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Hearth & Home May 2015

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Tom Wenke, for one!

Palatine, Illinois

Occupation: Senior Vice President – Sales, Weber-Stephen Products

Special Interests/Hobbies: “Golf, Hunting, Fishing.”

Problems/Issues Facing Barbecue Industry: “We feel this is a great time for the barbecue industry, for a few reasons. Weber has seen industry grill sales increase significantly as people transition into new homes, and we see the housing market starting to rebound.

“Innovation creates great products, such as the Weber Q1400 electric grill which is perfect for the increase in urban dwellers, whether that’s Baby Boomers deciding to retire in the city or younger families staying in the city longer.

“We love the saying at Weber that ‘Happiness happens around the Weber grill,’ and as the weather warms up, it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill and slow down a little to reconnect with friends and family.”  

Status of the Outdoor Room Trend: “The Outdoor Room is growing in popularity because it’s a natural extension of the home. Entertaining friends and family is popular among all segments, and potentially the most popular with those in the Millennial generation. Research shows there is an increased investment in outdoor renovations, including the outdoor kitchen.  

“Fun fact from our Grill Watch Survey, ‘Eighty-four percent of the people surveyed said they were happy when they fired up their Weber grill. You don’t feel that same happiness when you fire up your oven.’ The happiness that comes from the traditional American barbecue could be a contributor to the rise in outdoor kitchens. Weber started in 1952 around the idea of bringing people together to enjoy a perfectly seared steak; we love seeing this tradition thriving today.”

Most Coveted Amenities in Outdoor Rooms: “A Weber grill.”

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “Twenty years.”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “Industry news, best-in-class retailers, Vesta Award winners, housing trends, regional sales trends, new products, legislative/industry news updates.”

Article(s) Ideas: “More news on Millennials and Millennial trends.”

More Stories in this Issue

Shop Mom & Pop

By Lisa Readie Mayer

The Shop-Small, or Shop-Local movement is gaining traction as a way of helping specialty-store owners increase their business.

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A Year to Remember

By Bill Sendelback

Buoyed by a remarkable sales year in 2014, gas fireplaces are on the road to recovery, but unit sales are still 64 percent less than in 2005.

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A Slow Pace

By Bill Sendelback

If you’re waiting and watching for a new home construction to really take off, here’s a bit of advice — have patience.

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Texas-Style Shopping!

By Tom Lassiter

Nebraska Furniture Mart is open for business; it expects eight million customers a year and could well generate $1 billion in annual sales.

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A Teak Revival?

By Tom Lassiter

As the season unfolds, fresh designs, strong early-buys and a trend toward rustic styling have manufacturers in an optimistic mood.

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A Travelin’ Man

By Richard Wright

Rick Baker hits the road for six months to personally introduce Alfresco Home’s Fervor grill to specialty retailers from New York to Vancouver.

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2015 March Business Climate

In early April, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare March 2015 sales to March 2014. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 232 useable returns.

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