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INDUSTRY NEWS


cOLUMBUs, OHIO — Heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration Distributors International an- nounced that north american HVac/r average distributor sales for December closed out 2010 in line with the association’s forecast, but fell short of most manufacturer and analyst projec- tions going into the year. HarDI’s monthly Targeted and regional


economic News for Distribution strategies (TreNDs) report showed average growth for the month of 17%, versus December 2009, undoubt- edly driven by the impending expiration of the full $1,500 residential tax credits. the running 12-month sales improved for the fifth consecu- tive month, meeting the top end of HarDI’s 2010 growth projections at just over 10%. Four U.s. HarDI regions and canada finished the year up double digits. For the second consecutive month, average


Days sales Outstanding continued to decline, falling much more in line with distribution aver- ages. average distributor sales per employee inched up again after a modest increase last month. “as expected, the pending reduction of the


•THE WHOLESALER® — MARCH 2011


HARDI: Strong December sales reaffirm tax credits’ impact


$1,500 tax credits, effective January 1, pulled early 2011 demand into December, giving our members a great close to what was generally an underperforming 2010,” said HarDI executive vice presi- dent and cOO talbot H. Gee.


“December’s distributor sales mix of cooling equipment was nearly 50% 14 seer and higher, which will most certainly not be the case next month or likely any of 2011. the question mov- ing forward isn’t whether, but how much, high efficiency sales will drop if we’re unable to fully reinstate the 25c tax credits or grow other effi- ciency incentives.” according to HarDI chief economist alan


Beaulieu of the Institute for trend research, “average sales improved in 2010 for every HarDI region, and the annual growth rate is the highest recorded in the HarDI trenDs reports since mid-2006. We were spot-on with our 10% growth rate projection for 2010, but despite a stronger economic environment we don’t see enough in the HVac/r industry to sustain that level of growth next year.” Visit www.HarDInet.org.


Gerber Plumbing Fixtures donates to Habitat


atLanta— serving as a valued atlanta Habitat for Humanity in-kind donor, Gerber Plumbing Fixtures LLc donated water-saving fixtures and faucets valued at $5,000 to atlanta Habitat’s retail outlet, the restore. all proceeds from the restore are used to help fulfill the mission of atlanta Habi- tat, which is to build affordable, green, quality homes in partnership with working families. “Our affiliation with Gerber is a great match.


the restore is open to the public, and contractors, homeowners and renovators all take advantage of our inventory,” said Lisa schwinghammer, direc- tor of retail sales for the restore. “Gerber’s do- nation lets us offer quality products to our customers, while helping us build homes. In many cases, donations save goods from landfills. In 2010, proceeds from the restore enabled atlanta Habitat to build six additional homes, and more than 3,500 tons of materials have been diverted


from landfills since 2001.” Gerber’s donation to atlanta Habitat’s re-


store, its first to the organization, consists of high-performance, eco-friendly toilets and low- flow faucets. “We’ve always admired the work of atlanta


Habitat as the largest provider of affordable sin- gle-family homes in the metro area, and we are thrilled to help this organization,” said ron Mudge, marketing manager for Gerber. “Home- buyers qualify for and participate in the building of their homes, and they complete required and elective education classes taught by atlanta Habitat volunteers. Our donation to the restore helps move forward this important mission.” Visit www.atlantahabitat.org or www.ger-


beronline.com. Gerber can also be found on twitter @gerberplumbing and on Facebook at GerberPlumbingFixturesLLc.


OBITUARY Thomas Kleppe, rep agency founder See contact information on page 194


sanFOrD, FLa. — thomas H. Kleppe, 81, of sanford, Fla., passed away on January 24. Kleppe was born in Milwaukee, Wis., on no- vember 24, 1929. He was the president and founder of tom Kleppe & associates Inc., a Florida-based manufacturers’ representative agency. In 1961, Kleppe moved to


Florida from Wisconsin with Milwaukee Valve before forming his own agency. He


was instrumental in developing early market pen- etration for some of the top plumbing and PVF manufacturers in the industry, and he introduced many products that to this day are household names and used in everyday industry. Kleppe was a very active member of aIM/r,


asa, sWa, PHcc, Ia, FIs and KBIs. He had a passion and commitment for the industry but, more importantly, for the people in it. the family requests donations Kleppe’s honor


to Hospice of the comforter, 480 West central Parkway, altamonte springs, FL 32714.


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