MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse announced today that it will be introducing, as the product's exclusive distributor, Zircon Corporation's newest line of stud-detection devices, the Stud-Finder Pro Deluxe.
Lowe's chairman and CEO Robert Niblock says this is a particularly significant product for an important segment of Lowe's customer base: women.
"With the increasing numbers of female customers shopping at Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouses around the country, we are continually searching for products tailored to their needs," said Niblcok. "The Zircon Stud-Finder Pro Deluxe will meet one of those needs."
Niblock noted that according to recent studies women -- even those with a "feminist" outlook -- are happier when they find, without too many false starts, the stud they are looking for.
Niblock said Lowe's own internal studies had shown that for women, especially single women under the age of 30, stud-finding was one of the most important components in a satisfying home improvement experience.
"I saw how effective the Zircon Pro Deluxe can be," said Niblock, "when Lowe's NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch were in the store for the initial product demonstration -- the thing went off the scale. For me and Bob (Hull), it didn't even blip."
According to Zircon, the earliest and most primitive method of stud detection was the hammer-in-hand technique, which worked sometimes, but often led to a hole in the wall with no stud to be found. For men, who enjoy knocking holes in walls, this was generally not a problem. But for women, who prefer to place their china display shelves without having to do too much patching, this was far from ideal.
The first electronic stud-finding devices were relatively insensitive, and depended on the stud having been nailed by something magnetic.
"Previous electronic stud-finders (including the cheap junk currently sold at Home Depot) were so defective they would detect Tony Stewart," said Lowe's Robert F. Hull, Jr., "if for no other reason the metal screws and plate in his head. The technology in the Zircon Stud-Finder Pro Deluxe allows it to eliminate this and other false readings."
The new devices from Zircon, using sonar technology, look for something solid and structurally sound. "When a Stud-Finder Pro Deluxe finds a stud, it's a stud," said Hull, Lowe's Executive VP and CFO.
In related news, Jimmie Johnson says he will be adding the Zircon Stud-Finder Pro Deluxe as one of his secondary sponsors.
Nextel Cup points leader Johnson, whose primary sponsor is Lowe's, said he is planning on mounting a large working model of the Zircon Stud-Finder Pro Deluxe on the back bumper of his #48 Chevy Monte Carlo so that other drivers can quickly locate him.
Copyright 2006 Douglas Salguod