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Hearth & Home May 2017

Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Bruce Lisle, for one!

Mifflintown, Pennsylvania

Occupation: CEO & Founder, Energex Corporation

Special Interests/Hobbies: “Flying and sailing.”

Problems Facing the Pellet Fuel Industry: “Matching supply with demand in all geographic markets, so consumers always have fuel when they need it. Improving the perception of pellet appliances in the retail showroom; retailers selling a wood stove customer or a gas appliance are missing a sales opportunity by not upgrading to a pellet appliance first. Getting bulk fuel the last 10-50 feet from the bin to the appliance.”

Key Trends in the Pellet Fuel Industry and/or the Pellet Stove Industry: “Moving away from 40 lb. plastic bags to home delivery of bulk fuel. A majority of the capacity dedicated to the domestic consumer bag market is now certified under the Pellet Fuel Institutes’ Standards program; this program is the strictest pellet certification program in the world, which benefits consumers.”

Sales Forecast for Your Business in 2017: “Two record-warm winters in a row are a statistical anomaly – cold again in 2017! A longer winter will bring consumers back into showrooms this fall. Consumer confidence will increase as the economy grows again.”

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “Since it used to be called Wood ’n Energy. I first learned about the pellet industry in a Wood ’n Energy article in the ’80s.”

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “It is the only trade magazine that closely follows industry news and trends. Great articles on retailer operations. The Business Climate section is invaluable; it provides the real, and sometimes hard, information. The various annual surveys are very enlightening, along with the periodic industry sector analysis.”

Article Ideas: “The Vesta Awards is an excellent franchise, but we miss the innovation from companies that don’t exhibit at Expo. What else is out there? More articles on the overall demographic parameters that affect our industry, plus regulatory issues that we have to face.”

More Stories in this Issue

Political Blockade?

By Bill Sendelback

Through the first three quarters of 2016, sales of gas fireplaces moved at a walk; in the fourth quarter they started to trot; now they’re at a full gallop.

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A Feather in Their Caps

By Richard Wright

For 41 years Sam and Claudia Halsey have run a successful and profitable hearth business in 1,200 sq. ft., and made a lot of friends in the process.

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Straight Talk

By James E. Houck

It’s time to face the truth about the EPA’s Standard of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters.

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By Lisa Readie Mayer

The Foodie generation wants to live in farm-based communities; that trend is growing rapidly throughout the land and retailers should take advantage of it.

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Artful Merchandising

By Mark Brock

Having, or finding someone who has, the skill to make your store and products enticing to consumers is the best way to increase your business.

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Experience Preferred

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Consumers are choosing experiences over things. Here’s what that means for barbecue and outdoor living retailers.

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Barbecue Anytime and Anywhere

Barbecuing is not just for summer afternoons on a back porch or patio … but also for breakfast, a chilly late fall evening around a fire table, or even in the winter snow.

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2017 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 2017 sales to March 2016. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 227 useable returns.

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