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Cinde W. Ingram

Spring ahead

Casually Speaking

When one door closes, don’t just open a window. Step outside.

All the economic bad news may have some people hibernating now, but everyone knows even the most grumpy bear will awaken at winter’s end. That bear may not charge forward like a bull, but it eventually will creep out and sniff the air to investigate what has changed during his snooze. The lure of food beckons as strongly as the promise of spring.

This month’s Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo addresses both of those attractions. Inside this issue, you will see a sampling of the grill innovations, patio accessories and outdoor heating products some of the more than 400 exhibitors will show indoors and out in Reno, Nev.

While no one knows when the downturn will end, we do know winter is coming to an end across most of the nation.

We also know more than half of consumers who responded to the online survey Casual Living and HGTV conducted last April plan to replace their grills by 2013. Of those, 21% said they’ll buy a replacement grill this year.

Redecorating their outdoor spaces in 2009 is a desire held by half of the consumers who responded to the latest survey HGTV conducted with our sister publication Furniture/Today.

Those consumer messages bode well for companies that make and sell products for outdoor living. We’re in a part of the home furnishings market that is more resistant to the depressed housing market because outdoor areas are getting attention from homeowners who are embracing the concept of staying home and making it a personal oasis.

Retailers and manufacturers were mostly optimistic as they shared some of their strategies to not only survive, but thrive once the recession ends.

While we may not have a bull market once the casual season gets into full swing, there will be businesses that emerge stronger than before the downturn started.

Here at Casual Living, we also are adapting to changes. We’re taking seriously the movement to online solutions. Recognizing the value of social networking, we have joined Twitter. To keep up with what we’re thinking, and share what’s on your mind, just visit us at www.twitter.com/casualliving or www.twitter.com/cindeingram.

Feedback? Send your comments to:
Cinde W. Ingram
Casual Living Editor-In-Chief
7025 Albert Pick Rd., Suite 200, Greensboro, N.C. 27409
336-605-1122
336-605-1158
cwingram@reedbusiness.com

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