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Demand to rise for home organization products

BY Brae Canlen

U.S. demand for home storage and organization products is expected to increase 3.6% annually to $8.6 billion in 2015, according to a study released by the Freedonia Group. The Cleveland-based market research firm forecasts that gains will be supported by the introduction of decorative and specialty home organization products, as well as by the strong growth in larger, more expensive closet and garage systems.

Bins, baskets and totes accounted for the largest share of home organization product sales in 2010, with 37% of the total market.  Demand for modular units is expected to post the fastest annual gains among home organization products, rising 4.9% annually through 2015. 

Metal and wire home organization products accounted for the largest share of sales by material type, with just under one-third of the total in 2010. These products are also expected to post above-average gains through 2015, benefiting from strong growth in sales of modular units and cabinetry organization accessories. However, demand for wood- and laminate-based products is expected to post the fastest gains over the forecast period, driven by strong increases in modular units and shelving, including higher-end closet systems that resemble furniture and fine cabinetry.

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f.helper says:
Apr-26-2012 09:06 pm

I think the market is picking
I think the market is picking up some business, people need to keep positive, and keep their health up, and things will turn out better .

r.sanders says:
Apr-25-2012 11:50 am

That's an interesting
That's an interesting trend... What changed in the homeowners lives in order for them to prefer this type of products? This is what we should really know.

z.spinarz says:
Feb-07-2012 01:04 pm

What I love about your
What I love about your article is that it is unique and loaded with substance which really captivates me. Some of the blogs today are not very informative and that is why site visitors will not read the full post. But yours was different. I'd like to thank my friend also for referring your blog to me. Hope to see more of this. Keep it up! skin tags

z.spinarz says:
Feb-07-2012 01:02 pm

What I love about your
What I love about your article is that it is unique and loaded with substance which really captivates me. Some of the blogs today are not very informative and that is why site visitors will not read the full post. But yours was different. I'd like to thank my friend also for referring your blog to me. Hope to see more of this. Keep it up! skin tags

A.Burma says:
Jan-16-2012 12:02 pm

There have been increase in
There have been increase in the demand of the home decoration products; people are using all sorts of materials to deck up their homes. Even eco-friendly materials are also gaining popularity. But I think that you have to keep your home safe too; so while shopping for your home do not forget to have Home Safes.

S.Solomon says:
Jul-05-2011 09:51 pm

We are encouraged by your
We are encouraged by your report. We are seeing in our business of vitamin dispensers very brisk sales which is exciting as we are a new product in the retail market. Sandra Solomon www.vitavault.com

A.Panosian says:
Jul-01-2011 10:23 pm

Being in high-end closet
Being in high-end closet organizers business, I can see the validity of this report. Even in this bad economy, our closet systems sales have steadily increased for the past three years. For this year, demand has already exceeded our forecast, and I'm sure the trend is going to continue well beyond next year, which is great news for any business that is involved in closet organization. Armen Panosian www.solidwoodclosets.com

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See how they grow

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The 2011 Home Channel News Top 200 Pro Dealer Scoreboard has been published — the full list will be available on homechannelnews.com.


The Top 200 lumberyard companies in the nation, ranked by sales, together showed a 1.38% increase in 2010, compared with 2009. That’s the first year-over-year growth spurt for the HCN Pro Dealer Scoreboard since the 2007 list of Top 350 pro dealers was published. 


Growth is good. 


But how did it happen? How do companies grow when all around them their markets are stalled or declining? 


Home Channel News editors and reporters have been digging into this question ever since the economy began limping to wherever it is going. 


Let us count the ways:


1) Through acquisition. 


There are deals available. Companies on the growth path have told us that the down times are the right times to get stronger — through acquisition, if possible — at the expense of their competitors.


2) Through market share expansion. 


There’s an old saying that retail is a punch-in-the-mouth business. In other words, if you want market share, you have to take it from somebody. For some companies, market share has come simply as weaker players left the market. But the high-performance players went out and earned it.


3) Through systems and technology investment. 


Taking advantage of POS data has led to better visibility and better business decisions for companies, such as Bartlett’s Lumber & Hardware. Smart companies are usually fast companies. And the companies that move the fastest are usually the companies that grow the fastest. 


4) Through empowered decision-making at the point of customer contact. 


Time and again, successful retail companies — starting with Home Depot’s inverted pyramid and working down the list — point to their structure as their strength. The idea that employees should take ownership of their responsibilities — as is the case with TW Perry — is one of the most prevalent management ideas espoused by growth-oriented companies. 


