Opinions

What a Crock (Pot)

Duke Ratliff

Way back in the early ’90s when HFN was called HFD, I traveled to visit small appliance manufacturers in the Kansas City area. I met with top executives from three companies: Rival, maker of the famous Crock-Pot slow cooker; Toastmaster, credited with the first automatic pop-up bread toaster; and Dazey, which specialized in appliances suchMore »

Last updated: January 13, 2015

The Ghost of Christmas Future

Warren Shoulberg

Permit me, if you will, to do a little time travel and take you on a small trip into the future … 365 days to be exact. Welcome to New Years Day 2016. We’ve all made it through another holiday shopping season and while there was the usual tinsel and general merriment, the retail landscapeMore »

Last updated: January 13, 2015

Four Takeaways From Black Friday Advertising

McLoughlin_Bill_2014a

In addition to drawing consumers to stores with eye popping deals, Black Friday ads can also be instructive for those looking to track key housewares market developments, providing insight into pending price repositioning of key products as well as highlighting the emergence of new categories and brands. This year’s crop of housewares ads was noMore »

Last updated: January 13, 2015

Blog: Happy Holidays from Amazon

Duke Ratliff

Like getting a pink slip during the holidays or a lump of coal in the stocking, retailers must be feeling that Amazon is giving them a not-so-fine present this season as the nation’s largest online retailer announced today that it is testing a one-hour delivery service in Manhattan. Called Prime Now, the service promises toMore »

Last updated: December 19, 2014

Blog: Ma Lauded, Lampert Dissed

David Gill

HANOVER, N.H.-This year’s list of best and worst CEOs has come out, with Jack Ma of Alibaba finishing on the positive side and Eddie Lampert of Sears Holdings among the negatives. The two lists are provided each year by Sydney Finkelstein, professor of management at Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business and author of “ThinkMore »

Last updated: December 19, 2014

Physical Graffiti

Warren Shoulberg

There’s a big reason why the Internet has come along and so easily taken 10 – maybe 20 – percent of overall retail sales in many individual product categories, including a whole bunch in home. Because traditional in-store retailers let them. You can offer all sorts of reasons why online has been so successful andMore »

Last updated: December 16, 2014

Show and Tell

Housewares Show to Stay in Chicago

The trade show calendar begins with a bang in January as retailers have lots of opportunities to look for the next big thing. Here is HFN’s Trade Show Preview for the first half of the year.­—HFN Staff Report JANUARY Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market Jan. 6-13 Atlanta International Area Rug Market Jan. 7-10 americasmart.com ForMore »

Last updated: December 2, 2014

Raging Bulls

Duke Ratliff

Ladies and gentlemen, in the blue corner, hailing from Seattle—American champion online retailer Jeff Bezos of Amazon. In the red corner, traveling all the way from Hangzhou, China—Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. This future heavyweight retail contest of epic proportions is not farfetched, at least not for the distant future, as Ma flexes his musclesMore »

Last updated: December 2, 2014