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Home Depot enters connected home market

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – Following Staples’ expansion of its Staples Connect home and office automation platform to 500 stores, The Home Depot is making Wink-enabled connected home products available for purchase in its nearly 2,000 U.S. stores and online.

The Wink platform unites close to 60 devices with 15 manufacturers of home products ranging from light bulbs and locks to window shades, irrigation systems and water heaters. All Wink-enabled products are operated through the free iOS and Android Wink app that lets consumers personalize their experience. For example, a consumer can operate just one light bulb or all of the light bulbs in a particular room, or they can group the light bulbs with other products in a particular area of their home.

Wink has also developed Wink HUB to support products that do not connect directly to the Internet. The Wink HUB works with connected products from other brands, allowing for control of any smart product from the Wink app. The Wink HUB MSRP is $79.99. However, through Labor Day at The Home Depot, the Wink HUB is priced at $49.99. With the purchase of one Wink-compatible product from The Home Depot, the price of the Wink HUB drops to $24.99, and with the purchase of two Wink-compatible products, it drops to $0.99. The Wink HUB has no monthly fees or contracts and supports protocols including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Lutron ClearConnect.

In addition, the Wink app will be available to download for Google’s Android Wear, allowing Android users to receive alerts and operate their connected home products from anywhere.

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Havertys sales rise in Q2

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – Havertys sales for second quarter 2014 increased 2.4% to $175.1 million, compared with $171.1 million for the second quarter of 2013. On a same-store basis, sales for the quarter increased 3.2%.

Havertys closed its Plano, Texas, store in May. In the third quarter, the company will open a new store in Fort Worth, Texas, and relocate its Fayetteville, North Carolina, showroom.

“Sales for the second quarter showed growth in the categories of upholstery, mattresses, and accessories,” said Clarence H. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of Havertys. “Our supplier order fulfillment for wood products continued to challenge case goods sales. There has been recent improvement with the exception of a major Chinese manufacturer and we expect lead times to stabilize over the remainder of the year. Our sales results were up against tough double-digit increases in 2013.”

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Authentic Brands and ImagineX Group ink deal to expand Juicy Couture in Asia

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — ImagineX Group, Asia’s leading retail, brand management and distribution company, and Authentic Brands Group, LLC, the new owner of Juicy Couture, today announced a long-term franchise partnership to drive Juicy’s market expansion and category development in China. The partnership will provide the momentum to add more Juicy Couture stores throughout Asia; expand the brand’s reach with new product lines; and support further regional growth initiatives.

ImagineX, a company within The Lane Crawford Joyce Group, first acquired the management and distribution rights of Juicy Couture for Greater China and South East Asia in 2006 and now operates more than 80 points of sales in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

The next phase of growth will focus on brand extensions to create a complete lifestyle brand, and an integrated distribution network beyond shopping malls. Building on the success of Juicy Couture’s Black Label Collection in Asia, a new footwear collection produced by Steve Madden will launch in 2015. Intimates and Juicy Couture Girls Collections will also be added, with freestanding stores planned in the upcoming years. More than 40 points-of-sale will be opened in key locations, while a major push in e-commerce, with both omnichannel and wholesale online accounts, will significantly extend the brand’s reach across the region.

“We look forward to working with ImagineX to further accelerate Juicy Couture’s growth in Asia, consistent with our long-term goals for the brand in global markets,” said Jamie Salter, CEO and chairman of Authentic Brands Group. “ Our growth plans for Asia are consistent with the evolution of the brand globally, including the unveiling of new concept stores in the U.S. in 2015; new offerings in footwear, intimates and kidswear; and exciting developments in fragrance, watches, eyewear and swimwear.”

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