5) Through change. 


Just because it worked yesterday, doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow. Growth companies seem to understand this maxim. 


6) Through conservative management. 


This may sound like an oxymoron, but growth companies often explain that their conservative approach to business during the boom years has put them in a position for growth today. High-performance companies continue to watch their spending very closely.


7) Through aggressive customer service. 


Enough said. 


8) Through in-store merchandising. 


Bolder endcaps, smarter adjacencies and sophisticated pricing are par for the course for growth companies. 


9) Through scientific analysis. 


Measure. Improve. Repeat. That’s how Orgill’s Ron Beal explains strong growth at Orgill.


10) Through hard work. 


Getting out in the community, building relationships, and aggressively courting new business and new customers. 


“Work hard and work smart,” said Cally Fromme, of Zarsky Lumber, summing up the keys to success at the Victoria, Texas-based company, our July issue cover story.


The profiles of growth in our July issue might or might not be able to guide a business to growth. But they most certainly will show that growth is attainable.


— Ken Clark

[email protected]

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Values out of whack?

BY By John W Steinman

We’re going to start this in reverse, conclusion first. Value engineering hurts the dealer, the builder, the manufacturer and the industry. A little dramatic? I hope you’ll excuse me. After all, it’s Monday morning, and we have customers queued up asking how we can cut the price of their project. So we give them coffee, try to calm them down and explain that we won’t let them cut anything, for their sake, and really they should be adding. Adding features, new products, styles, things that differentiate them from their competition; VALUE-ADDED, that’s what it’s all about, right … right? If this sounds like a day in your building materials organization (formerly known as a lumberyard), raise your hand. Anybody? Somebody?


The concept of value engineering is that you are helping your customer be efficient, economical and better at their business — all seemingly good things, particularly in trying times. At the retail level, the idea is that you are going to lend valuable expertise to a builder to help him build an equal product for less money. In order for this to truly happen we have to assume that the project and product being sold has one of two possible issues.


The first is that the product will yield excessive performance — a subfloor that you could park a dump truck on (if you’ll excuse the hyperbole). The other is that there is an innovative alternate product that is better, for less money — quite literally, a better mousetrap. When this happens, it deserves great praise. Obviously, that’s not part of this discussion. If one of these factors is in play, then you have done the builder a service. But what if that’s not the case?


Everyone’s favorite easy economics lesson is supply and demand. It’s universal, and it’s in play pretty much all the time — even if you don’t realize it. The price of oil, steel, lumber and groceries are obvious. Higher demand, higher price. Weak demand, weak price. 


Let’s focus on the demand. Demand often dictates what supply ultimately does; and when demand dictates a certain behavior or choice, supply fills the need. The manufacturers deserve some credit for their read on the market. Society values the ownership of things in appearance and quantity, right or wrong. I’m probably as guilty as the next guy or gal, so there’s no judgment here. Since we no longer want toasters built to stand the test of time, is it any surprise that building materials manufacturers have embraced similar low expectations from their end users? Quality products have been replaced by available products. The majority demand is for building materials that are as cheap as can be tolerated by code, or shame. For the time being building materials manufacturers have painted themselves into a corner. The marketplace is flooded with products vying for the crown as the cheapest product available for a given application. 


Cost cutting, quality reduction and subsequent post-product-failure reengineering all masquerade as innovation, improvement and, my favorite, “margin-boosters.” In the end, it is a bit self-defeating, and there will be some hard decisions to be made. Drown, or come up for air?


Dealers or retailers (however you choose to phrase it) stand the most to lose. The best intention on this particular road to hell is the desire to help the customer find a more cost-effective way to do business — a noble goal, as we previously discussed. Unfortunately, the industry has all but lost the ability to tell a customer a product isn’t up to their standard, or make a recommendation that would improve the quality of their building. 


Inevitably, we all find ourselves in a situation where we grin, and tell the customers, “We do an excellent job of value engineering,” when we often should say, “Yes, I’ll price this with the worst products that I can find.” We really need to turn this around. 


So next time you’re ready to market exterior trim products that only differ by a heavy coat of primer from their inside counterparts; or housewrap that you can see through; windows that won’t open; installation guidelines designed to be impossible — consider what kind of “value” is delivered by downgraded products.


Just once, let’s demand some real innovation. Let’s demand that a product works better, and can save some long-term cost, and provides long-term performance instead of just saving on the price. That is real value.


John W. Steinman is VP purchasing at Forge Lumber. 

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