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Hearth & Home

Richard Wright
Hearth & Home Magazine

Something Interesting

“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”

— Tom Goodwin
Havas Media

Those five sentences are worth reading again. We’ve all known the facts for some time, but somehow (most of us) haven’t put it together in this fashion.

It does make the market valuations, and profit potential, of these four companies more understandable, doesn’t it?

It’s a bit like saying Hearth & Home Technologies is the largest fireplace/stove company in the world, yet it does no manufacturing. Clearly, its profit potential would skyrocket, and it rapidly would become a darling of Wall Street – obviously something very interesting!

Let your mind wander a bit: In what other areas could we create a business by first eliminating the major expense of that business? Well, how about professional football? We could get rid of the incredible expense of carrying a roster of 53 highly paid players; we could call it Fantasy Football.

There are many other interesting things happening in this, and every, issue of Hearth & Home. For example, CAPO Fireside, in San Juan Capistrano, California, has grown right through the downturn. It now has five Design Centers in southern California and, in 2015, experienced sales growth of 37 percent, reaching $28 million in sales following a 24 percent increase in 2014. 

Owner Eric Peterson has accomplished that feat with a different business model. His 17 Builder Sales managers are constantly on the road, calling on architects, designers and custom homebuilders (Brilliant Execution). 

Now that’s something different, and interesting. 

Writer Lisa Readie Mayer’s interview with marketing expert Anne Obarski (Power in the Purse) also provides some interesting facts. She reminds us that women are responsible for 85 percent of all purchases, and that if you’re not catering to women, you’re making a huge mistake. 

For example, according to Obarski, it’s key to create a positive experience for women; remember that they are much more discerning and aware than men. Women are visual learners, she says, and it’s just not enough to put products in a lineup. Create vignettes. Provide inspiration. Offer beautiful accessories. Make sure every inch of your store is clean; that may be basic, but it’s also key.

In a related article (Move Over, Fellas!) Mayer also tells us that 34 percent of women now are the primary grillers in their households; that’s a huge increase from only a few years ago, as well as a number that will continue to increase. 

This surge in women grillers has great and positive implications for your business. But remember, women grillers are dramatically different customers from the men. Become a student of the likes and dislikes of female shoppers. Request input from women in your life, and consider hiring a female salesperson if you don’t have one already.

You may find that studying women is the most interesting course you will ever take.  

More Stories in this Issue

Move Over, Fellas!

By Lisa Readie Mayer

The gals are stepping up to the grill, and that represents a sales opportunity for manufacturers and retailers.

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Waking Specialty Retailers!

By Bill Sendelback

Electric fires are the largest hearth category by far, and growing fast; the dollars (and loonies) are too many to be left to other channels.

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Queen of The Hill

By Tom Lassiter

Somewhat late in life, Linda Moran purchased Hill Company in Philadelphia and turned it into an award-winning patio furniture star.

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Outdoor Kitchens Rule!

By Lisa Readie Mayer

The trend is toward built-in grills, not cart grills, which means that dealers will be able to sell a slew of related products.

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2015 November Business Climate

In early December, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare November 2015 sales to November 2014. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 192 useable returns.

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