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Monthly Archives: July 2021

A Complete List of KBDN’s ‘Innovators’

Michele Alfano

Mike Ampuja

Richard Anuszkiewicz

Chris Awadalla

Bonnie Bagley Catlin

James Baloga

Dr. Julia Beamish

Michael Berman

Jennifer Bertrand

Bob Black

Christy Bowen

Julia Buckingham

Danielle Burger

Nar Bustamante

Denise Butchko

Marie Cairns

MaryJo Camp

Alena Capra

Jacqueline Carmichael

Jonas Carnemark

Lori Carroll

Ellen Cheever

Sean Clarke

Alon Cohen

Eric Cohler

Tom Cohn

Robineve Cole

Steven Cooper

Siobhan Daggett-Terenzi

Amanda Davis

Patricia Davis Brown

Mick de Giulio

Louie Delaware

Vanessa Deleon

Dawn DeLuca

Kimball Derrick, CKD

Sandra Diaz-Velasco

Tanya Donahue

Kathleen Donohue

Mary Douglas Drysdale

Gail Drury

Doug Durbin

Beverly Ellsley

Gary Erickson

Bill Feinberg

Rob Feinberg

Melissa Fitzerald

Stephanie Frees

Kirsten Gabel

Stacy Garcia

Patricia Gaylor

Laura Giampaolo

Lori Gilder

Jennifer Gilmer

Jamie Gold

Rosella Gonzalez

Eric Goranson

Gloria Graham Sollecito

Nina Green

Christopher Grubb

Laurie Haefele

Cheryl Hamilton-Grey

Amy Hart

Ryan Herd

Mary Ann Hesseldenz

Melissa Hryszko

Erin Hurst

Erica Islas

Todd Jackson

Susan Jamieson

Grace Jeffers

Patti Johnson

Jolynn Johnson

Sarah Kahn Turner

Leslie Kalish

Elina Katsioula-Beall

Cheryl Kees Clendenon

Anne Kellett

Tom Kelley

Ken Kelly

Kerrie Kelly

Paula Kennedy

Maria Killam

Laura Kirar

Rob Klein

Rhonda Knoche

Scot Koehler

Jennifer Kowalski

Karla Krengel

Steve Krengel

Leslie Lamarre

Jason Landau

Richard Landon

John Lang

Linda Larisch

Patrick Lavery

Lauren Levant

Bonnie Lewis

Erik Listou

Ariana Lovato

Dan Luck

Tatiana Machado Rosas

Sandee Mann

Paul McAlary

Molly McCabe

Brandie McCoy

Danielle McDonald

Dan McFadden

Denise McGaha

Peggy McGowen

Drew McGukin

Lisa Mende

Mayan Metzler

Veronika Miller

Barbara Miller

Gail Monica Dent

Lynn Monson

John Morgan

Nicholas Moriarty

Kelly Morisseau

Beppie Mostert

Jan Neiges

Cassandra Nordell

Gail O’Rourke

Rose Ott

Mikal Otten

Lori Paranjape

Christopher Peacock

Kenneth Peterson

Mary Jo Peterson

Heidi Piron

Dinae Plesset

Joe Poehling

Dani Polidor

Matthew Quinn

Sol Quintana

Matthew Rao

Lewis Reif

Rebecca Reynolds

Robin Rigby

Sarah Robertson

Michelle Robins

Sam Rose

Jan Rutgers

Toni Sabatino

Peter Salerno

Eric Schimelpfenig

Julie Schuster

Bob Schwartz

Elizabeth Scruggs

Susan Serra

Courtney Shearer

Lou Silver

Tanya Smith-Shiflett

Maria Stapperfenne

John Starck

Tracey Stephens

Ebony Stephenson

Jean Stoffer

Karen Swanson

Molly Switzer

Adi Tatarko

Helene Terry

Mary Kathryn Timoney

Lauren Tolles

John Valente

Donna Venegas

Doug Walter

Jessica Webber

Meredith Weiss

Lenore Weiss

Joseph Wheeler

Chuck Wheelock

Matthew White

Mark T. White

Jim Williams

Karen Williams

Suzie Williford

Thad Wittenberg

Vasi Ypsilantis

Rebekah Zaveloff

Alan Zielinski

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Cabinet Sales, Appliance Shipments Post Strong First-Half Gains

WASHINGTON, DC — Reflecting gains in both new construction and residential remodeling, cabinet and vanity sales, along with domestic shipments of major home appliances, continued their rebound from the impact of COVID-19 in the first half of 2021.

