Industry Spotlight

Staying Strong in Today’s Market

by Robert Elmquist

While many high-end specialty retailers are holding their own despite an ailing economy, other niche companies are suffering because consumers have less discretionary income. With no federal bailout in sight for them, bankruptcy has become a reality for many retailers.

One such victim of this market shakeup is Carlsbad, Calif.-based retailer…


Marketing Maneuvers

A Winter Wonderland in Southern California

by Robert Elmquist

Just as many new yorkers make an annual trek to macy’s to view its beautifully decorated holiday store windows, each year, countless Southern Californians cherish a time-honored tradition of visiting Zender’s (Newbury Park, Calif.) to shop and marvel at the specialty retailer’s dazzling Christmas Showplace. Tom Malinowski, owner and president,…


Marketing Maneuvers

Lurgan Woos Price-conscious Shoppers

by Robert Elmquist

With the current downtown in the housing market, many outdoor retailers and specialty dealers have been searching for good-quality, midpriced furniture lines to add to their merchandise mixes. One company that can certainly meet a retailer’s needs in this price category is Lurgan Lawn Furniture, based in Newburg, Pa.

In fact, Duane Weaver,…


Hearth Retailer Profile

Packaging Expertise for Profit

by Robert Elmquist

What does it mean to be a hearth expert? It can have a different meaning for every hearth seller. If you ask John Waterstraat, president of Washington-based Fireside Hearth & Home, he will tell you that it means staying in touch with the needs of his customers and evolving with the industry. Originally a builder-oriented hearth supplier, the…


Hearth Retailer Profile

Golden Blount Excels by Targeting High-end Consumers

by Robert Elmquist

Golden Blount, Inc., is known in the hearth industry for manufacturing some of the best high-end products on the market, from gas logs and fireplaces to infrared gas grills and glass fireplace doors. What one may not know, however, is that this respected manufacturing business owes its credibility with its customers (which include distributors and…


Barbecue/Grill Retailer Profile

Turning a Passion Into a Profession

by Robert Elmquist

After taking an 18-month sabbatical from corporate life and traveling the country in their motor home, former New Englanders Ron and Nancy McKeehen decided on Central Florida as their next place to put down some roots. While designing their new home, they included an outdoor kitchen in the plan.

Fully aware of the hazards that Florida’s…


Barbecue/Grill Retailer Profile

Product Diversity Drives Masterbuilt’s Success

by Robert Elmquist

Masterbuilt Manufacturing, Inc., based in Columbus, Ga., might best be described as an innovator of some of the most versatile and user-friendly cooking products available in the industry today.

Perhaps the most groundbreaking of Master­built’s products is its Turk N Surf™ electric turkey fryer, the world’s first turkey fryer that can…


Showroom Showcase

Wowing Customers With Premier Products and Superior Service

by Robert Elmquist

When yard art opened for business in colleyville, texas, in 1994, the initial plan was to sell backyard statuary, pottery, and fountains—and a little bit of patio furniture. In the first year, general manager Butch Wallace spent many backbreaking hours delivering 700-pound pieces of iron and concrete art to customers’ homes.

While outdoor-art…


Showroom Showcase

Seizing Opportunities in Today’s Marketplace

by Robert Elmquist

For Georgia-based Erwin & Sons Direct Imports, Inc., a challenging economy might very well be a great opportunity: the chance to win new customers in tough times. This 25–year-old company, founded by Jim and Judy Erwin, has grown, through numerous market changes, to become one of the most trusted direct importers of outdoor furniture in the…


As I See It

Delivering Stylish Shade Products

by Robert Elmquist

Fresh, inventive, sculptural, and functional: TUUCI shade products are anything but ordinary. The Miami-based company has been creating parasols, shade lounges, pavilions, and cabanas for the past 10 years, and it leads the way when it comes to the new generation of shade products. Founder and CEO Dougan Clarke’s passion for the unconventional…


My Turn

The Dynamic Duo

by Robert Elmquist

Renowned designer Joe Ruggiero had been interested in creating a collection of all-weather wicker for some time when a colleague of his suggested that he speak to Johan Yang, vice president of sales and marketing for Viro®,  a leader in the production of superior-quality fibers specifically designed for outdoor use.

“We met and both…


Product Innovation

A Trusted Brand Name

by Robert Elmquist

Heatilator® hearth products have been warming U.S. homes for more than 80 years. The brand’s real-life approach to product development and manufacturing has made it an innovator that is consistently finding new ways to bring comfort and security to homeowners.

Heatilator, based in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, is part of the Hearth & Home Technologies…



Last Word

Rethinking Priorities in Today’s Economy


Publisher's Viewpoint

Publisher’s Viewpoint - November 2008


Editor's Message

Editor’s Message - November 2008


Guest Editorial

Holding Steady


Industry News

Industry News - November 2008



Springfield Dining

Country Flame Universal Doors: 400 and 500 Series

Jim Beam and Bradley Make Sweet Smoke Together

iPod/MP3 Docking Station and FM Tuner

EcoSmartFire XLBurner

New PGSA Series

HearthSide Designs

Escea EF5000

Ashmost Firepit

Custom Cushions in Two Weeks or Less

Portofino Bistro Table

Sunbrella’s Mackenzie Collection

EcoSmart Fire Vision

Coal Stoves From Evolution Trade Group

Sunbrella Awning Fabrics

Romantic Milano Bistro Set: Surprisingly Affordable

Bull Stainless-steel Warming Drawer

Hatteras Hammocks Hamptons Quilted Hammock

Country Flame Inglenook Fireplace


Solano Counter-height Dining

Athens Cuddle Chairs

Sawgrass Mills Black Mosaic Outdoor Rug

P43 Pellet Stove

Metropolitan Room Divider



The Siena Collection

Morsø 5660 Standard Fireplace Insert

Super Magnum Stoker

Walkway Light

Birmingham Masonry-styleWood-burning Fireplace

New Wood Mantels From MLW Stone, LLC

Mojo Gas Log Set

Enjoy Greener, Cleaner Heat

The Valor Portrait Series Classic Arch Front

Mirage Built-in Grill

Merit Plus Direct-vent Peninsula Fireplace

HD81 High Definition See-Thru Gas Fireplace

Solaire Light

Domestic Custom-cushion Program

The Valor Portrait Series Senator Front

Firenze Collection

RAIS TOPAS Invites Applause

Joe Ruggiero’s Viro Fiber Collection

The WoodMaster PLUS

Elite CVF Catalytic Vent-free Gas Fireplace

Shuford Mills

Stainless-steel Burners


Sikes Cooker

PelletVent Pro for Biofuels

Core Collection

AERO Market Umbrella

Etta Collection

Grand Phoenix

Ipanema Collection

Heat & Glo’s RED40

Ziggurat Chat Pit

Horizontal Cap

The Rug Market

Progression Sling


Artisan Hand-hammered Double Doors for Gas Inserts

Laguna Balcony-height Set

Regency Horizon

Country Flame Little Rascal


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