Stone Column

Stone Column: Another solid year for stone

January 6, 2003
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
In a time when most economic prognosticators are declaring "gloom and doom," the U.S. stone industry seems to be a long-term exception. While other trades - in the construction sector and elsewhere - are recording significant decreases in business, the stone industry keeps rolling along. And while there are always exceptions to any trend, the overall reports are positive, according to a market research survey conducted by Business News Publishing (Stone World's parent company).

Each year, Stone World presents the results of this survey in its January issue (page 98). And while the surveys of several years ago were little more than confirmation that the American stone industry was booming, the polls of the last two years have taken on a bit more meaning. With an economic recession and the continuing threat of war and terrorism, every industry has reason for concern. But according to the surveys of the last two years, the per capita stone consumption in the U.S. marketplace has been so strong that it has more than compensated for outside factors.

Of those who responded to the Stone World survey, which was sent primarily to stone fabricators, nearly two-thirds (66.0%) expected the stone market to increase in 2003. Almost all of the remaining respondents (30.7%) predicted that business would hold steady this year, with a small fraction (3.3%) predicting a decline.

And the feedback was even more positive when looking to the next five to 10 years, as respondents astutely pointed out that while stone use in the U.S. is certainly on the rise, the overall market share of the stone industry is relatively small when compared to other materials used in homebuilding. This fact leaves room for countless growth for stone fabricators.

This optimism is not only fueled by speculation and general confidence, but by the success that has been experienced by fabricators in the very recent past. Even in the wake of the September 11 attacks and the ensuing war overseas, 73.4% of fabricators reported increased business over the course of 2002, with 18.9% seeing business hold steady, and only 7.7% recording a decline.

And fabricators are not only expressing their optimism in words, but they are also responding by investing back in their operations. Capital outlay among fabricators is on the rise, as companies are planning investments in equipment, personnel and stock. And they are also reaching out to the general public with investments in marketing and showrooms - thus increasing the awareness of stone by the general public.

However, even while the relative success of the U.S. stone industry is a blessing, it can also be a concern. More and more start-up companies are entering the business, and they have varied levels of experience in stone fabrication and sales. Each of these new firms has a responsibility to learn and execute the trade to the highest degree of professionalism possible.

But there is another responsibility that may fall upon the existing fabricators. Over the years, stone fabricators have been outstanding in their willingness to share their knowledge and experience with the industry as a whole, and they should be commended for doing so. This needs to continue if the American stone industry is to maintain its reputation for excellence.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Stone World 

Recent Articles by Michael Reis

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

November 2013 Stone Products Gallery

Take a look at some of the latest stone industry products.

THE MAGAZINE

Stone World Magazine

April 2014 stone world cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of Stone World, check out an extensive preview of Coverings 2014, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in April. Also learn more about various types of limestone that were used to build private residences.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

CSTD_Spring2014_Cover.jpg

2014 Spring

This issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design includes our annual focus on Kitchen and Bath design

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Training Program

How formal is your training program for new employees?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How_To_Polish_&_Restore_Mar.gif
How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Italian Trade Commission Coverings exhibitor preview

Italian Trade Commission logo 2

The Italian Trade Commission is presenting a large group of the most innovative and internationally renowned Italian suppliers of dimensional natural stones. We hope your busy schedule will allow you to join us for a “genuine” espresso in booth N. 4045 and explore the exciting Italian natural stone resources offered by our exhibitors. Check out Italian stone producers exhibiting at Coverings 2014 here!

  

Stone Industry Education

stone industry educationStone Industry Education is sponsored by Stone World Magazine and Marble Institute of America. The SIE events will help you: strengthen your skills, build your business, and  increase profit in your shop.  Check out stoneindustryeducation.com to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook logo Twitter  YouTube