Trade shows are always great because you get to see so many new things in a short period of time. Among the things I learned are:
- If you go to a trade show make sure you have what my mother called “sensible shoes.”There is a lot of walking.
- There is a lot of beautiful granite, marble and other stone available.
- The Stone Fabricators Alliance – a trade organization – continually amazes me on the amount of knowledge and information (trade secrets) their members are willing to share.
- The tariff on Chinese stainless steel drawn bowl sinks has caused a lot of confusion in the sink market. Even suppliers are confused.
- Many suppliers have gone to cheaper 301 commercial grade stainless steel to hold down the prices. We have suspected for a long time the unbranded and uncertified sinks were lower grade. Now even some of the nationally recognized brands are going to lower priced steel. 301 grade stainless has less Chromium – 16% rather than 18% – and less nickel – 6% rather than 8%. The less expensive steel will not rust but the lower chromium content will mean it will be duller and not have the luster consumers want in a product in their kitchen. Nickel hardens the finish so lower nickel means a softer finish.
ANO, Inc and Eclipse Stainless will be at the Kitchen and Bath Industry show in April in New Orleans and the Coverings show in late April and Early May in Atlanta where we will present our Seminar “A Sales Seminar for Business Owners Who Hate Sales.”