Consistency defines top toaster picks | Rice cookers produce perfect rice every time | Chef'd, Campbell's partner on meal kits for slow cookers
February 16, 2018
Housewares SmartBrief
News for and about the housewares industry
Industry Update
Consistency defines top toaster picks
Consumer Reports toasted hundreds of bread slices to recommend the best toasters, which are able to consistently brown bread evenly, Kimberly Janeway writes. The Cuisinart CPT-122 is priced low but performs on a high-level, and the KitchenAid KMT223 earns kudos for its bagel slots and trendy retro style.
Consumer Reports online (2/15) 
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Rice cookers produce perfect rice every time
Consumers who reach for instant rice could enjoy quintessential rice at a more reasonable price if they invest in a rice cooker, Gia Liu advises. Top rice cookers include the user-friendly Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Pot Style Rice Cooker and the high-tech Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Induction Heating Pressure Cooker.
Digital Trends (2/15) 
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Trends & Innovations
Chef'd, Campbell's partner on meal kits for slow cookers
Slow cooker lovers who are looking for more meal variety can order Chef'd meal kits created in partnership with Campbell's. The service doesn't require a subscription and offers a range of ready-to-cook meals such as Slow Cooker Chicken & Herb Dumplings and Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup.
Digital Trends (2/15) 
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Retail News
Penney's to shutter 8 stores, leave Puerto Rico location closed
Penney's to shutter 8 stores, leave Puerto Rico location closed
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
J.C. Penney will close eight US stores and won't reopen one of seven stores in Puerto Rico that were closed when Hurricane Maria hit the island last fall. The retailer announced earlier this week that it would shutter a Wisconsin distribution center to streamline logistics as its stores fulfill a growing number of online orders.
The Dallas Morning News (tiered subscription model) (2/14) 
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Walmart-operated cloud system pays off for the retailer
Walmart's move to operate its cloud systems in-house is helping the company expand its online services, says Tim Kimmet, Walmart's head of cloud operations. The company has improved turnaround time for in-store returns of online purchases and has made stocking items easier, he adds.
CNBC/Reuters (2/14) 
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Lowe's, Home Depot will hire 133,000 seasonal employees
Lowe's, Home Depot will hire 133,000 seasonal employees
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Home Depot and Lowe's have launched their annual spring hiring sprees with plans to add more than 80,000 and 53,000 seasonal staffers, respectively. The tighter labor market could make it tougher to fill the posts, and Home Depot has implemented an easier application system that lets people apply and schedule interviews from their smartphones.
CNBC (2/14),  Bloomberg (free registration) (2/14) 
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Finance & Policy
Inflation prompts speculation about Fed rate hikes
This week's unexpectedly high inflation figures have sparked speculation that the Federal Reserve might move to cool the economy with as many as four interest-rate hikes before the end of next year. Bond traders appear to be anticipating rises in 2019 and are betting on them heavily, indicated by action in eurodollar spread steepeners.
Bloomberg (free registration) (2/14),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (2/14),  United Press International (2/14) 
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IHA News
Housewares Charity Foundation to honor Salomon, Dillard, Riedel
The Housewares Charity Foundation (HCF) will celebrate its 21st anniversary by honoring three industry leaders at its annual gala dinner March 12 during the International Home + Housewares Show. Shelley Salomon, vice president of home, pets and toys at Amazon, will receive the Lifetime Humanitarian Award; Bill Dillard III, senior vice president of Dillard's, will receive the Humanitarian of the Year Award; and Riedel owner Georg J. Riedel will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The reception will feature tasting stations by James Beard Foundation chefs. Proceeds will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Buy tickets today.
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Save the date for IBC Global Forum
The 2018 Global Forum will be held Sept. 23-25 in Toronto. The Global Forum is sponsored by IHA’s International Business Council and brings together strategic planning and pragmatic international information to facilitate sales and business development in key export markets. Extensive networking with housewares buyers, industry professionals and seasoned IBC members offers IHA members opportunities to increase their housewares industry network and sales. Learn more.
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Because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
Edward Everett Hale,
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