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Hearth & Home May 2016

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Dick Hoffman, for one!

Asheville, North Carolina

Photo: ©2016 Tim Barnwell Photography.

Occupation: “Owner, Fire House Casual Living Store, a hearth, patio and barbecue retail store.”

Special Interests/Hobbies: “Golf, antique British sports cars, spending time with family and friends.”

Trends in the Hearth Industry: “We have experienced a continued increase in gas fireplaces through new construction and remodeling. Consumers are making higher price-point decisions for their chosen units and accompanying items. Gas inserts have also increased with existing homeowners.”

Trends in the Patio Furniture Industry: “Consumers are purchasing better quality and
higher-priced products. Seating with chat-height tables and fire pit tables are more frequently purchased. Consumers are more aware and ask for brand-name outdoor fabrics. Our sales of ipe wood groups are increasing. One of our best-selling products overall has been in HDH polymer groups.” 

Trends in the Barbecue Industry: “Kamado-style grills/smokers are a close second in sales to gas grills. We are seeing a return to more interest in built-ins and outdoor kitchens, but on a moderate budget level.”

Forecast for Your Business in 2016: “We are off to a good start for 2016 and remain ‘cautiously optimistic.’ Fall will be good due to pent-up demand and memories of a late cold and snow period this past January. ” 

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “I have been reading Hearth & Home for the past 21 years.”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “It’s the place to learn what other retailers are doing in their stores, and get an insight into what manufacturers are seeing and doing in their areas. 

“The Business Climate section with survey and sales information helps me compare with other areas of the nation and make decisions on our next adjustments or direction.”

More Stories in this Issue

Perspective –
One Warm Winter

Before you read any more, go to the Business Climate and take a good look at the two temperature charts. The top chart is for the month of March only, and it shows temperatures throughout the country were either Above Normal or Much Above Normal.

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Determan Steps Down

By Richard Wright

After 21 years in the hearth industry, Brad Determan backs away to spend more time with family and to “get the hell out of the way” of his understudy.

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Berger Steps Up

By Richard Wright

VP Berger’s task is to protect and grow a half-billion dollar hearth business while navigating through the vicissitudes of weather, the economy, fossil fuel prices, and the ever-changing tastes of consumers.

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A Howling Success

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Only six years old, Coyote Outdoor Living has marked its territory as the sweet spot of $1,000 to $3,000 grills.

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Help or Hindrance?

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Most lifetime grill warranties are complicated, confusing and, say some industry members, just not needed any more.

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Outside & In

By Tom Lassiter

Industry veteran Bruce Erickson opens the first Summer Classics Home store selling both SC and Gabby.

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2016 March Business Climate

In early April, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare March 2016 sales to March 2015. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 216 useable returns.

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