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Hearth & Home November 2018

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Keith Guidry, for one!

Photo: ©2018 Zoom Photo

Lafayette, Louisiana

Occupation: Manager, Percy Guidry Hearth & Patio

Special Interests/Hobbies: “Fishing, family time, cooking, fishing and fishing!”

Favorite Drink, Favorite Food: “A good cup of coffee; any dish where shrimp is the key ingredient.”

Has Your TV show – “Grillin’ with the Guru” Been Great for Exposure? “It really picked up some momentum this past season (season six). I get stopped in restaurants and grocery stores all the time by people who love the show. It shows off our grills in a very positive and controlled light, as well as educates the public on how to use their grill and think outside the box!”

Issues and/or Opportunities in the Hearth Industry: “As I see it now, there will be significant opportunities for Service Providers. As more and more specialty gas fireplaces and stoves are designed, built, and sold…the more customers will need a reliable and trained person to service their product.

“With that, we have seen a dramatic uptick in sales of high-end, specialty gas products, which carry with it a higher sales ticket. Sell one high-end unit for $10,000 - $15,000 and it makes you think – how many Builder’s Boxes would we have to sell to equal that, and with a much lower margin. Opportunity: Explore more designer options. Issues: Labor, economy, not enough time to fish!”

Key Things Retailers Should Do to Combat Big Box and Internet Sales: “Again, we can’t compete on price. Stand out as the area’s BEST service company – word gets around quickly. Go high-end, stock less inventory, and special order as needed. The one thing that the hearth industry has going for itself is that, when it comes to specialty fireplaces and wood stoves, where installation and service are key, we have somewhat of a safety net. The momentum builds quickly, but you can help yourself out by posting jobs that you do EVERYWHERE: facebook, instagram, snapchat, pinterest, and your website.”

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “As long as it’s been published (since 1980).”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “Keeping up-to-date with current topics and products. H&H always has great content on marketing and suggestions on how to compete in this ever-changing marketplace.”

More Stories in this Issue

Perspective: Stealing the Work of Others

One year ago, in our November issue, we published an article (“Stealing Creativity”) by Lisa Readie Mayer on the counterfeiting of products that is rampant in the barbecue accessories business. It’s also a problem with barbecue appliances, and certainly with other products in the hearth, patio, and barbecue fields.

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Amazon: A Necessary Evil?

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Theft of intellectual property, aided and abetted by Amazon, is hurting the barbecue industry. Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, has the power to change that.

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Professor BBQ

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Greg Blonder takes a scientific approach to outdoor cooking, and destroys some fallacies along the way.

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Unsung Heroes

By Mark Brock

Manufacturers' representatives in the patio furnishing industry, as in other industries as well, are the glue that holds everything together – if they do it right.

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The Cookbook

By Bill Sendelback

Alex Soubliere creates a best practices operations manual for hearth retailers, along with a hands-on help program that he supplies.

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Clean and Care

By Mark Brock

Outdoor Elegance creates a program that generates new revenues while building relationships.

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2018 September Business Climate

In early October, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio, and barbecue products, asking them to compare September 2018 sales to September 2017. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 2,003 useable returns.

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Parting Shot: Woven Cement

Berlin-based designers Studio 7.5 collaborated with Parisian 3D printing experts XtreeE to create a series of continuously printed concrete benches with a woven pattern.

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