Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Cooking up meager profits

February 9, 2009

COLUMN SHOPPINGCheck out the falling profits at Whirlpool and Hasbro.
Whether the ovens you make cook with gas like Whirlpool’s or with a light bulb like Hasbro’s Easy-Bake, it’s hard to make much money when people don’t want to buy anything.
Whirlpool profit fell 76 percent in the fourth quarter as sales in North America dropped 18 percent. The world’s biggest appliance maker also said it expected industrywide shipments of appliances to fall 10 percent in 2009.
Hasbro, which makes littler appliances, as well as G.I. Joes and Transformers, saw a 30 percent drop in quarterly profit as shoppers bought fewer toys for the holidays.
The company plans to focus on cutting costs this year, as are many, if not most companies in the United States. 
But wait, is that G.I. Joe coming to the rescue? A G.I. Joe movie this year is expected to help lift sales of the action figures and other toys Hasbro sells under those names.
Perhaps they can work some kitchen scenes into the script and help out Whirlpool. C’mon, at least a trash compactor to deal with the bad guys?
Also in the basket:
McDonald’s same-store sales rise
Saks upends luxury market with strategy to slash prices (WSJ)

(Reuters photo from 2002)

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