SOURCE: Rothman Research

Rothman Research

April 14, 2010 08:56 ET

Trends & Strategies in the Housewares Industry

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - April 14, 2010) - - Having faced a tumultuous 2009, the housewares & accessories industry is looking forward to see more customers coming out of their 'stay-home' approach throughout 2010 as the economy slowly starts to recover. There is hope on the street and in most sectors that the recovery will take on momentum as it has conventionally done after previous prolonged recessions. So far, there has been a regain in consumer spending and employment level, however, those past years might have brought deep-seated transformations in most Americans' spending habits. Companies are trying to adapt to new consumer philosophies like 'value for lower prices,' 'Go Green, save the world' or even 'save on energy,' and in doing so many have started their own concept like 'cost-reduction for efficiency.' One of the most promising players in the space, Jarden Corporation (NYSE: JAH), has been very active on the M & A front, trying to expand its product line so as to meet the challenges of a weakened economy. Its latest acquisition is Mapa Spontex Care and Home Care Unit.

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"It is true that we are seeing more in terms of consumer spending, but these spending remain on average frugal in nature. A large portion of the population is still shelled in their stay-home mentality and you cannot blame them... Those past two years have been dreadful to their budget and the economic recovery is moving too slow, so people prefer to be safe than sorry... However, it should be noted that the stay-home trend has been beneficial to some companies like Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL), whose cookware brand Calphalon saw a successful sales campaign in the brunt of the recession," commented Jack Benassi of "Newell is moving with the trend in these times of uncertainty. The company recently launched its new line of window shades and I believe this is another proof of its marketing strategy towards winning consumer confidence. Who would say no to energy efficient technology when energy bills are constantly on the rise!!"

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Whilst the economic recovery remains the main focus of the industry, many companies are working hard to tap into a new market that has a potential spending power of $350 billion. This new market regroups a younger generation of buyers who should be in their 20s and who grew up in a more technology driven world and have already experienced one of the worst economic downturn in history. For this new market, companies will have to be more innovative, more creative and even more price-competitive. 2010 has great prospects and many challenges and so far it seems that many in the housewares industry are making the right moves.

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