Closet Trends at Stiles Machinery
By Denise Butchko | Posted: 06/28/2013 11:18AM
Bring together industry experts to talk “Closet Trends” and it's hard to keep me away.
So when Stiles Machinery, Hafele America and Stevens Industries come together to share, we should all listen!
Here's what's trending now:
Business in the closet segment is growing. These leaders shared with the group that in some areas, there's as much as a 30% growth in the closet segment business in the last year, with the same amount of growth projected for the coming year.
Additionally, closet business owners should be aware that there is really a merging of technology, home storage and organization opportunities. Many businesses are combining scenarios for the kitchen, bath, office and garage for total home organization.
“Higher end” products are seeing extremely strong sales increases (which also means higher end designs!). Stevens indicated that their sales of white melamine have decreased while sales of textured melamine has increased dramatically.
In the product evolution, you can see how the look and feel of melamine has grown from a predominantly fine grain finish to softext and now open grain and linen finishes. Mike Gibson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Stevens indicated that the rustic looks are seeing the highest levels of growth.
There's also more availability of smaller quantities, so small businesses don't need to purchase full crates in order to offer the latest styles and colors to their clients. They have a distributor network set up to help with this issue.
Another newsworthy addition from Stevens Industries is that while they used to sell only panels, they now have a program that offers matching HPL edge, HPL sheet goods, HPL doors and crown moldings. Also, the core for these new materials is made from 100% recycled material.
And the price point, when positioned against a veneer/wood option, is really appealing. If white melamine averages around $1.00 per square foot and veneer averages around $4.00 per square foot, the new colored textures average around $1.50 per square foot, while looking and feeling so close to what a veneer looks and feels like it was difficult to tell the difference.
If you're looking for a bit of insight in to what the future holds, Stevens indicated that bright colors and high gloss are in the works and right on trend.
In the product channel, Hafele America sees lots of traction in their LED lighting programs (with Loox being one of the largest product launches in their history) as well as growth in lighter weight closet baskets, mirrors and sliding doors.
About the Author
Denise ButchkoDenise Butchko is a design and marketing expert who teaches these concepts with the intention of helping people grow their businesses (particularly those in the design/build industries). She’s been a contributor to Closets magazine since 2003 and is a judge for the closet industries “Top Shelf” Design Competition. She's also a member of the first graduating class of Registered Storage Designers. Her design work has been featured in national publications like “Better Homes & Gardens” and The Chicago Tribune and she works with some of the top interior design firms in the country. She’s helped cabinet companies launch closet product lines and trained sales professionals in both design and marketing, including ways to leverage social media and design to increase opportunities and brand themselves as the “go to expert”. If you want to have fun while you learn and bring your “A” game to your business, Denise is the one to partner with to make that happen. You can find her at Google+ or go to denisebutchko.com or to butchkoandcompany.com