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Hearth & Home December 2015

Joseph Cilio, CEO, with his wife Kimberly, creative director at Alfresco Home.
Photo: ©2015 Todd Trice Photography.

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Joseph Cilio, for one.

Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Occupation: Chief Operating Office, President, Alfresco Home

Special Interests/Hobbies: “Art, Music, Ice Cream, Fitness (to help combat my Ice Cream habit) and most of all enjoying time with my family and friends over a great meal!”

Problems Facing the Patio Furniture Industry: “There is tremendous pressure on the independent specialty retailer in marketing their products to consumers who have multiple options on where and how to purchase products.

“Additionally, downward pressure on pricing from large retailers becomes more challenging every day for many retailers and manufacturers as costs again increase on the supply side, forcing all parties involved to be extremely sharp in their complete presentation, or they could easily lose out on the opportunities to grow the business.”

Forecast for Your Patio Furniture Sales in 2016: “Up 17 percent.”

Problems Facing the Barbecue Industry: “The strength of a few can be a burden on an industry in its ability to grow and improve its products, qualities, and services. The long-term impact of such an impetus to broader growth of brands, and some incredible products for consumers, bodes well for some and not well for most.”

Forecast for Your Barbecue Sales in 2016: “Up 100 percent.”

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “12.”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “It’s simply full of tremendous ideas, real facts, interesting personal journeys, and valuable data encompassing the broader outdoor living industry.”

Article Idea(s): “Let’s really get detailed in teaching all retailers how to market outdoor living products to maximize everyone’s opportunities. Education on products, systems, and even how to run a business could be a giant benefit to effectively developing and growing the patio, hearth or barbecue businesses.”

More Stories in this Issue

Commerce & Climate

It seems that, no matter the issue, there always will be a large block of people on both sides – immigration is a good example, so is abortion, the KeystoneXL pipeline, campaign finance reform and, of course, the Great Gun Debate.

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Here's Something New!

By Tom Lassiter

Erik Mueller has used his knowledge of retail (Watson’s) to find a new material (Sima) for outdoor products and to create a new company (Plank & Hide).

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2015 Retail: Past & Future

By Richard Wright

Hearth & Home talked to retailers throughout North America – hearth dealers had a Fair year, patio dealers had a Good year, and barbecue dealers had a Damn Good Year!

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Embracing Change

By Tom Lassiter

The Stegman’s moved their business from Ohio to Florida, created three new stores (with one more coming), learned (the hard way) what to buy, and are in the process of figuring out how to attract Millennials.

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Treat People Right

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Zach Watson, Rex and Crystal, are building a strong business by remembering lessons learned when they were young.

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2015 October Business Climate

In early November, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare October 2015 sales to October 2014. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 203 useable returns.

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