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Hearth & Home October 2014

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Anastasia Marcakis, for one!

Montreal, Quebec

Occupation: “Sales manager at Supreme, a family-owned business founded by my father 33 years ago.”

Special Interests/Hobbies: “Swimming and spending time with my husband and our beautiful son (he recently turned one!).”

Issues Facing the Hearth Industry: “The biggest issues we face as a manufacturer are the new state regulations and restrictions regarding wood-burning products. In particular, the revised EPA standards expected to take effect in 2015 will make it very challenging for manufacturers to develop new products, which consequently will increase development costs and time.”

Forecast for the Hearth Industry in 2014: “We launched three new EPA products in the last year and have experienced a strong demand for these products in the first two quarters, which bring optimistic expectations for the rest of the year. The harsh winter and the high energy prices may also encourage homeowners to heat with wood and invest in a more efficient appliance.”

Key Things Retailers Should Do To Improve Their Hearth Business: “Work with product lines that make your business profitable; train your staff so they are knowledgeable on all the products that you sell; keep your showroom up-to-date and clean; invest your time on lines that are easy to work with, and try not to over-diversify your showroom.”

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “I have been reading Hearth & Home ever since attending my first HPBExpo in 2006, just a couple months after graduating college and joining the family business.”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “I read Hearth & Home because it keeps me informed on news, trends, events and products of our industry. This magazine brings us together as a community and is a great platform for small businesses and new products.”

More Stories in this Issue

Nicer Up North

One would think that a warm climate would be conducive to warm dispositions and friendly demeanors (think Jamaica, reggae music, dancing, breaking waves and smiling people), and that the opposite would be true – a cold climate must of necessity create a land of introverts with scowling faces and rude behavior.

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By Tom Lassiter

You can get anything you want (remember that song?*) at Capital Iron, in Victoria, on the island of Vancouver, in Canada.

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Service with a Smile

By Lisa Readie Mayer

In 10 years, Topfire has created a successful two-store business with only two employees – both of whom smile a lot.

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It's About Growth

By Richard Wright

With its acquisition of Tropitone Furniture Co., Brown Jordan International picks up its sixth company; CEO Gene Moriarty has his sights set on a seventh.

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Gas: Heart of the Hearth — Part II

By James E. Houck

This is the second of a three-part series on gas-fueled appliances in the residential hearths of North America. It focuses on socio-demographics, regionalism and consumer attitudes.

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Diversify to Survive

By Bill Sendelback

One thing all retailers should have learned from the downturn is that there’s weakness inherent in selling one product category.

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The Potential of Accessories

By Lisa Readie Mayer

To rev up sales, take the Accessory Challenge; it just might turbocharge your barbecue business. Want a surefire way to amp up barbecue sales? Sell accessories.

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Bonding with Barbecue

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Prior to every concert, the Zac Brown Band shows a great deal of southern hospitality by treating 150 lucky fans to a gourmet barbecue and quality time with the group.

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2014 August Business Climate

In early September, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,134 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare August 2014 sales to August 2013. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 212 useable returns.

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Parting Shot: A Calgary View

The fire pit area is actually sunken 18-in. down from the surrounding grade; the stone retaining walls and built-in wood benches help to shelter the occupants and the fire from the wind.

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