Kitchen & Bath Design News

JAN 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Page 8 of 119

AS WE CLOSE the door on 2017 and look to the new year, there's plenty of reason for optimism. The forecast for 2018 remains largely positive, with the kitchen and bath industry expected to continue its strong upward tra- jectory, driven by a surging stock market, gains in home equity, and higher employment and wage growth (see related Market Forecast, Page 68). And neither is that just the view from the econo- mist's chair; in a spot survey of kitchen and bath dealers and designers polled by KBDN, a whopping 98 out of 100 expressed optimism about business conditions for 2018. Many have already booked a high volume of work for the new year, stating they expect to see double-digit growth in 2018. Of course there are still challenges ahead. Labor shortages continue to be a concern, and that means good subcontractors – or employees – may be harder to come by in 2018. Material costs are on the rise, consumers (particularly millennials) are increasingly price shopping online and design TV shows continue to create unrealis- tic expectations among many consumers. Additionally, changes to the tax code, which offers less support for housing than in the past, may result in decreasing home values, which could negatively impact remodeling spend- ing in the years to come. But despite the challenges, 2018 is expected to present numerous opportunities for growth. Technological innovations continue to drive excite- ment in everything from appliances and lighting to shower systems, ventilation and toilets. The "connected home" is becoming a game changer in design, with new systems being designed to be easily upgradeable, allevi- ating clients' worries about their tech becoming dated (see related story, Page 74). Social media continues to offer a nearly endless array of opportunities for reaching consumers, with new channels springing up all the time. And savvy designers are learning how to utilize cross promotion to widen their reach, partnering with manufacturers through everything from voice-optimized content and video to more effective tagging (see related story, Page 34). Both business and trend info also offer a window on new ways to strategize for growth. Indeed, in a new KBDN column, which launches this month, industry insider (and innovator) John Morgan offers a "Future Forward" take on the industry, kicking off with a look at how all those beginning-of-the-year trend reports can be used to plan for greater success (see column, Page 40). There's no question that the new year is rife with opportunities to reach new heights in success. But, as always, if you want to reach your goals, you need to first define them. Are you looking to add new products to your show- room, learn new skills and spend some time networking? If so, spending time at this month's KBIS should be on your "to-do" list for January. And, if you can't make it to Orlando, be sure to check out KBDN's product coverage (see Pages 106-115) along with our selection of newsletters highlighting hot products on display! Looking to grab some media attention in 2018? Check out what top editors and successfully published designers have to say about the best way to get your work (or your- self !) in the limelight (see related story, Page 82). Is improving your business practices on your res- olution list for the new year? If so, be sure to read this month's Trend Spotting department, which outlines "best practices" for 2018 (see story, Page 54) – and check out the NEXTgen conference report, which offers insights into how millennials are impacting – and will continue to impact – the kitchen and bath market in the coming years (see story, Page 86). With the market in a rare sweet spot, you'll want to capitalize on all of the opportunities 2018 has to offer, while continuing to plan for the future. Happy New Year! ▪ " 2018 is expected to present strong opportunities for growth, as the industry continues its upward trajectory, driven by a surging stock market, gains in home equity and wage growth." Big Opportunities for 2018 January 2018 • 9 EDITORIAL ® Like us: KitchenBathDesignNews Follow us on Twitter: @KBDN Join the discussion: Follow us on Instagram: @kbdn_sola PUBLISHER Paul DeGrandis PUBLISHER EMERITUS Eliot Sefrin EDITOR Janice Anne Costa MANAGING EDITOR Anita Shaw ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ashley Lapin Olian GROUP EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Patrick O'Toole CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kim Berndtson Joe Dowd Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS Elizabeth Richards Denise Vermeulen COLUMNISTS Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, CAPS Denise Grothouse Leslie Hart Bruce Kelleran, CKD, CPA Ken Peterson, CKD Leah Peterson Mary Jo Peterson, CMKBD, CAPS, CLIPP Sarah Reep, CMKBD, ASID, CMG, CAPS, IIDA Eric Schimelpfenig, AKBD CREATIVE & PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Tracy Hegg SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Erika Nygaard CIRCULATION MANAGER Mike Serino READER SERVICE MANAGER Jeff Heine DIGITAL PROGRAMS MANAGER Tim Steingraber PROJECTS MANAGER Heidi Riedl Copyright © 2018 by SOLA Group Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be produced in any form, including electronically, without written permission from the publisher of Kitchen & Bath Design News . JANICE COSTA EDITOR

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