Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Wes Stewart, for one!
Occupation: Managing Partner of Sunset West, Vista California
Special Interests/Hobbies: “Travelling and boating with my family.”
Problems/Issues Facing the Patio Industry: “The largest issue we face as an industry continues to be the commoditization of the category. The various channels and offerings, combined with the general public’s insufficient knowledge concerning the use, or lack thereof, of quality materials, leads to an acceptance of various price points. At the lower price points, customer expectations can become misaligned with the actual performance of the product. As an industry, all we can do is educate the customers who walk into our showrooms and visit our websites.”
Key Trends in the Patio Industry Today: “Certainly cleaner lines are dominating what we are seeing, but regardless of color, style, or materials used, I am seeing people furnish their outdoor spaces like they do their interior spaces – mixing and matching different textures and materials, and bringing them together to create an environment that is aesthetically pleasing both visually and tactily.”
Advice to Retailers on Increasing Business: “I have a hard time giving advice as every retailer and selling environment is different from others. Much like manufacturers, we all have our own challenges, and to offer one piece of advice that blankets the industry would be fairly presumptuous of me.”
“What I can say is that the most successful retailers I have had the fortune to be around are passionate about what they do and it clearly comes through in their presentation on their floors and attitudes of their staff. They take care of their customers, are fair to their vendors, and are always trying to improve their offerings and the way that they are presented to the customer. These successful retailers are engaged.”
Forecast for Your Overall Business in 2019: “As a percentage of overall home furnishings that are sold, I think that casual furniture sales will continue to climb. As a company, Sunset West has been fortunate enough to continue to grow year-over-year for the 15 years that we have been in business. I look forward to working hard and keeping that trend going.”
Years Reading Hearth & Home: “16 years.”
Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “I enjoy the coverage of all the interrelated topics and categories within and around casual furniture. I feel that Hearth & Home offers a complete perspective on the industry. To date, my favorite article was the profile of Richard and Catherine Frinier in February’s issue.”