According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, an April-to-June spike of 23.7% over the same quarter a year ago was largely responsible for an overall year-to-date gain of 26.6% in major appliance shipments compared to the same six-month period in 2019.

First-half gains were posted in all key product categories, including food preservation (+31.6%), home laundry (+27.7%), cooking (+24.1%) and kitchen cleanup (+17.4%), the Washington, DC-based AHAM noted.

In a similar vein, major domestic kitchen cabinet and vanity manufacturers continued to post strong sales gains through the first five months of 2021, as demand remains at record heights, according to the latest in a series of monthly surveys by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association.

The KCMA’s latest “Trend of Business Survey” reflected a year-to-date sales increase of 21.6% through May when compared to the same five-month period last year. Custom cabinet sales through the first five months of 2021 were up 23.5% over the same period last year, while semi-custom cabinet sales rose 21.3%, and stock cabinet sales gained 21.4%, the Reston, VA-based KCMA said. Survey participants include stock, semi-custom and custom companies whose combined sales represent approximately 75% of the U.S. kitchen cabinet and bath vanity market, according to the KCMA.

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Homeowners Seeking Functionality & Style, Survey Reveals

NEWPORT NEWS, VA — As the nation approaches the year-and-a-half mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, homeowners continue to reevaluate their living spaces, “with many looking for ways to put the ‘home’ back in a more functional house.”

That’s the key conclusion of a major new consumer survey conducted by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, in an effort to better understand how the global public-health crisis impacted trends in home renovation and updates. The survey, fielded this spring on behalf of Ferguson by G&S Business Communications, involved some 1,100 U.S. adults aged 18+, according to the Newport News, VA-based distributor of plumbing, lighting and related products.

The Ferguson survey, whose results were released in July, found that 64% of Americans made an update of some kind to their home, or a room in their home, during the pandemic. The most popular reasons for the update included being tired of the home’s current style (34%) and needing to make changes for better functionality (32%), Ferguson said.

The kitchen (47%) and the bathroom (44%) were the top choices when it comes to specific areas of the home people would want to redesign or upgrade based on spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. A growing number of Americans say they would want to redesign or upgrade their outdoor space (30% in 2021 compared to 23% in 2020), Ferguson reported.

Interestingly, the room people spent the most amount of time in last year compared to previous years was the living room (50%), with 33% of Americans working from home in their living rooms during the pandemic. A third (33%) spent more time in their bedrooms and nearly a third (32%) spent more time in the kitchen. Younger generations were more likely than older generations to say they spent more time in the bedroom and bathroom, but just as likely to say they spend more time in the living room.

“There are likely a number of reasons why the living room grew in importance over the past year, since it was used as a gathering place during quarantine, for home schooling and other activities,” Ferguson reported. “We may also see this trend, in part, because people who work from home often set up their workstation in their living rooms.”

Just over a third of respondents (34%) said they started working from home during the pandemic, Ferguson said. Within this group, a third said they have been working in the living room and a third have been working from an existing office, the company added.

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Chinese Imports Down, But Other Nations Seen Skirting Duties

RESTON, VA — Last year’s imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on wooden cabinets, vanities and components from China “continues to have a huge beneficial impact” for domestic cabinet suppliers, although other nations are allegedly evading the trade duties, according to the law firm contesting the imports on behalf of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association.

According to Luke Meisner of Washington, DC-based Schagrin Associates, the latest import statistics made public by the U.S. Commerce Dept. reflect a significant monthly decline since 2020 in cabinet, vanity and component shipments from China, although imports of those products from Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Indonesia and other countries “increased tremendously” after the AD/CVD duties were imposed on Chinese imports found to be in violation of antidumping laws.

