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Hearth & Home December 2016

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Sharla Wagy, for one!

Bloomington, Minnesota

Occupation: “General Manager, Memphis Wood Fire Grills.”

Special Interests/Hobbies: “Trying new recipes on my Memphis Grill, strength training and yoga, reading, traveling with my daughter, playing the piano and serving on the board of the Minnesota Sinfonia, a non-profit orchestra providing free concerts, and music education in low-income schools.”

Problems/Issues Facing the Barbecue/Grill Industry: “Changes in trade agreements could affect import/export tax rates – we’ll see what the new administration brings forth. Overall economic growth, the exchange rate with Canada and Europe and, of course, regulations, Net Zero, etc., continue to be a concern for our industry as a whole.”

Key Trends in the Barbecue Industry Today: “The growth of wood-fired cooking popularity, the growth of healthy eating trends, and the flexibility of today’s grills to cook not only meat, but vegetables, cheeses, bread, deserts, etc. We have seen a great response to our cloud-based Wi-Fi app, allowing consumers to control their grill from anywhere. The convenience factor helps make the grilling and smoking process easier in our time-crunched world.”

View of the Industry Over the Next Five Years: “Positive – Hope for continued economic growth, homeownership and interest in flavorful, healthy and convenient meal preparation. Continued growth in the outdoor living movement across all income and demographic sectors.

“Consumers are looking to make their outdoor space as beautiful and comfortable as their indoor space; that will continue to grow. We have had a great year at Memphis, and look to continue our growth with a premier product and new dealer and marketing programs planned for 2017 and beyond.”

“Negative – If the market is uncertain or stagnant, it could slow the growth we’re seeing. Regulations could increase costs and hinder growth.”

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “For a total of about 20 years over my career. I did leave the industry for several years, but now that I’m happily back in, I’m once again reading every issue.”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “Several reasons: Pertinent articles, such as the October issue on Canadian Commerce and the challenge for American manufacturers with exchange rates; reading about my customers and friends in the industry, their stories and visions for the future, and getting current statistics on industry sales.”

More Stories in this Issue

Interesting Times

The election is finally over and you’re either ecstatic, happy, relieved, very upset, frightened – or an amalgam of all those emotions. Facing the unknown, we all have the tendency to hunker down, close our wallets, and wait for the world to settle down (as if it ever does).

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Showroom Sales

By Mark Brock

From manufacturer, to rep, to retail warehouse, to showroom floor where it’s all up to the salesperson, she or he is the only one in the chain who actually talks to a customer.

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2016 Retail: Past & Future

By Richard Wright

Hearth & Home talked to retailers throughout North America – hearth dealers had a Forgettable year, patio dealers had a Very Good Year, and barbecue dealers had a Memorable year.

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Selling Quality

By Bill Sendelback

In Albuquerque, Patio and Hearth Co. focuses on the high end, and that has proven to be a winning formula.

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PATIO: A Very Good Year

By Tom Lassiter

As 2016 comes to a close, patio retailers find they have little to complain about, and they’re already looking forward to 2017.

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By Tom Lassiter

That’s the sound of the eight ball dropping into the corner pocket as Great Gatherings runs the table around D.C.

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Not a Restaurant!

By Lisa Readie Mayer

In Indianapolis, Chef JJ straddles the worlds of hospitality and retail sales, and he’s doing very well in both arenas.

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2016 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 2016 sales to October 2015. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 182 useable returns.

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Parting Shot: Shock & Awe

In “The Godfather Part II,” Michael Corleone meets Apollonia Vitelli and it’s love at first sight. His Sicilian bodyguards call it being struck by “The Thunderbolt.” We felt similarly, but for a different reason, upon first encountering the incredible work of sculptress Malgorzata Chodakowska.

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