Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Bill Vanderminden, for one!
Occupation: Executive Vice President, Telescope Casual Furniture
Special Interests/Hobbies: “Most importantly, spending time with my family. Then, spending time: with our horses, on a nearby lake, and my newest interest, on or off-road adventure motorcycling.”
Problems/Issues Facing the Patio Industry: “The reduction in foot traffic in retail stores compared to 20 years ago is a real concern. The average ticket price has risen accordingly, so often the store is doing just as much business or more, but it seems that more and more eggs are in fewer and fewer baskets.
“Also, the jury is still out about how the import tariffs will affect our industry, but the instability and uncertainty of the trade talks and tariff levels are definitely making the lives of retailers (and some manufacturers) more challenging.”
Key Trends in the Patio Industry Today: “Polymer furniture (for Telescope, our Marine Grade Polymer and our new Rustic Polymer – woodgrain) is a very strong category that continues to grow year after year, and has shown to be very profitable for retailers. Sectional deep-seating continues to be strong.
”Traditional outdoor dining is giving way to more relaxed chat-height dining, and the ever-increasing variety of fire tables is making this category very exciting and successful. We are also seeing many of our retailers broadening their sales and local influence by pursuing and capturing many large and small local commercial jobs.”
Forecast for Your Overall Business in 2019: “Telescope is experiencing another year of double-digit sales growth over a very strong retail year last year. We see no signs of this demand slowing down through the remainder of this season. The continued upheaval with the tariff situation could affect early-buys, but with the strength of our new 2020 offerings, we expect to be very well prepared going into the 2020 retail season.”
Years Reading Hearth & Home: “Well, I’ve been at Telescope for 33 years, so I would say I’ve been reading H&H most of that time!”
Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “I have always been impressed with the depth of the reporting and the usefulness of the articles and the editorials regarding our industry. As well, the quality of the magazine itself has always been First Class.”