All posts by Jennifer Caminiti

New Year Cheer

Consumer confidence, low unemployment, and housing demand expected to fuel sales in 2019

Industry analyst Jerry Epperson thinks that the current spate of hot, heavy, and sometimes hateful political news is drowning out good tidings about our economy. “Yes, we should be concerned that Sears filed for bankruptcy, and about the tariff negotiations with China, but, economically, there are no bad stats,” he said during his Fall Market State of the Industry session.

Epperson, Managing Director of Mann, Armistead & Epperson, Ltd. regaled his standing room only audience of industry leaders with evidence of real economic progress. “We have strong numbers across a range of indicators like housing turnover, disposable income, debt levels, inflation, and mortgage rates. Consumer confidence is at an 18-year high, unemployment is at a 14-year low, and we’ve had consistent industry growth over the past several years.”

US Consumer Confidence Index, Sept 2017 – Sept 2018

Ken Smith, former managing partner of Smith Leonard, a High Point accounting and consulting firm, and author of the Furniture Insights® newsletter, concurred with Epperson’s optimistic view in the Executive Summary of his October issue. “New orders in August 2018 increased 9% over new orders reported in August 2017. August 2017 orders were up only 1% over August 2016 orders. The 9% increase in August followed three consecutive months of 5% increases reported.

High consumer confidence levels spur purchasing activity according to Epperson, as does the increase in consumer wealth, which has grown since the recession from $54 trillion to a record $96 trillion. He attributes this gain to home prices, the stock market and less personal debt. His bullish outlook is bolstered by the fact that corporate America is experiencing its best decade since the peak in the 90’s, investing in equipment, technology, and facilities, with over $2 trillion in cash accumulated. “Banks are healthy and lending, plus we have new consumer credit sources, often funded by private equity, giving retailers more ways to finance our customers,” he said.

Epperson’s most compelling reason for being upbeat about 2019 and beyond is the irrefutable shift in US demographics. 83 million Millennials (now 19-37 years old) are buying and will continue to purchase furniture and mattresses, with their potential for spending in this category increasing annually until 2034. Their proportion of spending changes with their age and income. When today’s 25-34-year-old households move into the 35-44 age group, their share of all pretax income will grow from 15.7% to 21.0% and their share of furniture spending will grow from 17.9% to 21.5%. It will also increase when they move into the 45-54 age sector.

Audience member Roger Hancock, owner of Town and Country Furniture near Buffalo, New York, agreed with Epperson’s positive outlook. “We experienced a sales increase of 425% from November 2015 to November 2016, as a direct result of offering motion seating to our customers. Last year’s sales were 51% ahead of that record year. September 2018 sales were three times ahead of last September. These gains are the result of the economy, consumer confidence, and the aging of our consumer base. We’re confident this trend is going to continue for many years to come.”

Jerry Epperson’s Industry Outlook is held at 9am Sunday morning at Market, in the Retailer Resource Center. Check the Home Furnishings Association exhibitor profile mid February for a complete list of seminars and networking opportunities.

Grand Re-Opening in Denver

Thanks to all who attended our Grand Re-opening at
The Denver Design District On Thursday, Sept 27th.

 

Guests were greeted with a welcome cocktail of champagne, wine and specialty cocktail custom created by our amazing mixologist Courtney Flynn.

 

While enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres by Footers Catering,
designers and vendors mingled throughout our relocated and expanded showroom including a lighting boutique, dedicated designer library, and many new product selections.
Special Thanks to our C.A.I. Designs corporate team and Denver Showroom Staff for making our new showroom a reality. 

 

Click Here to view all photos from our Grand Re-Opening. Feel free to contact our Denver Showroom with any questions on our latest expansion or product lines.

A Very GRAND Re-Opening

Thanks to all who attended our Grand Re-opening at
The Merchandise Mart Chicago On Thursday, Sept 20th.

 

Guests were greeted with live music by Moeller Music – guitar and cello duo playing popular songs with a cocktail vibe.moeller music

 

L: Steven Siedlecki shares a hug with Haley Pearson of JP Interiors R: Mark Robinson & Ruthie Stebbins of RHS Interiors & Design with Haley Pearson
L: Pipa Bradbury of Pipa Bradbury Design with Renne DiSanto & Christina Samatas of Park & Oak R: Kristen Olsen of David Olsen Design with her husband

While enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres by Catering by Michaels,
designers and vendors mingled throughout our newly renovated and expanded showroom including a lighting boutique, dedicated designer library and many new product selections.
Special Thanks to our C.A.I. Designs corporate team for making our expanded showroom a reality. Owner Joe Caminiti made a toast to Creative Director, Philip Chavez for all of his efforts. Our Denver Showroom will be hosting their Grand Opening as well on Thursday, September 27th.

