Do-it-yourselfers get appliance parts, repair advice online
Many consumers are choosing to fix their own appliances instead of paying a repairman or buying new models, according to RepairClinic.com, an online resource for appliance parts and do-it-yourself appliance repair help and information.
“The weak economy has caused sales of new appliances to drop sharply,” said Chris Hall, president of RepairClinic.com. “However, even though people can get by without some conveniences, appliances rank near the top of things they can’t do without.”
Consumers can save as little as $100 and, in some cases, as much as $1,000 or more by ordering parts and installing them without the help of a professional, which is particularly important in this economy, the company said.
RepairClinic.com offers not only parts but tips on what to do if the dishwasher doesn’t get the dishes clean, or the dryer takes too long to dry your clothes, or the icemaker makes smelly ice. A feature on the site — “RepairHelp” — offers more customized advice for fixing appliances.
Examples of tips are as follows: “As a proactive measure against potentially major leaks, replace the rubber inlet hoses on your washing machines every five years, and for even more peace of mind, use stainless steel hoses.” And, “Clean your microwave and filters frequently. Food particles and splatters absorb some of the microwave energy while the unit is operating and may cause burns and other damage to the microwave.”
RepairClinic.com, which was founded in Canton, Mich., in 1999, features more than 80 appliance brands, including Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, GE, Frigidaire and LG, across 16 appliance types (e.g., washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, ovens and dishwashers). Appliance parts are stocked in a 72,000 sq. ft. facility and shipped the same business day.
“We’ve seen significant growth in the past 15 months as more and more people turn to the Internet to repair their old appliances and get more life from them,” Hall said. “Because we also offer free repair help, our service is helping to meet the needs of tens of thousands of customers per month.”
The bleeding has slowed
The market may have reacted favorably last week to news that Target reported a better-than-expected 6.3% decline in March same-store sales, but don’t break out the champagne just yet. The company wisely planned conservatively for March, given discouraging economic conditions and the shifting of Easter sales into April with the late arrival of the holiday. In essence, the company under-promised and over-delivered, to the extent that a same-store sales decline of 6.3% on top of a prior-year same-store sales declined of 4.4% can be regarded as over-delivering.
“Our guests continue to be cautious, but we have begun to see encouraging signs in the operating results of both of our business segments,” said Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel. “In light of the Easter shift and recent trends, we expect our April reported comparable-store sales results to be essentially flat to last year.”
Relative strength was seen in non-discretionary categories such as food, household product, baby and health care, while home and apparel continues to suffer with declining sales. When those categories begin to show some strength and Target reports positive monthly same-store sales a celebration will be in order, but don’t be fooled by April’s results, where the real possibility exists for the company to exceed its guidance given the cautious approach to its sales outlook.
New leadership named at Stop & Shop
QUINCY, Mass. Stop & Shop Supermarket has named Paula Price as CFO and Paula Labian as EVP human resources.
As CFO, Price will be responsible for the Finance, Strategy and Planning, and IT functions at Stop & Shop and Giant Food. Most recently, she served as SVP, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer for CVS/Caremark.
As EVP human resources, Paula Labian will play a key role in positioning Stop & Shop and Giant Food for the future. For the past six years, she served as chief human resources officer (CHRO) and global VP human resources for Whole Foods Market.