Author Archive: frankie

Every Good Wine Needs The Right Stemware

A lot of my friends keep boasting about how many “high grade” types of wines they own, the best wine coolers they used. But that is not enough. A connoisseur of wine is someone who does not only care about wine but also about wine glasses because the right glass can change it all. For some people, drinking is for entertainment. Wines to them are just an alcohol liquid which makes the party louder, the music better and the fun last longer. But for other people, drinking is an art which requires skills, scents, and aptitude.


Beautiful but gives little tasting experience.

To enjoy the true taste of a good bottle of wine, we need the right stemware. Shopping for stemware can be a battle because of its variety. Glasses come in all shapes and sizes, and prices and purposes that will make you feel lost. So here we are, giving you some tips that might help to get through the long and wide tunnel of stemware a little easier for beginners.

The common characteristics of a typical stemware are high stem, round bowl and wide rim. These traits are not only, help the drinker to taste the wine but also to smell as well as to observe its color. Whenever you choose a stemware, avoid choosing the ones with patterns for distraction might affect your tasting. Also stay away from those colorful ones for they will prevent you from admiring the wine’s true color.

Crystal – clear glasses look boring but it is that simplicity will highlight the value of a good bottle of wine.



Energy-efficient lighting products are beginning to catch on with consumers, and Congress has given the trend a big boost in recent years. In 1992, it passed the National Energy Policy Act, which required lighting manufacturers to replace outdated lamps with brighter, more energy-efficient models.

Three years later, Congress created the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which requires power utilities to sell their power on an open market. These steps have encouraged businesses and consumers to think more about the energy they consume, and manufacturers are developing new products to meet the growing demand for energy efficiency.

This trend prompted the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, using money from manufacturers, to begin a national campaign to inform consumers about the benefits of energy efficiency.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined the fray in 1997 by creating its Energy Star[R] label, which manufacturers may voluntarily display on energy-efficient lighting fixtures if they meet program guidelines. Fixtures carrying this label can trim the cost of lighting high-use areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens, by 50 to 60 percent. And bulbs and lamps for these fixtures last three times longer than incandescent bulbs.


Home Depot to test convenience format stores next year: industry leader developing plans to open 4 hardware stores in northeast

The Home Depot announced it is developing plans to test a convenience hardware store format.

This format, as yet unnamed, will be designed to serve the small-project do-it-yourself homeowner and other customers who prefer a convenient location and smaller store environment for purchasing home improvement and related products.

“The U.S. home improvement convenience market generated sales totaling approximately $50 billion in 1997, but the vast majority of those sales took place outside of larger home center stores such as Home Depot,” stated Arthur Blank, president and ceo. “This test will help us determine the best products, services and methods of gaining home improvement sales we would not be able to get inside our Home Depot stores.”

The test is being developed and will be run by Bob Wittman, senior vice president of business development and former coo of Orchard Supply Hardware Stores. It is expected that the first store will open in the Northeast during the first quarter of fiscal 1999, followed by three more stores in that region later in the year. (more…)

Consumers shopping for the right look

Paint is one of the top-selling departments at most hardware/home improvement stores

But that doesn’t mean retailers can take the sales for granted. Becoming a destination store for paint and decor products involves presenting a visual look that entices customers, backed up by employees who know how to sell the customers everything they need for the project.

A strong paint department has enabled Grassy Creek Hardware in Spruce Pine, N.C., to attract male and female customers, both professionals and do-it-yourselfers, according to co-owner Dean Pittman. Female customers are especially attracted to hands-on displays such as the standalone merchandiser they have featuring paint color samples. “Women really like to take those home and test them out before they decide what color they want,” he says.

Carrying a broad selection of quality products is important when it comes to selling paint and decor products, Pittman says, but service is still the main ingredient for success. “Quality service–that’s our strongest niche,” he says. “You have to instill people with confidence that their project will turn out right.” (more…)

Cabinets and vanities: finding the peaks in a level market

Finding the Peaks in a Level Market

Nancy Davis spared little expense when she remodeled her kitchen last year.

The Indiana homeowner treated herself to euro-style laminate/almond cabinets with oak trim, a work station with an oak back and teal countertops.

Davis is like many consumers, according to Gerald Johnson, president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), Hackettstown, N.J.

“When they replace cabinets and vanities, they want better-quality, high-end products,” he says.

The 1991 Trends Survey, just released by the NKBA, reveals that between one-fourth and one-half of money spend on kitchen and bath projects is spent on cabinets. The trend toward luxury kitchens and baths has made a big impact on retailers’ margins in cabinets and vanities.

Dave Fultz, buyer for Ace Hardware Corp., Oak Brook, Ill., says Ace dealers are selling opening price point vanities. “We’re selling more combo vanities with tops,” he says. But Fultz cautions that marketing upscale cabinets and vanities isn’t for everyone. “We are seeing a move toward upscale, but it has yet to really hit middle America.”

He suggests retailers take a close look at their market before investing in high-end lines. “While whitewash look and champagne finish look good in the showroom, these products don’t always move well.” (more…)

Builders hardware: upscale products increase sales

Builders Hardware

Upscale Products Increase Sales

Builders hardware in d-i-y stores is like bread-and-butter in a grocery store – customers need it, but they also want products with good taste.

Consumers spent $8.49 billion on hardware products in 1989 have helped create those sales.

Upscale storm doors and home security have locked in new opportunities for decorative, high-end entry hardware. Remodeling has maintained the market for kitchen and bath cabinet hardware. Locksets, hasps, hinges, door knobs and drawer pulls are standard hardware, but specialty imports and designer items are creating fashionable margins.


Retailers located in historic and affluent neighborhoods are finding specialty niches for builders hardware.

Traditionally, upscale, solid brass hardware has been used primarily for older home restoration projects, but is now popular for new homes as well, says Chuck Frederick, associate buyer for builders hardware, Hardware Wholesalers Inc., (HWI) Ft. Wayne, Ind.

An increasing number of retailers are finding a solid niche with brass entry door locksets, interior door handles, kick plates and cabinet hardware.

Buena Park Lumber & Hardware, Buena Park, Calif., launched a month-long grand opening of its new “Brass Works” showroom on March 1.

Opening the specialty showroom is a “natural extension” that fits the store’s image, says John Nelson, president. The upscale hardware matches the store’s upper-end cabinets, doors and windows, Nelson adds. (more…)