San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Vernon, Calif.— Citing a sustained downturn in its Thermador oven business, evidenced by disappointing levels of new orders, BSH Home Appliances president/CEO Franz Bosshard said the company is considering shutting down its manufacturing facility, here. Closing the plant, and moving Thermador oven production to BSH factories in Tennessee or North Carolina, would result in "significant cost savings," he said. The company is expected to hold discussions with representatives of bargaining unit employees before a decision is made. The plant was acquired from Masco in 1998 and employs 220 workers.
Las Vegas — Larger crowds and demand for bigger display booths is prompting the National Kitchen/Bath Show (K/BIS) to break with tradition and relocate to the Las Vegas Convention Center for its 2005 show, to be held May 10-12. For the past six years K/BIS, the preeminent majap industry trade event, has alternated between Chicago's McCormick Place and the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. "We are confident the move to Las Vegas will inspire added excitement and open new doors for exhibitors and attendees," said Larry Spangler, CEO of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, which owns K/BIS.
Irvine, Calif. — Fisher & Paykel has filed a patent infringement suit against LG Electronics, claiming the Korean manufacturer has "directly duplicated" its proprietary washing machine technology. The company says its patented "SmartDrive" design — a computerized control system that enables the unit to adjust its wash actions by fabric type and load size — is protected for another 10 years, and has been a key part of the New Zealand vendor's success. Said Fisher & Paykel managing director John Bongard, "We hold some 400 international patents on the technology behind various features which motivate customers to choose our brands, and we are resolute about enforcing them." LG has previously claimed a distinction between Fisher & Paykel's clutch drive-based system and its own direct-drive design (see TWICE, Feb. 11, 2002, p. 51).