2015 Patio Retail Survey Report
At the beginning of November, Hearth & Home sent a questionnaire to 1,153 patio retailers; a total of 132 were returned completed and usable.
In a rather surprising turnaround, specialty patio retailers told us that their “toughest competition” comes, not from Big Box stores, not from Other Patio Stores, and not from Indoor Furniture stores, or the Economy.
Their toughest competition now comes from the Internet, which is quite a change from earlier years. The following comment from a southern retailer sums up the feelings of many others quite well:
“I find the toughest competition to be the Internet as it’s so easy to browse, click, get confused with all the choices and then (assume) everything is of the same quality in order to make a decision and get on with life. Many of those clients may not even consider stepping foot into a retail showroom given all their time constraints.”
Here’s a list of the main competitors for patio furnishings sales ranked by the percentage of retailers who considered each one the “toughest competition.”
Through the Years
U.S. Sales of Patio Furnishings
It was a decent year for patio sales through the specialty channel. In 2015, sales were 6.4 percent higher than the prior year.
Regional Look at 2015 vs 2014
In 2015, patio specialty shops enjoyed a fairly solid sales year across the board. In Canada, 58 percent of specialty retailers posted positive year-over-year sales, while in the U.S. that number was 49 percent.
Patio Furnishings Sales
2014 to 2015
Forty-seven percent of responding retailers posted a sales increase greater than five percent.
Target vs Actual Margins
In 2015, average targeted margins were 46 percent, while actual margins were four points below that.
Plan to Increase Early-buys
More than half of respondents plan to increase their early-buy orders over those of the prior year, while 18 percent plan to decrease their orders.
Years Retailing Patio Furniture
Fifty-five percent of specialty patio retailers have been in the business for over 15 years.
|Retailers' Outlook for 2016|
Similar to last year, 65 percent of respondents expect their sales to be up in 2016.
A whopping 88 percent of respondents already have, or plan to place, early-buy orders.
|Derivation of Gross Revenues|
Patio furnishings retailers derived 53 percent of their gross revenues from Outdoor Furniture and Wicker and Rattan: Hearth accounted for 19 percent and Barbecue for 12 percent.
|Percent of Business Over the Internet|
Seventy-one percent of patio retailers don’t conduct any business over the Internet; 26 percent realize up to five percent of their business and three percent realize more than five percent