While the terms gourmet and vacuum cleaner do not generally appear in the same sentence, the floor care industry over the past four years has established itself as a central presence at San Francisco’s Gourmet Show.

For many, the show’s timing makes it a must. “In this business, timing is everything,” said Jim Krzeminski, vice president of sales at Bissell. He explained that when the Gourmet Show comes around, retailers are finalizing their plans for the fourth quarter.

Dave Gault, vice president of marketing at The Hoover Co., said the Gourmet Show presents an opportunity for retailers and manufacturers to look at the balance of the year. “It gives us a chance to meet with our retail customers and rethink and update issues discussed at the Housewares Show,” he said.

This includes checking out how new planograms are working, how promotions are running and whether new products are meeting expectations. “We can update projections, adjust assortments and rethink our plans,” Gault said.

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“We find that when we meet with our retail accounts at the Gourmet Show, they are finalizing their fourth-quarter promotions,” said Chan Tinkle, vice president of national accounts at Eureka. He added that at the Housewares Show in January it was too early to look at promotion schedules slated for September through December.

While retailers use EDI to maintain continual ordering patterns, rather than placing orders at trade shows, Tinkle said the Gourmet Show offered different kinds of opportunities. “We work with our retail accounts to finalize sale events, for example,” he said.

Krzeminski said that Bissell has participated at the Gourmet Show formally and informally for the past 10 years. The floor care industry in general, however, has been a regular for only the past four years.

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“It just makes sense to go,” Tinkle said. “All of the buyers we work with are there.” He noted that many of them buy more than just floor care. “Buyers for floor care in many cases are buyers of other corded appliances as well,” he said. “The show offers great retail traffic.”

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A federal magistrate in Ohio recommended on Sept 3, 1996, that a federal judge deny a preliminary injunction sought by Hoover Co. against White Consolidated Industries Inc. and Eureka Co. regarding a steam extraction vacuum cleaner. Hoover claims its patents are violated by Eureka’s upright Dream Machine extraction cleaner. The magistrate reported that the Eureka and Hoover machines look different but have similar ‘functional’ features. A federal judge will make a final ruling.
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