Here is a post made at stockwire...I am reposting so everyone can read it and make their own decision about what is happening.
I have put in bold a few points that jump out at me.
This is the response I got from E about if Lowes was a test market and when will we be able to find the Lowes numbers to order at stores.
I sent this Saturday, and he responded a few hours later, i din't see it until today, cause it got put in my Spam mail????
Also i would greatly appreciate it if someone could post this on the other board I am out of post.
This is a great email...
Hello Mr. Cash,
There are three levels of management in Lowes involved in this process; The buying level, the middle management (district) level, and operational front line staff at the store level. The launch is taking place at a time when the prime directive from senior management in such chains is to reduce and rationalize SKU proliferation. Commencing new initiatives is considered contrary to the trend of consolidation. This is particularly true of large companies today when one after the other they are reeling from weekly shocks in the business news. It would be fair to describe our movement in as being against headwinds. For this reason, the responsible answer to your question is that we are not allowing ourselves to treat the arrangements as being beyond revision up or down, left or right as we move against the economic trend in these relationships. This is one of the reasons that we at Winning Brands have always preferred and proposed a phased launch with special emphasis on a starting point of local expertise and success, naturally progressing from one district and region to the next. This lets the process work organically within the firm as a refreshing positive experience amongst the bad news on so many other fronts. Therefore, this is a constructive process. Also very importantly, this approach makes it possible to create gradually increasing media promotion in a scale that grows with the placement footprint. The opposite approach, doing the entire chain in one massive roll-out exposes the entire program to many risky countervailing forces: massive training and load absorption without uniform multi-tier management buy-in and huge national advertising commitments. Remember that this retailer (and most others) are having active discussions internally about how to cope with developments in their industry. Most organizations are adopting a consolidation and reductionist approach.
In view of the foregoing, neither “test” on the low end nor “roll-out” on the high end is nuanced enough to accurately describe the reality of achieving this particular launch during these bracing times. A phased introduction, with growing momentum based on increasing regional experience is the most accurate characterization. It captures the attitude that corporate buyers now have finally attainted toward our product; Winning Colours Stain Remover is truly innovative, desirable and appropriate to begin offering anywhere in the chain, when the stores themselves are ready to introduce it. This more nuanced characterization also acknowledges that this (and all other major retailers) are making continuous adjustments in their thinking prompted by the economic crisis’ twists and turns.
I realize that the answer is not the type of pure boosterism that some companies rely on in order to sound good or look good, however I have enough respect for the intelligence of our shareholders to know that they prefer to be partners in reality.
Bottom line: I am confident, we are working hard, progress is being made and we have terrific partners. We are continuing to fine tune right up to the moment that the first sales can begin. As long as I can say that accurately, then we will be OK and on our way! As of today, I can still say that!
Eric Lehner, CEO
cc. Forum Moderator