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Hearth & Home July 2018

Richard Wright
Hearth & Home Magazine

Malls Decline,
Fabrics Flourish

Time magazine became part of my life as a freshman in high school. It was required reading imposed by a teacher who saw the need of expanding the interests of his charges. In that, he was quite successful. The magazine provided highly readable information on a wide variety of topics, including, of course, politics, the environment, business, people, movies, trends, issues of all colors and stripes, as well as a bit of humor now and again.

With the exception of a stint in the military where both time and magazines were in short supply, I’ve been a subscriber ever since.

In November 2017, Time and its siblings, such as Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money, were sold to Meredith Corp. as part of a larger buy. The company has made it known that Time magazine is once again up for sale, which brings us to the present, and this issue of Hearth & Home.

One year ago, on July 20, 2017, an article appeared in Time chronicling the birth, life, and death of a substantial number of malls; it was reported and written by Josh Sanburn.

I kept that issue for some time before I decided to request permission to publish it in Hearth & Home. A process that should have been concluded in a month or two stretched out to six months or so, due, I’m sure, to the upheaval surrounding the sale to Meredith.

But persistence does pay off, and you’ll find the article "Why the Death of Malls Is About More Than Shopping", and, yes, I still read Time every week, and enjoy it. However, the future for Time remains cloudy.

July Means Fabrics

Every July Hearth & Home publishes a comprehensive look at new fabrics that will be shown at the ICFA Preview Show in Chicago. This year, writer Mark Brock talked to a wider-than-ever group of fabric manufacturers, jobbers, and designers, companies such as Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, Outdura, Perennials, Tempotest Home, Bella-Dura, Phifer, Silver State, and Pindler Fabrics.

In the article "A Retail Perspective", Brock also wanted the comments and opinions of those on the front lines, such as Leslie Crocker, showroom manager with Dennis Sales Associates; Joan Nutting, buyer at Maschino’s; Stephanie Everett, buyer at Emigh’s Outdoor Living; Michelle Miller, buyer for Out Back Casual Living; and Gloria Stagmer, buyer for The Bruce Company.

Among the trends these frontline folks identified are the following:

  • Texture is more popular than ever.
  • Geometric patterns are also in demand.
  • Beige tones now have to compete with gray.
  • Blue is one of the strongest color trends.
  • Traditional stripes are out of vogue.
  • The line between indoor and outdoor decor continues to blur.
  • Customization is king.
  • Retailers can distance themselves from the Big Box stores with FABRICS!

More Stories in this Issue

Doing It Their Way

By Tom Lassiter

In Sonoma, Theresa Deere and Michael Robertori have created a store with different products, an ambiance with a different vibe and, for themselves, a different lifestyle.

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A Retail Perspective

By Mark Brock

Blue is one of the strongest trends at specialty retail, and texture is becoming increasingly important to consumers.

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Meet Mark Stephens

By Tom Lassiter

With 11 years in the furniture industry, he comes prepared to propel an already high-performing Pride Family Brands into even more growth.

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2018 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 2018 sales to May 2017. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 219 useable returns.

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