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Hearth & Home April 2018

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Gary Goodemote, for one!

Brattleboro, Vermont

Occupation: Owner, Friends of the Sun

Special Interests/Hobbies: “I play basketball a few times a week; I’m also an avid sports spectator; I dabble in woodworking, and I’m currently hooked on “Words with Friends.” Our son is a musician, so my wife and I attend quite a few performances.”

Problems/Issues Facing the Hearth Industry: “We are getting to be an industry that has a shortage of young people to fill our jobs and to be our customers. It’s hard for us older people to appreciate how automatic it is for younger people to consult their phones for answers to problems. It seems that will affect brick-and-mortar stores like ours more and more every day.”

Problems/Issues Facing the Patio Industry: “At least in our part of the country (The Frozen North), the length and timing of the outdoor season seems to be getting more and more unpredictable. Some years, I have a hard time making the transition from the heating season to the outdoor season and back again.”

Key Trends in the Hearth Industry Today: “Wood heat is still a big part of our business, so I appreciate the manufacturers’ constant push for higher efficiencies. It gives us new things to talk about. In gas units, most of our suppliers have begun to offer standing pilot units as a slightly simpler and slightly lower cost alternative to intermittent pilot units.

“The trend toward more contemporary stoves and fireplaces seems to be continuing. It will be interesting to see, if fuel prices stay as low as they have been, whether there will be much innovation in pellet units. Electric logs seem to get more and more realistic.”

Key Trends in the Patio Industry Today: “I’m still mourning the loss of shades of green, so I’m probably not the one to say.”

Forecast for Your Overall Business in 2018: “I think that we’ll see a modest increase in wood and gas units. Our outdoor and awning businesses depend a lot on the weather.”

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “From the beginning. Mostly cover to cover, although lately I probably spend more time on the Hearth & Home eNewsletter.”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “It’s a great way to keep up on what’s new, to get a look at other peoples’ showrooms, and to keep tabs on new regs. Plus, it’s just plain interesting for us stove nerds.”

More Stories in this Issue

Expo, Vesta & Architects

Like a flock of birds landing together, so, too, did buyers (retailers and distributors) arrive in the exhibit hall at the HPBExpo in Nashville. On that first day (Thursday), they entered en masse, conducted business all day, then moved on to the outdoor party.

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Moving Industries Forward

The Vesta Awards program was started in 2001 with one goal in mind: to honor and highlight those companies that propel their industries forward with products that are well designed and innovative.

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Good Year, Good Show

By Bill Sendelback

Once more, Nashville is proven to be the best venue for a gathering of hearth, patio and barbecue retailers, manufacturers, distributors and reps.

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News from Nashville

By Lisa Readie Mayer

A report from the barbecue beat at Expo 2018 shows that new companies and new products are combining to power the industry.

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Happy Holidays!

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Creating promotions around food, culture, and calendar holidays is a great way to grow your business.

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Small Grills, Big Potential

By Lisa Readie Mayer

The market for portable grills is deep, and getting deeper, and products are getting better by the year; they are now a must-carry item for retailers.

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2018 February Business Climate

In early March Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio and barbecue products, asking them to compare February 2018 sales to February 2017. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 172 useable returns.

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Parting Shot: Sunbrella Everywhere!

In honor of the North Carolina Arts Council’s 50th anniversary, 50 renowned artists celebrated by sharing their North Carolina arts story, and reflecting why public funding for the arts matters.

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