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Hearth & Home

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
David Kuhfahl, for one.

Lake Elmore, Vermont

Occupation: President, HearthStone 

Special Interests/Hobbies: “My family, renewables, wooden boats (model and full size), maintaining a small cabin on an island accessible only by boat.”

Problems Facing the Hearth Industry: “On the solid fuel side, there are many well-intended but ill-informed voices misleading the regulators and the public. Government regulation has become onerous to all parts of our industry and, coupled with low fossil fuel prices, our renewable products look less attractive as an alternative.  

“There will be fallout as consolidation removes competition, and impacts our trade association’s funding and the direction of our legal efforts.”

How Were Your Hearth Product Sales in 2015? “Solid-fuel appliance sales showed a clear trend toward a lower price point; overall, it’s off by 10 percent. On the gas side, despite reducing our product line SKUs by 60 percent and losing five months of gas appliance sales getting our CPSC-compliant stoves to look good and perform as the CPSC expected, we saw an increase in demand for these products. I hear we did a better job than most and the market responded.”

Forecast for Your Hearth Product Sales in 2016: “We already have the most sought-after wood stoves, but it’s time to diversify. We will have a new and innovative gas fireplace lineup in New Orleans, as well as a few alternative fuel products. I don’t see any impetus for solid fuel to increase, but gas-fueled appliances seem likely to see growth.”  

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “I have been in this industry nearly 21 years now and Hearth & Home has been at my side the whole time.”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home:Hearth & Home is and has been the primary internal voice of our industry. Hearth & Home is a watchdog for breaking news and the reliable place to sense trends, and also occasionally to be heard. I most appreciate the stories by industry experts that follow regulation and market trends.”

More Stories in this Issue

Something Interesting

“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”

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Move Over, Fellas!

By Lisa Readie Mayer

The gals are stepping up to the grill, and that represents a sales opportunity for manufacturers and retailers.

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Waking Specialty Retailers!

By Bill Sendelback

Electric fires are the largest hearth category by far, and growing fast; the dollars (and loonies) are too many to be left to other channels.

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Queen of The Hill

By Tom Lassiter

Somewhat late in life, Linda Moran purchased Hill Company in Philadelphia and turned it into an award-winning patio furniture star.

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Outdoor Kitchens Rule!

By Lisa Readie Mayer

The trend is toward built-in grills, not cart grills, which means that dealers will be able to sell a slew of related products.

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2015 November Business Climate

In early December, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare November 2015 sales to November 2014. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 192 useable returns.

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