lines, retailers are heavily involved. At Energy

By Tatyana Sinioukov, tsinioukov@napco.com Sears, Roebuck and Co., which has won the Energy Star Partner of the Year award for the second time in a row, said it has intended to sell one million Energy Star-compliant appliances in 2000, but exceeded that number, selling 1.1 million. By July 2001, Sears plans to roll out 84 different models of energy-efficient refrigerators that meet and exceed the new DOE standard that goes in effect in July. There are 55 Kenmore models in the lineup, and one of them is a 26-cu.-ft., side-by-side Kenmore Elite refrigerator that exceeds the new DOE standard by 15 percent (to qualify for

By Tatyana Sinioukov With Circuit City getting out, Sam's Club and Wal-Mart getting in, and the independent, regional and national retailers all competing for their place under the sun—expanding distribution, lowering prices and improving customer service—2000 was a year of transition in the major appliances market. Industry assessment of the year's changes were mixed. "I don't think the fact that the distribution strategy had changed means people are going to buy more or less appliances," said Tina Settecase, vice president and general merchandise manager, home appliances, Sears. "The industry per se is going to have as many sales as it was going to

Circuit City Climbs Out, Wal-Mart and Sam's Jump In By Jamie Latshaw and Tatyana Sinioukov Who is going to get Circuit City's slice of the major appliance pie? The slice Circuit City decided to leave on the retail table, preferring instead to sell only CE? Will it be the independents? The regional chains? Or will it be the national retail giants such as Sears, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe's or Sam's? Or will it be the Johnny Come Lately (packing heat!) Wal-Mart? And how are they going to get it? The issue has galvanized the major appliance industry amid a time

Nostalgia is like a buzz in the air, with consumers looking backward as much as forward when making style choices in furnishing and decorating their homes. Otherwise, why would you see clawfoot tubs and white porcelain faucet levers and cross-handles in cutting-edge plumbing showrooms? And how else to explain the rise in popularity of dark Mission-style furniture once deemed nearly worthless, or the double-digit sales growth of such retro-styled appliances as Heartland and Elmira Stove Co. have brought to market? Is retro really moving in? Has the stainless-steel commercial look finally run its course? No, and again no, said James Ruberti, executive vice president-marketing for Brown

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