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Hearth & Home March 2019

Chris Price, Sunbrella Regional Sales Manager.
Photo Courtesy: Tom Lassiter.

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Chris Price, for one!

Athens, Georgia

Occupation: Sunbrella Regional Sales Manager

Special Interests/Hobbies: “Spending time with and traveling with my family, riding my road and mountain bikes, and reading a good book with a glass of red wine.”

Problems/Issues Facing the Patio Industry: “The shrinking specialty retailer base, for one. In speaking with some California reps they noted that their business continues to be soft. I asked how this is possible in a state that has the fifth largest economy in the world. They said it was because so many specialty retailers have closed.”

Key Trends in the Patio Industry Today: “From a Sunbrella or fabric perspective, it’s the beautiful, vibrant fabrics that are available. It’s no longer a beige and brown world. While the consumer will likely purchase a neutral for their base fabric, they can add the trendy fabrics with their pillows, umbrellas, poofs, and side chairs to make their patio stand out from their neighbor’s.”

Key Trends in the Barbecue Industry Today: “Outdoor Kitchens, Outdoor Kitchens – we built more outdoor kitchens with all the bells and whistles in 2018 than in any other year in the history of Outdoor Elegance.”

Forecast for your Business in 2019: “Personally, it will be fine. There’s no doubt that the tariffs have had a negative impact, affecting some of my customers who rely on factories in China.”

Patio Retailers Face Stiff Competition, What’s Your Advice: “Virtually all consumers are researching online before visiting patio stores. Therefore, retailers need to make sure their websites are attractive, informative, and up-to-date, for the website is often the first impression consumers have of the store.

“If the consumer does visit the store, then I believe the specialty retailer with a knowledgeable, approachable, and welcoming staff has the upper hand over the Big Box stores, online businesses, catalogs, etc., for people like buying from people.

“Kudos to the sensational retailers on the recent ICFA retailer tour in San Antonio – Outside in Style (I got it right, Karen!), Summer Classics, and Home & Patio.”

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “Twenty-five plus; I think I’ve known Richard and Jackie all 25.”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “I enjoy reading Richard’s ‘Perspective,’ and learning about the hearth and barbecue industries. I especially like reading the September casual show issue, specifically the ‘Sitting Pretty’ article to learn what the furniture manufacturers are thinking.

“I love the retailer comments, as sometimes there are true gems in the candid musings. I also like the fact that Richard, Jackie, and Tom have been together so long; they’ve created a lot of trust and good will.”

More Stories in this Issue

Perspective: May 15, 2020

For most manufacturers of wood-burning products, the year 2018 was devoted to meeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s New Source Performance Standard that will take effect on May 15, 2020.

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Meet Joe Burns

By Richard Wright

The incoming chairman of the HPBA is president of Bernard Dalsin Manufacturing, a family-owned business making chimney and venting products in Farmington, Minnesota.

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Fireside Chats

By Richard Wright

Generally speaking, it was a good hearth year, as six manufacturers will tell you. But there are so many variables regularly impacting sales, it’s a wonder that’s the case.

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Fahrenheit 1,500°

By Lisa Readie Mayer

A new grill category takes inspiration from steakhouse restaurant kitchens, providing specialty retailers another terrific product to sell.

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Shade and Need

By Tom Lassiter

As the climate warms, the need for shade products has increased – for both comfort and protection.

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Heating With Wood

By Bill Sendelback

Woodburning is not dead, but regulators sure make it difficult to keep it alive. Kudos to the 15 manufacturers highlighted on the following pages.

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A Major Commitment

By Richard Wright

As you read this, Vincent Boudreau and Nadia Gilbert are watching products roll off the production line at Stûv America in Bromont, on the outskirts of Montreal.

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Asset or Liability?

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Online Reviews are important. Here’s how to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and latch on to the affirmative.

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2019 January Business Climate

In early February, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio, and barbecue products, asking them to compare January 2019 sales to January 2018. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 188 useable returns.

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