Volume 35, Number 5, May 2000


a message from the publisher

The Truth Prevails

A giant debate about writing this article raged within me the past few weeks, but I decided to go ahead with it because it is important that you know some of the forces with which we deal when bringing a story to light. This issue contains a very interesting article called “Can They Do It All?,” beginning on page 36. Written by Tara Taffera, the article explores the growing phenomena of superstores as they relate to the glass industry in general and the shower door industry in particular.

It’s a subject about which we heard a lot the past few years, as companies such as Home Depot’s Expo Center and Lowes expand to become shower door designers and installers. It’s also a controversial subject, leaving some customers feeling a bit maligned by shower door suppliers who sell outside the glass industry. And it’s a story a few people didn’t want to see told.

Since we began to explore this subject last year and issued a news report about it, we’ve received some pressure not to cover it any more or any further. It seems some manufacturers were “uneasy” with the story. And we were told subtly, quietly, that such stories can result in the magazine being “punished” for covering the issue.

One of the main reasons that USGlass remains an independent publication, not affiliated with any association or group, is a conscious decision to report accurately, fairly and without prejudice or master. If we, as an industry, can’t discuss our problems and concerns among ourselves, then what hope do we have for betterment and improvement? Articles such as “Can They Do It All?” help everyone–manufacturers, distributors and retailers—understand what the others are doing and how to position their businesses for the future.

Nothing peaks a seasoned journalist’s interest more than being told to stay away from a story, and Taffera is no exception. What she found out should prove a cautionary tale for those who are afraid of a free press: the general consensus across a broad spectrum was that these stores will help, rather than hurt, shower door sales at all levels, in the next 3-5 years.

In addition to the prognosis, there were some other bright spots to the story. A good many of the shower door manufacturers understood our efforts. In fact, you’ll see many of them advertising in this issue. Please remember that they support your right to the truth.

Have a great month!

 Deb Levy 

P.S.: Page 50 begins our 17th Annual Guide to New Products and Services. Check out some of the products for the new millennium.



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