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Hearth & Home February 2018

Photo: ©2018 Abstract Photography Terry Wieckert Photographer

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Steve Pulone, for one!

Carmel, Indiana

Occupation: General Manager/VP Operations, O’Malia’s Living

Special Interests/Hobbies: “Spending time with my wife and daughter, and settling in to our new home in Indiana! My daughter and I spend hours off-roading in our 4-wheel drive golf cart – even in the snow!”

Problems/Issues Facing the Hearth Industry: “We have had a hard time finding the right mix of salespeople. I think there are too many people out there who just want to show up and collect their check.”

Problems/Issues Facing the Patio Industry: “We are still seeing a high percentage of people who come in and want high-quality furniture for pennies on the dollar. When customers see a seven-piece furniture set at the drug store for $199, it tends to make those of us who are trying to sell quality look overpriced.”

Key Trends in the Hearth Industry Today: “I think electric units will remain a popular alternative to gas/wood units, especially where it’s too difficult to run venting. Also, we continue to see a steady growth in direct-vent gas appliances, with people willing to spend money for the higher-end units.”

Key Trends in the Patio Industry Today: “For the upcoming season, I think we will see more black frames with blue and/or grey being popular colors for cushions.”

Key Trends in the Barbecue Industry Today: “The Big Green Egg is still one of our best-selling grills, hands down. We carry strong gas grill lines, but the Egg definitely carries its own weight in sales.”

Forecast for Your Overall Business in 2018: “While we were up a little in 2017, I think 2018 will be even better. The economy is fired up and I think people will be willing to dip into their ‘discretionary’ income this year to get what they want.”

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “Since you first started printing it! (My dad made sure we all read it cover to cover!) We also make sure each of our salespeople reads it every month.”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “I get a good idea of what’s happening with other retailers. It helps to know others are hitting the mark, or if they are trying new ways to get more dollars in the door.”

More Stories in this Issue

Making it Happen

By Tom Lassiter

On the outskirts of Richmond, Mikki and Joey Hopcroft have built a solid reputation for Bon Air Hearth, Porch and Patio by making life easy for their customers.

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Give Builders a Chance!

By Bill Sendelback

If you’re a hearth dealer, your best opportunity to grow your business may be in establishing strong relationships with local builders.

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A Family Affair

By Tom Lassiter

A few months ago, Leib Oehmig became CEO of Glen Raven, but, he says, “we (meaning everyone at Glen Raven) are just a group of people trying our very best to support our customers and, hopefully, grow the business in the process.”

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They’re Buying!

By Lisa Readie Mayer

This may be the best news of 2018: The Millennial generation is finally buying homes, and here’s what you need to know.

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A Barrel of Fun

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Barrel grills are becoming an exciting new barbecue category, and now is the time for specialty retailers to jump on the bandwagon.

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Proven Performers

By Bill Sendelback

Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits have been around for about 20 years and selling well; the lifestyle they create appeals to most people.

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Fabric Wars!

By Mark Brock

There’s nothing casual about competition among casual furniture fabric makers, but at least it’s done in a civilized manner.

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2017 December Business Climate

In early January Hearth & Home faxed and emailed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare December 2017 sales to December 2016. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 182 useable returns.

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