Kurtis attends the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) held in Chicago

In April we attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) held in Chicago.  There is always a tendency for manufacturers to hype the launch of their new products and innovations at this annual event.  The trend we saw was that manufacturers are now starting to focus on products with lower price points, simpler designs and touting more of their green product features.

To quote Victoria Markovitz of PROSALES Information Service,

“While design is always a highlight at KBIS, another word was tossed around the show floor more than any other: value.  In this stressful economy, homeowners and builders want to get the most out of their dollar, whether that means buying a vanity in a style that will look great forever, or investing in the savings made from energy and water efficient products.Manufacturers responded at the show, held April 16-18 in Chicago, by introducing products at lower price points, highlighting timeless designs, and revving up green product selections.”

In our private discussions with many national vendors, another subject that came up frequently was that of impending price increases.  Manufacturers complained that their freight rates have recently increased substantially.  Many of these same companies have been holding off on implementing what they describe as “needed” price increases, due to the unstable retail markets.  They seem poised to make a move, yet they also appear to be waiting for some other company to make the first move.

It is our thought that price increases will be forthcoming within the next few months on a large number of home improvement products.  Most of these building products are heavy and bulky and require a great deal of freight to get them to their locations.  Add to that the other cost increases that manufacturers have been afraid to pass-on over the past few years due to the economy, and substantial increases may very well be in our future.

We urge clients that are thinking of starting a remodeling project in the near future to advance the pace of their buying decision.  It is our belief that we will all be facing an onslaught of price increases in the months to come.