“In 2021, Thailand is emerging as another potential significant source of imports,” Meisner informed the Reston, VA-based KCMA, which has been battling against allegedly government-subsidized Chinese imports of wooden cabinets, vanities and cabinets components, including doors, drawer fronts and face frames. KCMA members represent most of the cabinet industry’s largest domestic suppliers.

“Cambodia showed a large increase in 2020, but imports have moderated somewhat in 2021,” Meisner reported, attributing the slowdown to a preliminary determination of antidumping and countervailing duty evasion that was recently made by U.S. Customs agents regarding alleged transshipment through Cambodia.

“Our research continues to show that increased imports from countries other than China are due to a combination of transshipment of Chinese cabinets through these countries and new production facilities popping up in these countries,” Meisner observed.

The attorney informed KCMA officials that Schagrin Associates is “making significant inroads in combatting evasion of the AD/CVD duties through transshipment.” In addition, Meisner said, recent Congressional legislation could address what the attorney termed a “whack-a-mole” problem that occurs when trade remedy orders are put in place on imports from one country resulting in the U.S. becoming flooded with dumped or subsidized imports of that same product from a different country.

According to Meisner, Schagrin Associates continues to assist the Dept. of Justice in defending AD/CVD orders on Chinese imports from challenges by Chinese producers and importers. The KCMA has also filed charges with U.S. Customs officials regarding the alleged transshipment of Chinese cabinets through third countries, Meisner said.

“We anticipate that Customs will take strong enforcement action against…importers involving evasion schemes,” the attorney said.

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Home Office Growth Seen Hiking Sales of Organization Products

CLEVELAND, OH — The COVID-19 pandemic and its demands for social distancing, telecommuting and home schooling has spurred current and projected growth for home organization products, including those for the kitchen, a major new study has found.

According to the Cleveland, OH-based industrial research firm Fredonia Group, sales of home organization products are forecast to grow 2.1% per year from an “elevated” 2020 level through 2025, reaching a total of $13.5 billion.

“As would be expected, the top reason for buying home organization products in the past year was to improve a home office space or to set up a new one,” Fredonia reported. “Similarly, setting up home study space for telecommuting schoolchildren also was a primary reason for purchases,” researchers added.

A Freedonia Group poll, conducted from November to December of 2020, found that 38% of surveyed U.S. consumers bought home organization products in the past 12 months, with purchasing habits varying across demographic groups.

“For example, households with children under 18 were far more likely to have bought home organization products than households who did not,” Fredonia said. “This trend also aligns with the middle age groups who are also more likely to be buying their first home or a home to fit their growing family,” the company added.

Products studied included bins, shelving, accessories, hardware and hanging units, as well as more elaborate installations like custom-built modular units for closets, pantries or garages.

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AG&M, Pental Surfaces and Modul Marble Rebrand

AUSTIN, TX — Architectural Surfaces Group, a leading importer and distributor of natural stone, engineered stone and tile for residential and commercial applications, has announced the strategic rebranding of its regional brands, AG&M, Pental Surfaces and Modul Marble, as Architectural Surfaces.

The new name leverages the company’s national presence to provide brand clarity and streamline the customer experience for fabricators, architects and interior designers working in both the residential kitchen and bath and commercial construction industries, notes the firm. Customers will now engage with one brand across the 20-plus U.S. markets Architectural Surfaces serves rather than three brands that varied by region.

Architectural Surfaces will continue to have global material sources, national distribution resources and customer-focused operation with roots in the communities and markets it serves, states the company.

“In consolidating under the Architectural Surfaces brand, we brought together the core elements of each regional brand’s DNA to create a more easily recognizable organization and simplify the selection, specification and purchase experience for our customers,” says Patrick Dussinger, president of Architectural Surfaces. “The focus is on authentic relationships between our people and the customers we serve, whether they are fabricators, architects, interior designers or the homeowners they send to us knowing they will receive attentive and knowledgeable service. That’s always been at the heart of who we are, and it always will be.”

Each of Architectural Surfaces locations features a selection of natural stone as well as the latest designs in engineered stone from PentalQuartz or MetroQuartz, curated to reflect the design tastes of that particular market. Select locations also offer a variety of commercial and residential tile brands for indoor, outdoor, wall and flooring applications.

