Friday, June 17, 2016

Single women help drive SUV boom

Nora Patey knew what she wanted when she went car shopping over Presidents Day weekend: a small SUV, with a backup camera, high carriage and a reasonable monthly lease payment. Even so, many of the salesmen made their pitches to her boyfriend.

“He would have to say, ‘It’s not my car, don’t talk to me, talk to her,’ ” the 24-year-old recalled. “Even though I would initiate the introduction and say that I was looking for the car, and I was buying it, a lot of the conversation would frequently get directed to him.”

Like Patey, who eventually bought a 2016 Mazda CX-5, a growing number of women are shifting the gender demographics of vehicle sales and challenging automakers’ long-held assumptions about who drives their cars. In particular, single women are buying more SUVs, fueling a surge in demand that has 2016 on pace to top last year’s record 17.5 million light-vehicle sales in the U.S....

Read the entire article courtesy of the Detroit News:
(Photo: Mazda)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Boomers, Youngsters Fuel Surging Vinyl Record Sales

SALISBURY, Md. — Little more than a decade ago, many people would have thought the vinyl record was a relic of a past age; a nostalgic piece of history that new technology has rendered obsolete.

But to the happy surprise of antique dealers and collectors, the last 10 years or so have witnessed a resurgence in the LP. 

Salisbury resident and vinyl aficionado Matthew Gunby said vinyl offers a unique experience that has been lost in our digital world.
“There’s something very special about sitting and taking the time to put on what you think you want to hear, instead of just hitting a shuffle button and skipping through songs,” he said, adding that he thinks younger generations have discovered and started to love that same experience.

“There’s just something really wonderful about that,” he said....

Read it all courtesy of USA Today:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Painting A New Landscape

Sherwin-Williams’ acquisition of Valspar Corp. in an $11.3 billion deal has the potential to redefine the paint and coatings industry on a global scale, according to some hardware executives, even as many industry followers prefer to take a wait-and-see approach.

Once completed — and it is not expected to be finalized until the first quarter of 2017 — Sherwin-Williams would become the industry’s largest paint company, overtaking PPG Industries and Akzo Nobel N.V. Prior to this deal, Sherwin-Williams had ranked No. 3 and Valspar No. 4.

The move comes as Valspar has taken a larger role in the paint offerings of Ace Hardware, and more recently, Memphis, Tennessee-based distributor Orgill. In March of this year, Orgill and Valspar teamed up to create a colorful store-within-a-store offering called the Paint Works....

Get the entire picture courtesy of HBS Dealer:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Automakers Rush to Find Ride-Hailing Service Partners

Automakers, much like sweaty-palmed teenagers, at their first dance are hustling for partners in this growing, uncertain world of ride-hailing before they're left to wrestle with their angst over what might have been.

In the last week, Toyota announced a vague, details-to-come hookup with Uber. Volkswagen infused $300 million into European ride-hailing start-up Gett. BMW's i Ventures provided $5 million of seed capital for Scoop, a ride-sharing  platform operating in the San Francisco Bay area. In January, General Motors invested $500 million for a 9% stake in Lyft.

About 15 million Americans will use a ride-hailing service this year, a figure projected to grow to more than 20 million by 2020, according to, a research website that studies the sharing economy....

Read the entire article courtesy of USA Today:
(Photo: John Locher, AP)

Monday, June 13, 2016


'It’s encouraging to see consumers planning to splurge on dads. This increase in spending could be a good sign related to consumers’ willingness to spend more as we head into the second half of the year." Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO
Consumers say they will spend more than ever on Father’s Day this year as they shower dads with everything from power tools to trips to the ballpark, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics.

Consumers are expected to spend an average $125.92 for the holiday, up from last year’s $115.57. Total spending is expected to reach $14.3 billion, the highest in the survey’s 13-year history but still below this year’s Mother’s Day total of $21.4 billion....

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