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In this Issue

Consumer Confidence Index Jumps Over 100

New Home Sales Rise 11.6 Percent in December

Fastest Growing States, 2010 to 2014

Sunset West Announces New Executive of Corporate Relations

HearthDistribution.Com Enlarges Warehouse Space

Consumer Confidence Index
Jumps Over 100

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in December, rose sharply in January. The Index now stands at 102.9 (1985=100), up from 93.1 in December. A reading above 100 signals strong growth (it’s OK, you can stand up and shout!).

Says Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer confidence rose sharply in January, and is now at its highest level since August 2007 (Index, 105.6). A more positive assessment of current business and labor market conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers’ view of the present situation.”


New Home Sales Rise
11.6 Percent in December

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 11.6 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This uptick is in line with what our builders are telling us in surveys and on the ground – that they are seeing increased traffic and more serious buyers in the market for single-family homes,” said Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a homebuilder from Blue Springs, Missouri.

“After a slow start to 2014 precipitated by bad weather conditions, new home sales have ramped up in the second half of the year,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “We can expect this momentum to continue into 2015 with the release of pent-up demand, particularly as existing home owners are trading up.”

The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 219,000 in December, which is a 5.5-month supply at the current sales pace.

Regionally, new home sales rose 53.6 percent in the Northeast, 17.7 percent in the South and 3.1 percent in the West. Sales dropped 11.5 percent in the Midwest.


Fastest Growing States, 2010 to 2014

By Cheryl Russell, American Consumers Newsletter

Between 2010 and 2014, the U.S. population as a whole grew 3.1 percent to 319 million, according to the Census Bureau's latest state population estimates. By state, growth ranged from a high of 9.7 percent in North Dakota to a small loss in one state: West Virginia's population fell by 0.2 percent during those years. These were the 10 fastest growing states from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014.

  1. North Dakota, 9.7%
  2. District of Columbia, 8.9%
  3. Texas, 6.8%
  4. Colorado, 6.1%
  5. Utah, 6.1%
  6. Florida, 5.5%
  7. Nevada, 5.0%
  8. Arizona, 5.0%
  9. Washington, 4.7%
  10. South Dakota, 4.5%


Sunset West Announces
New Executive of Corporate Relations

Sunset West, an outdoor furniture manufacturer located in Southern California, has announced the selection of Dawn Joblinske as its new executive of Sales and Marketing Coordination effective immediately.  Joblinske will fill a new executive role to meet the demands of the company’s recent growth. The selection was made after an exhaustive search was conducted to find a candidate with extensive experience in the outdoor furniture industry.

“We are very pleased with this addition to our Executive team,” said Wes Stewart, CEO of Sunset West. “Being an accomplished veteran in our industry, Dawn brings with her an extensive knowledge base. We plan to leverage that experience within our team to help with the growth that we are experiencing. Her deep sense of commitment and attitude toward superb customer service and satisfaction mirrors that which we are known for; I am confident that it will be a good match for both Dawn and Sunset West as we continue to grow.”

Joblinske’s resume includes over 30 years of executive planning, administration, sales and marketing experience in the casual furniture industry. She has held positions as vice president of Operations for several outdoor furniture manufacturers including Koverton/Amco and Summerset Outdoor Living. In addition to having owned her own casual furniture retail store in the Midwest, Dawn has also held the lead buyer/merchandiser position for the casual furniture category at the now infamous Leisure Living Superstore formerly of Temecula and Murrieta.

“I look forward to continuing a multi-faceted career within the Casual Furniture Industry by supporting the growth and expansion of Sunset West,” said Joblinkse. “I’m dedicated to this industry because the outdoor living space plays a vital role in a healthy family life, and I take great pride in providing a beautiful and comfortable backdrop for the memories that are made there. I’m excited about the goals and bright future ahead for Sunset West. It’s my pleasure to work with such a brilliant team and I look forward to participating in bringing those goals to fruition.”


Enlarges Warehouse Space

HearthDistribution.Com (HDC) began operations in February 2007 as an Internet based distributor of Hearth, Patio, Barbecue and related products.  The idea was unique to the industry as it allowed the individual store to purchase product as needed at pricing equal to or less than early-buy pricing. 

Prior to the inception of HDC, dealers who wanted a deeper discount had to purchase large quantities of product well before the selling season with the anticipation that they could “guess” what they might sell come the selling season. If the dealer “guessed” wrong there was the stress of the coming dating payment.

The demand for product from HDC has increased each year since its inception to the point that a larger home was required to meet this demand.  Previously located in suburban Kelso, Washington, the company has moved to Vancouver, Washington, more than doubling its previous size.

With the increased space and the increased velocity of incoming product, HDC continues on its mission to drive profits for the retail dealer with unbeatable prices. Provisions have been made for additional space at the  new location as it is required – a win-win for the dealer. Lower cost, less inventory and less stress.

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