For more information about Architectural Surfaces locations, products and current inventory, visit arcsurfaces.com


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BSH to Open Miami Design Center

IRVINE, CA — BSH Home Appliance Corp. is bringing its “Experience & Design Center” format to Miami next year, with plans to open a space on the top floor of the Design 41 Building, a prime setting within Miami’s Design District, the company announced.

At more than 8,000 square feet, the BSH Experience & Design Center will feature the latest appliances from BSH’s three brands: Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau.

“As one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., Miami is an important market for BSH and we are thrilled to have a new way to interact with our customers in the area through the BSH Experience & Design Center,” said Thomas Staebler, head of Experience and Design Centers, North America, for BSH. “By strategically locating our new space within Miami’s bustling Design District, we will be where consumers, designers, builders and trade professionals alike come for design inspiration and to see the latest in innovative products for homes.”

BSH currently has Experience & Design Centers in Irvine, CA, New York, Chicago, Montreal and Toronto.

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BKBG Conference Set for September in Arizona

BETHESDA, MD — The Bath & Kitchen Business Group (BKBG) will conduct its 2021 Annual Conference as an in-person event from Sept. 19-22 at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa in Phoenix, the Bethesda, MD-based trade group announced.

Conference highlights include peer-to-peer roundtables, preferred vendor partner-shareholder rotations and the annual BKBG shareholder meeting, among other features.

“The peer-to-peer roundtables are one of the most valued programs at the BKBG Conference,” said BKBG President Frank Morris, of Granite State Cabinetry in Bedford, NH. “Small groups of shareholders with similar business models in non-competing markets meet to discuss challenges, opportunities and successful practices, ranging from hiring in a tight market and overcoming supply chain delays to design and market trends and advertising and sales strategies.”

Rotations provide BKBG shareholders with opportunities to meet one-on-one with preferred vendors to discuss business relationships, identify new product offerings and develop growth strategies, Morris added.

Additional conference information can be obtained by visiting www.bkbg.com.

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Whirlpool Corp. to Upgrade Tulsa Appliance Factory

BENTON HARBOR, MI — Whirlpool Corp. is investing $15 million to upgrade its factory in Tulsa, OK as part of an effort “to further strengthen U.S. manufacturing capabilities,” the company announced.

In conjunction with its own investment, Whirlpool Corp. said it will receive an additional $1 million from the state of Oklahoma. The company’s Tulsa factory produces freestanding and slide-in ranges under the Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag, KitchenAid and JennAir brands.

“Whirlpool Corp. is committed to U.S. manufacturing, and our investment in our Tulsa factory highlights our dedication not only to the Tulsa community but to our current and future colleagues in the region,” said Don Metzelaar, v.p./integrated supply chain and quality for Whirlpool Corp.

The company said it will utilize the majority of its $15 million allocation to invest in machinery and equipment that will deliver increased production capabilities, including capacity, with remaining funds to be used for building and infrastructure improvements including health and safety protocols to accommodate an anticipated increase in its Tulsa workforce.

Whirlpool Corp. has some 21,000 U.S.-based employees across nine plants, according to the company.

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Interest in Larger Homes Once Again Rising, AIA Finds

WASHINGTON, DC — For the first time in five years, homeowner interest in larger homes increased over the previous 12 months, according to new data from the American Institute of Architects’ latest quarterly Home Design Trends Survey.

The AIA’s Home Design Trends Survey for the second quarter of 2021, focusing on home and property design, also found a “robust uptick” in demand for finished spaces – such as basements, attics and garages – as well as for outdoor living space, including outbuildings such as sheds, barns and pool houses. Home designs that accommodate accessibility and aging in place continue to remain popular, the AIA also noted.

“Since households are doing more at home, they’ve been looking for more space during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kermit Baker, chief economist for the Washington, DC-based AIA. “This has included focusing more activities outdoors, and adding other buildings to their property,” Baker observed, adding that “the overall strength of the residential market has driven project backlogs at residential architecture firms to pre-pandemic levels.”

The AIA’s Home Design Trends Surveys are conducted quarterly among a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector.

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