2014 May Business Climate
May Retail Sales
In early June, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,314 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare May 2014 sales to May 2013. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 2,011 useable returns.
It’s a good month across the board when the percentage of retailers showing gains over the same month a year ago exceed the percentage of those whose sales fell.
13 MONTH YEAR-OVER-YEAR RETAILER SALES
While hearth product sales continue to show consistent month/year over month/year gains, both patio furnishings and barbecue products hover above and below the flat line.
Connecticut: (Hearth) “We’re encouraged by continued interest in stoves – mostly pellet stoves. The 2014 season is looking good.”
Maine: (Hearth) “Amazing month of May! We were down the first quarter this year but have been out straight the past 30 days. After the winter we just had, I’d say customers have had enough and are putting their tax returns into a more reasonable form of heating.”
New Jersey: (Hearth, BBQ) “Can’t wait for winter. Go wood stoves!!”
New York: (Hearth) “We think with the harsh winter in the Northeast our customers are taking a much needed break and just enjoying the spring. We look forward to an active summer.”
New York: (Hearth) “In May 2014 we began selling outdoor power equipment. Total sales including hearth products are up 74 percent.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “Hot weather has arrived but folks have not forgotten January.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Hearth products still going strong along with outdoor fireplaces, fireside chat pits and patio heaters.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth, BBQ) “Very strong interest in next year’s heating. Those shopping early are buying. Very strong gas fireplace sales in new construction. Expect good sales with pellet grills.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “Customers are waiting for a better rebate program.” Vermont: (Hearth) “Meetings and trainings, while valuable, take a lot of time, which is money away from selling-installing.”
For the following weather charts, the numbers for each state reflect the temperature ranking for the period since records began in 1895.
Twenty-nine states in the middle of the country experienced near average temperatures in May, while the stand-out state was California, with its eighth warmest May in 120 years.
The heat was in the West during the three-month period from March to May. California experienced its fifth warmest three-month period, while eight other western states had above average temperatures.
For the month of May, Texas and Louisiana joined eight northeastern states with above average precipitation, while most of the country was at near or above-average levels. Kansas was the exception, with much-below average precipitation.
Arkansas: (Hearth) “Finally starting to get floor traffic and retail sales – all wood products. Still way behind YTD.”
Arkansas: (Hearth) “The market is sizzling again.”
Georgia: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Late start this year due to weather mostly. Many more customers building outdoor kitchens than we’ve had in years past.”
Oklahoma: (Hearth) “Good times are here again! Sales are up and business is booming.”
Texas: (Hearth, BBQ) “Very slow – hopefully new construction will start up.”
Texas: (Hearth, BBQ) “Spring is finally here! BBQ sales starting off great!”
Virginia: (Hearth, BBQ) “Very slow month.”
Michigan: (Patio, BBQ) “Once the snow finally melted, our snowbirds returned. The influx of tourists with cabin fever has helped drive the business. We also had an upsurge in commercial accounts (restaurants and resorts) purchasing or replacing their outdoor furnishings.”
Missouri: (Hearth) “New construction with medium- to high-end custom homes in two or three locations is up considerably. Total units for us is slightly down, but dollars are up for better than usual models.”
Missouri: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas/ Hot Tubs) “Sales are back! We’re hitting pre-recession numbers. The long awaited recovery has arrived. Sadly though, our vendors can’t keep up. The delays are killing us. We’re getting umbrella poles without bottom poles, grills destroyed in freight, grills back- ordered for six to eight weeks, and wrong color firepits after a six-week wait. We’re losing sales opportunities! We’re having to base product selection on availability and are afraid to make any promises.”
Ohio: (Hearth, BBQ) “Grill sales in Toledo have been very bad. Even discounting below cost is not moving gas grills this year.”
Ohio: (Hearth) “Finished our pellet early-buy. OK results. Expected more sales given how tight our supply was, but I think higher spring than winter prices scared people off.”
Wisconsin: (Hearth) “A local stove exchange sponsored by a local utility has had a major impact on sales activity. We now have two months’ work in- house waiting to be installed.”
Wisconsin: (Hearth, BBQ) “Our sales for year-to-date are up; this past month has been busy. Actual dollars were about the same, just a few dollars below the previous year.”
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) “Sold a few more than last year. Home show customers really help during the warm seasons!”
California: (Hearth) “Lots of leads. Still ahead of last year.”
California: (Hearth) “No comment, can’t figure it out.”
Washington: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas/Hot Tubs) “May 2013 was way up from 2012 and we still bested 2013.” Washington: (Hearth) “Still on track for modest increase this year.”
British Columbia: (Hearth) “Lots of interest in catalytic stoves.”
British Columbia: (Hearth, BBQ) “After months of strong sales, the result is a decline from last year!”
Ontario: (Hearth, BBQ) “Steady traffic. Construction of new houses and renovations seems strong this spring.”
Ontario: (Patio) “Everything is pretty stable – no big changes.”
Ontario: (Hearth, Patio & BBQ) “May made up for some past months.”
Quebec: (Hearth) “Lot of demand for pellet stoves.”
|COMPANY – EXCHANGE||SYMBOL||52 WEEK||Week Ending||% CHANGE||MARKET CAPITALIZATION|
|High||Low||02-May-14||30-May-14||4 Week||26 Week||52 Week||($000,000)|
|Furniture Brands International (d)||FBNIQ||0.87||0.02||0.08||0.02||-71.0%||-79.7%||NA||$0.2|
|HNI Corporation (a)||HNI||40.73||31.00||35.04||37.43||6.8%||-5.6%||1.8%||$1,688.1|
|Pool Corporation (b)||POOL||62.84||50.00||58.31||57.73||-1.0%||3.0%||12.2%||$2,604.8|
|Restoration Hardware Holdings (a)(c)||RH||78.50||54.00||63.35||66.48||4.9%||-11.9%||19.0%||$2,586.7|
(a) = New York Stock Exchange
St. Louis - November 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) Furniture Brands International announced today that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has declared an affiliate of KPS Capital Partners, LP ("KPS") as the winning bidder in the auction to acquire substantially all of the company's assets. Furniture Brands and KPS expect to complete the transaction in the next several business days.