April 1st, 2009
More than 2,000 exhibitors from 30 countries attended this year’s International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago.
A lot of players in the industry, including Jeff Siegel, CEO of Lifetime Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq: LCUT) — our Buzz Stock of the Day — are actually upbeat and claim that “in difficult times, innovation is an indispensable tool.” And frugality Siegel said is actually an impetus for sales for companies like Lifetime Brands. Sales for some specific houseware categories were actually up in 2008, despite an overall decline in retail sales, according to NPD Group.
“As people eat more at home, they need to acquire the products that enable them to prepare, cook, and serve food at home,” Siegel said. The beauty of many of Lifetime Brands’ products is that they’re cheap– many under $100 — making them a viable purchase for consumers.
Lifetime Brands markets cutlery, kitchen tools, gadgets, and other products under the KitchenAid, Cuisinart and Farberware brands at retailers nationwide.
The company recently partnered with Edison Nation, a product consultant, to solicit ideas for new products from consumers.
“It’s a win-win situation because it offers excitement that people need in this tough environment. And Lifetime gets additional innovative items that we can turn into positive sales,” said Dan Siegel, executive vice president of corporate innovation strategies for Lifetime Brands. “
“People are spending more time at home,” Tom Mirabile, a vice president and trend analyst for Lifetime Brands told Reuters. “We have to help them find ways to make that experience interesting.”
Lifetime Brands reported revenue (ttm) of $486.3 million, and generated EBITDA of $17.6 million. The company has a 1.3 percent operating margin, and generated $40.8 million in operating cash flow and $11.8 million in levered free cash-flow. Shares of LCUT trade slightly above their 50-day moving average.