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