Kitchen & Bath Spending Rises

Domestic shipments of major home appliances were up significantly in April, and continued to pace significantly ahead of year-to-date shipments through the first four months of 2005, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers reported. According to the Washington, D.C.-based AHAM, April appliance shipments totaled 7.17 million units, up 9.8 percent over shipments in April, 2005. Shipments through the first four months of 2006 totaled 28.6 million units, up 13.2 percent over the shipments in the same time period last year, AHAM said. The trade association is forecasting that 81.4 million appliances will be shipped this year, surpassing last year’s total of 79.1 million units and breaking the record for appliance shipments, set in 2005. Gains are expected next year, as well, with forecasts pegged at 82.8 million units, AHAM added.

Plumbing Fixtures and Fittings
U.S. demand for plumbing fixtures and fittings, supported in part by increasing applications in the residential remodeling market, is expected to advance 2.4 percent per year through 2010, according to a new research study. The study, released last month by the Cleveland-based research firm The Freedonia Group, said that projected increases will also be supported “by ongoing trends toward larger bathrooms and kitchens” — a factor that will offset “weak” single-family housing starts. Demand for plumbing fixtures is projected to reach $5.8 billion by 2010, while plumbing fittings demand is expected to total more than $5 billion, The Freedonia Group said (see graph above). “High-value fixtures such as whirlpool bathtubs and hot tubs will continue to aid gains. In addition, sink fittings will continue to benefit from kitchen renovation projects,” The Freedonia Group noted. Residential markets for plumbing fixtures and fittings accounted for nearly 70 percent of total demand in 2005, although the nonresidential and nonbuilding markets “will provide better growth prospects through 2010, the research firm added.

Kitchen Design Expo
Oct. 17-19, King of Prussia, Pa.

The Kitchen & Bath Design & Remodeling Expo has expanded its educational program to include 20 seminars and workshops, including two special all-morning sessions. The conference, which will take place Oct. 17-19, 2006, at the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, Pa., will feature cutting-edge seminars designed to address issues faced by today’s kitchen and bath professionals. All seminars will offer continuing education (CEU) credits for members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

“Our expanded 2006 seminar program will give show and conference attendees access to some of the most knowledgeable and articulate educators in the kitchen and bath industry,” said Eliot Sefrin, Editorial Director and Publisher of industry-leading publication Kitchen & Bath Design News, which is producing the conference program. “Attendees will come away with practical, in-depth, profit-oriented insights that they can apply to their business immediately.”

The conference program, Sefrin noted, is organized around three distinct tracks: Kitchen, Bath & Showroom Design, Sales & Marketing, and Business Management.

Two half-day seminars will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 17 and Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 8:00 am until noon. Tuesday’s seminar is entitled “Job Installation & Project Management” and will be presented by Robert Oxley and Bill Wolle from the International Solid Surface Fabricators Association (ISSFA).

On Wednesday, “Universal Kitchen and Baths: How to Create and Market Them” will be presented by well-known design authority, Mary Jo Peterson, CKD, CBD, and Tracy Lux, CSP, SHMS, nationally recognized boomer housing sales and marketing expert. “In today’s world where “aging” is a dirty word, designers need not only to incorporate universal design, but also to be able to sell their expertise and the benefits,” said Mary Jo Peterson, Principal of Mary Jo Peterson, Inc. “Tracy and I look forward to the chance to work with the participants in our seminar on both issues.”