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Hearth & Home July 2020

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Marc Kaufer, for one!

Mt. Laurel, New Jersey

President of Frankford Umbrellas, manufacturer and designer of high quality shade solutions.

Special Interests/Hobbies:
“My children, shade solutions, running with my dog, and kayaking and fishing in my lake with my children and my dog.”

Problems/Issues Facing the Patio Industry:
“We are facing many issues in addition to COVID-19. In the aftermath of this crisis, we must dedicate ourselves to turning it into an opportunity. Big Box stores, and online Big Box stores, are inundating potential customers with so many low-end and throw-away outdoor furniture and umbrella options, with descriptive, yet deceiving descriptions.

“It is imperative we educate our retailers and their clients so they understand the differences in what they might see online, and what they can purchase in casual furniture specialty retailers across the country. We must provide our customers a unique product and a unique shopping experience, and not offer them anything they can find through Big Box online stores.

“This will, over the long run, encourage consumers to visit and purchase unique and high-quality products that can only be found in traditional brick-and-mortar specialty stores.”

Key Trends in the Patio Industry Today:
“Cantilever umbrellas have become increasingly popular, along with unique and stylish frame finishes and fabrics. Umbrellas and shade are no longer being thought of as an accessory to outdoor furniture, but as an essential part, and design element, in the outdoor living experience.

Impact of the Coronavirus on Your Business:
“In addition to a slight reduction in sales, Frankford has rededicated itself to our employees, and our contract and retail partners, as we all strive to reinvent ourselves and understand that crisis and opportunity go hand in hand.

Forecast for Sales in 2020:

Years Reading Hearth & Home:
“25 years.”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home:
Hearth & Home has been very helpful in identifying potential clients, as well as assisting in industry trends and issues facing the casual furniture market.”

More Stories in this Issue

Good News & More News

July has always been our Fabric issue. It was selected to coincide with the ICFA Preview Show at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. That show is really the first time patio retailers get to see next year’s offerings of both fabrics and frames.

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Inspiration Is Everywhere

By Larry Thomas

It could be found at a trade show in Milan, the fresh colors on a new car, on a runway in Paris, or in a Netflix movie – it could even be from the feathers of a peacock.

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A Mirror of 2008!

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Some retailers are thriving, not just surviving, during the COVID-19 pandemic; tired of using an old grill, homeowners are buying new grills, pizza ovens, furniture, and other outdoor products.

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The British Are Here

By Bill Sendelback

At the recent HPBExpo in New Orleans, a number of British companies were displaying for the first time. What follows are snapshots of each company.

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2020 May Business Climate

In early June, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio, and barbecue products, asking them to compare May 2020 sales to May 2019. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 229 useable returns.

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Parting Shot: On the Banks of the Arkansas River

Two Foot Ten Foot (yes, that’s the company name) was brought on this project by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects (yes, that’s the company name) to help design and fabricate two custom fireplaces with large, organically-shaped chimneys and custom gas-log sets.

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