2014 June Business Climate
October Retail Sales
In early July, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,412 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare June 2014 sales to June 2013. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 2,322 useable returns.
Close to two-thirds (62%) of hearth retailers reported increased sales over June 2013. For patio furnishings retailers, however, more than four of 10 had negative sales comparisons with a year ago.
13 MONTH YEAR-OVER-YEAR RETAILER SALES
For whatever the reasons, more hearth retailers should be smiling rather than frowning. Although overall sales of patio furnishings improved over last June, the percentage of retailers down from a year ago (see above chart) was not encouraging.
Connecticut: (Hearth) “Busiest year since 2008. Things looking great for 2014-2015 heating season. We’re gearing up for a big year. Pellet stoves taking lead, then wood, then gas and coal.”
Massachusetts: (Hearth) “June was very strong for us both in gross and in profits. July is starting out sluggish already. Let’s hope it picks up to carry us through the summer.”
Maine: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Sluggish barbecue sales. Overall sales down from previous year-to-date.”
Maine: (Hearth) “Another strong month.” New Jersey: (Hearth) “Builders are building! Showroom is steady for this time of year.”
New Jersey: (Patio, BBQ, Spa/Hot Tubs) “Total store was up 30 percent.” New York: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas/Hot Tubs) “The season is still picking up pretty good. The sales are moderate in price but the volume is there.”
New York: (Hearth) “Still selling woodburning products this month in addition to gas fireplaces. This month’s numbers include three high-ticket products. People seem to be spending a little freer these days.”
New York: (Hearth) “June was a slow month for us, no hearth sales to speak of. We had many interested visitors in our store, took some deposits and made several estimates. The future looks good.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “The brutal winter continues to pay dividends. Showroom traffic is steady. Installation crews are booked out three weeks. Hired additional installers and hoping to be able to handle the upcoming season.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth, BBQ) “Let’s talk about the weather – remember January and February? Demand is still strong and installations are out three weeks. Hurrah!”
Pennsylvania: (Patio, Spas/Hot Tubs) “Patio sales – spring was real good, now mid-June and start of July in Northeast is 30-50 percent off. We are advertising more and still not selling.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth, BBQ) “Steady floor traffic with wood and gas inserts leading in sales; people have not forgotten the harsh winter and blackouts of last year. Outdoor fireplaces have slowed a bit but fireside chat pits and grill islands are still strong.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “Very slow compared with month-to-date. Traffic for us has been on pools and pool products. Customers are waiting to see if there is a fall promotion.”
Vermont: (Hearth) “Tremendous June with orders up 100 percent, causing installations to be booked out four weeks already. New home construction and remodeling coupled with memories of last winter are the driving forces. We are optimistic about the year, however, one bad week in October can wipe out the gain.”
For the following weather charts, the numbers for each state reflect the temperature ranking for the period since records began in 1895.
California and Arizona both experienced much above normal temperatures in June, while most of the rest of the country had near or above normal temperatures.
California just can’t catch a break; it has just experienced its second warmest three month period from April to June in the past 120 years.
In June, nine states experienced below normal precipitation; in Arizona, precipitation was at much below normal levels.
Arkansas: (Hearth) “Too hot for floor traffic. Wood insert sales are encouraging this year.”
Arkansas: (Hearth) “New construction is staying strong; more homeowners are going over budget on hearth.”
Florida: (Hearth, BBQ) “Sales have evened out. Interest is in higher-end units.”
Oklahoma: (Hearth) “Business for sale – be a hearth store owner – lousy pay – long hours – roller coaster sales figures – stress and more stress! Reduced for quick sale – current owner moving to Colorado to grow tomatoes.”
Oklahoma: (Hearth) “Another banner month. Sales continue to break records. Happy days are here again!”
South Carolina: (Patio, BBQ) “June was amazing!”
Tennessee: (Hearth, BBQ) “Combined May/June sales were up eight percent over 2013.We had ourmain event, ‘The Backyard Challenges,’ barbecue contest May 31 while in the past it has been in June.”
Virginia: (Hearth, BBQ) “Very busy month for us, very happy.”
Michigan: (Hearth, Patio) “Summer arrived too late.”
Michigan: (Hearth, Spas/Hot Tubs) “With the winter of 2013/2014 still fresh in everyone’s mind, hearth products continue to sell nicely in mid-summer.”
Minnesota: (Hearth, BBQ) “All growth was from high-end ZC gas fireplaces.”
Missouri: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “We are now in our second year in business and our sales are much better than the first year. We are now getting our name out there.”
Missouri: (Hearth, BBQ) “Sales in heating are up 120 percent. That is only because June 2013 sales were bad. We are where we should be for the month. Barbecue sales are down 43 percent in June. Very low traffic for barbecue this year. Reasons unknown.”
Ohio: (Hearth, BBQ) “Gas grill sales are definitely flat. Big Green Eggs are helping to pick up the slack. Hoping for more fireplace remodeling projects this summer.”
Wisconsin: (Hearth) “Local store exchange program gave a three-month boost to wood sales.”
Wisconsin: (Hearth) “Considerable increase in wood and pellet. Gas products are seriously down.”
Wisconsin: (Hearth, BBQ) “Yikes! Love the business. Getting a bit nervous for what the fall is going to be. Part of the increase is for sales that should have happened in May, but were not completed until June. Either way we are grateful.”
A reading above 90 indicates the economy is on solid footing; above 100 signals strong growth. The Index is based on a probability-design random sample conducted for The Conference Board by The Nielsen Company.
The Index is based on a probability-design random sample conducted for The Conference Board by The Nielsen Company.
Arizona: (Hearth) “Monsoon season is bringing in more customers up north!”
California: (Hearth, BBQ) “Steady month for us. Picked up over last year. We’ve seen a steady increase in business throughout each season in 2014. Hoping it continues.”
California: (Hearth) “Lots of irons in the fire should make for an awesome July.”
Colorado: (Hearth, BBQ) “Up some places, down some places, but overall up about 20 percent – Yea! It’s been a long row to hoe. I’m keeping the faith but we’re not out of the woods yet.”
Oregon: (Hearth) “Worst June in five years.”
Washington: (Patio) “Our weather during the grads and dads period was wet, windy and generally unpleasant. That could have impacted traffic; the rest of the month has been good traffic.”
Washington: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas/Hot Tubs) “Major sale Memorial Day.Year-to-date Hearth +13%, Patio +6%, Barbecue -11% and Spas +15%.”
|COMPANY – EXCHANGE||SYMBOL||52 WEEK||Week Ending||% CHANGE||MARKET CAPITALIZATION|
|High||Low||30-May-14||27-June-14||4 Week||26 Week||52 Week||($000,000)|
|Furniture Brands International (d)||FBNIQ||0.87||0.02||0.02||0.04||70.4%||-62.0%||NA||$0.3|
|HNI Corporation (a)||HNI||40.73||31.00||37.43||38.96||4.1%||-1.1%||8.0%||$1,757.1|
|Pool Corporation (b)||POOL||62.84||50.58||57.73||57.81||0.1%||-0.3%||10.3%||$2,608.4|
|Restoration Hardware Holdings (a)||RH||94.50||54.61||66.48||92.37||38.9%||42.9%||23.2%||$3,636.6|
(a) = New York Stock Exchange