The Future of Fireplaces is Charged with Electricity

"Electric products have shown decent gains in recent years. Thanks to recent technological improvements, the main drawback of these units' acceptance among consumers — poor representation of a realistic wood flame effect — is now a thing of the past.

Combined with such other advantages as portability, the ability to be placed just about anywhere without restrictions and the absence of potentially harmful emissions, electric fireplaces and stoves make up a growing product segment, a fact the major names in the hearth industry have taken notice of.

Electric products are attractive to those who are fed up with the mess and difficulty of operating wood fireplaces; and also with urban apartment and condo dwellers who long for a real wood fire, but cannot have one due to building restrictions."

Source: Hearth & Home June 2003

Product Penetration

In 2001, electric stoves were carried by 39 percent of U.S. hearth dealers; in 2002 that figure had increased to 52 percent. Electric fireplaces went from 56 percent of U.S. retailers to 60 percent. The opportunities for electric fireplaces are everywhere.

1. Multi-family housing, condos, apartment, high rises, and retirement communities — urban & suburban markets.
2. Any difficult or expensive installation for venting and/or gas lines — e.g. applications with over $1,000 for just the venting components, expensive gas lines, and installation obstacles.
3. Sell against room vented products — no fumes, soot or moisture
4. Basements below ground level & those with negative pressure
5. Interior rooms, children’s play rooms, and similar areas.
6. Bedrooms — too much heat & safety issues with wood & gas units
7. Den, loft, master bedroom, study, home office, four season porch, dining room, kitchen & family room — 2nd fireplace for any home.
8. Low end builder market — price point homes — large projects
9. Medium & high end builder market
10. Manufactured housing
11. Nursing homes and assisted living complexes
12. For customers who are afraid of gas
13. Customers who are afraid of wood burning fireplaces
14. Customers who do not want heat from a fireplace — warm climates or summer usage
15. Customers who want heat — thermostats give them temperature control=comfort & saves on their operating costs.
16. Lower price points, but UDA (Unit Dollar Average) can be increased with sales of cabinets, marble, trims, doors, fronts, and remote controls
17. Cash & carry customers in November, December or anytime.
18. Displays for commercial settings — showrooms, hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores & lobbies
19. Displays for electric companies to promote electric products
20. Displays for home shows & fairs — no venting & no gas lines
21. Quick installations — one trip without a permit (unless required)