San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Washington — The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has tapped LG Electronics USA president Soon Kwon to fill an unexpired seat on the trade group's board of directors. The term expires next year. AHAM also elected two current directors to its executive committee: John Arganbright, VP, Panasonic Home Appliance Sales, and Donald Hoeschen, VP/sales, National Presto Industries. Separately, AHAM has released its 2005 Home Appliance Industry Fact Book, a comprehensive collection of AHAM and government statistics on the $22.5 billion majap business, including chapters on manufacturing, industry shipments, consumer purchase data and energy consumption. The publication is available for $175 at www.aham.org/factbook.
Atlanta — IT upgrades at The Home Depot will now allow shoppers to complete their majap purchases within the white goods department. Previously, tickets were written up at a department kiosk and carried by customers to the regular checkout areas at the front of the store. Analyst David Strasser of Banc of America Securities believes the simplified process could help reduce lost sales and drive higher conversion rates. Home Depot's close rate in majaps is 1,500 basis points below Lowe's and 2,400 basis points below Sears, he observed, and until now the company had relied upon expanded assortments and improved traffic to drive market share gains.
New York — Electrolux's bondholders believe the company could be in play, according to published reports citing traders of credit-default swaps. The financial instruments, based on corporate bonds and loans, are used to speculate on changes in a company's indebtedness, and recent gains in Electrolux's credit-default swaps indicated a decline in the perceived credit quality of its bonds. Traders were reportedly reacting to speculation that activist investors are fomenting a buyout, and to a story in a Swedish business newspaper indicating that the country's famed Wallenberg family was considering purchasing the world's No. 2 majap maker.