 

L to R: Philip Chavez, Roberta Honquest, Joe Caminiti, Glen Kaplan

Click Here to view all photos from our Grand Re-Opening. Feel free to contact our Chicago Showroom with any questions on our latest expansion or product lines.

Meet Linda | Scottsdale Lighting

Linda Peterson ALAWhat is your past work experience/education?
I fell into a job as a visual merchandiser at a lighting store when I was 19 years old. I have since spent over 20 years in the retail lighting industry, and am an ALA certified Lighting Specialist. I truly love lighting and interior design.

Where were you raised?
I grew up in sunny San Diego, CA and moved to sunnier Phoenix, AZ 26 years ago.

What is your most rewarding project, and why?
I think the first time I did a lighting plan from top to bottom was the most rewarding project that I worked on. It was amazing to see something I dreamed up become a reality.

How would you characterize your design style?
My design style is casual, organic, and whimsical.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
I love Hubbardton Forge’s contemporary chandeliers and am drawn to many of the fixtures from Curry and Company as well.

What is your favorite color?
Green, any shade!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to watch movies, read, listen to music, play tennis and jump out of airplanes. Okay, not the last one.

What is your favorite food?
Pizza. And ice cream. And birthday cake.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is there anything you do to get inspired when you hit a slump?
I am inspired by my beautiful surroundings here in the CAI Scottsdale showroom! When I hit a slump, I take a moment to be grateful for where I am and attack the project with renewed energy.

Any last words for us you’d like to share? 
I am thrilled to be part of the CAI family. I have never felt so welcomed in my life! I look forward to learning the business and pulling my weight as a team player.

Linda can be reached at the Scottsdale C.A.I. Designs Showroom at lindap@caidesigns.net or by phone at (480) 565-3775 x6931

Meet Marcia | Denver Customer Service

Marcia corum wiebkeWhat is your past work experience/education?
I recently graduated from ACC with an A.A.S. in Interior Design, after spending 15+ years working in Information Technology in the telecom industry and the computer distribution and reseller markets. When I dreaded waking up and going to work, I decided it was time for me to do something different. Like most people, I was hooked on HGTV and Bob Villa’s This Old House, so to make sure interior design was something I really wanted to do, I took an evening class called Fundamentals of Design, and I knew I was in the right place at the right time.

Where were you raised?
I’m originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, and only ended up in Colorado when the company I just started working for decided to move its headquarters to CO. I remember driving home to tell my Mom about the move and she said, “Go for it, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to experience something new”, and that’s pretty much how I lived most of my life.

In your opinion, what is “good customer service”?
Good customer service is all about taking the time to listen to your customer’s needs and a willingness to help in any given situation. Always following up and always following through, shows your customer that their issue is as important to you as it is to them.

How would you characterize your design style?
My design style is very eclectic, ranging from Craftsman style, Mid Century Modern and Art Deco. I LOVE a good flea market and estate sales!

What is your favorite color?
My favorite colors are green and turquoise. I’m a water sign ( Cancer) and I love the variations of greens and blues associated with nature and the ocean.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend my spare time hanging out with my husband Scott, dog Pearlie Mae and cats Winston & CeCe. Since I spent most of my time studying these past few years, Scott and I plan on getting back to hiking and biking throughout Colorado. We want to purchase and refurbish a retro “tin can” camper, since I’m totally over the tent camping scene. I love the outdoors and camping, but I also want some of the basic creature comforts of home.

What is your favorite food?
My favorite foods contain anything with seafood and lamb. Any baked goods containing peanut butter is heaven on earth…..especially chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting!

What methods do you use to turn negative circumstances into positive ones?
I try not dwell on the negative, but to avoid that from happening, I evaluate the situation and figure out what I could have done differently to have a better or different outcome. This way I can handle it differently if it were to happen again.

Anything else we should know?
Fun fact about me, I did my college internship with Walt Disney World in 1986 when I was a hospitality major at Keystone College. I worked at the Orange Tree next to the Tiki birds, selling ice cream cones, orange cream pies, orange juice and frozen orange custard. The best hands-on training and experience I’ve ever had with developing my sales and customer service skills as a young college student.

Marcia can be reached at the Denver C.A.I. Designs Showroom at marciacw@caidesigns.net or by phone at (303) 282-8100 x6973