2016 June Business Climate
In early July, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare June 2016 sales to June 2015. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 198 useable returns.
RETAILER SALES – U.S. AND CANADA
In June, Spas led the way as 57 percent of respondents were up over the prior year; Hearth retailers were a distant second at 46 percent; surprisingly, both Barbecue and Patio retailers trailed at 41 and 33 percent, respectively.
13 MONTH YEAR-OVER-YEAR RETAILER SALES
Sales of Spas in June were up 22 percent; Patio up 6 percent; Barbecue up 6 percent and Hearth only 1 percent.
Connecticut: (Patio) “Not much to say. Looks bleak. Even our sister company that cleans chimneys is down 50 percent since we had a warm winter last year. People just turned on the oil instead. Manufacturers need to come up with some extra good incentives this year or we might see some dealers go under.”
Maine: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Steady seasonal demand for gas products and service is putting us ahead of last year.”
New York: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “By adding another barbecue line we have increased our sales in that department over 100 percent! It’s been a great summer for grilling so far!”
New York: (Hearth) “Customers often have sticker shock and are often in no hurry to buy.”
New York: (Hearth) “After a warm winter we expected a slow summer but have been surprised by the activity. We are doing about the same as last summer and that pleases us.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Cheap imported products make American-made products harder to sell. Consumers think this is how much they should be spending and have no clue of quality – cheap and fast is what they want!”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “Gas is King – very strong interest in gas stoves and inserts. Pellet stoves are the big question.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “In the last two weeks of June there was an increase in phone and store activity. We’re on schedule for showrooms being updated!”
For the following weather charts, the numbers for each state reflect the temperature ranking for the period since records began in 1895.
In June, temperatures in both Arizona and Utah blasted off the charts, setting a record for the warmest June since 1895.
No records were broken for the three-month period April – June, however, 36 states posted Above Normal or Much Above Normal temperatures.
With the exception of Virginia which posted Much Above Average precipitation in the month of June, all other states were at the unremarkable levels of Below Average, Near Average or Above Average.
Arkansas: (Hearth) “Horrible retail month! No phone calls, no floor traffic, no sales! Just set a new, lowest sales month in 20 years of business. WOW! Can’t get any worse than this. Hot weather, lots of rain, election jitters and a mindset to not spend money results in no sales. It’s going to be a bad year here.”
Florida: (Patio) “Beginning of our year was slow – especially January and February (normally those two months are good for us in Miami); there was much more activity beginning in March.”
Louisiana: (Hearth) “June picked up a little more. We are doing more custom homes with specialty fireplaces.”
North Carolina: (Hearth) “We are still down for the year.”
Oklahoma: (Hearth) “Sales slow. Long time competitor just closed one of their stores. Come on WINTER!”
Texas: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Low traffic counts. Big tickets. It seems horrible but not so bad. Summertime overhauls to showroom etc.”
Texas: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “We had a lot of rain in May, sales were down. June was mild weather and sales were good.”
Virginia: (Hearth, BBQ) “Lots of builder purchases and bids.”
Michigan: (Spas) “Great month – terrific weather, great economy, easier consumer credit for those hit by the recession, all added up to an excellent month. With the election coming, it’s time to store some nuts for what I believe is going to be a rocky fourth quarter. “Downside – Internet is becoming a bigger problem every day. Lack of support from vendors is getting more ridiculous than ever and, oh, what factory reps! Now I get email but very few cross the door anymore, and they get a commission? For what?”
Michigan: (Hearth, Spas) “June hearth products were pretty flat to say the least, good customer traffic, seemingly interested customers. May point to a strong fall season. Hot tubs/spas doing pretty well as of this survey.”
Minnesota: (Hearth, Patio) “Our tough spring weather has subsided and it’s like fall. He who has the best installers wins from here on out. Should be a great year after a slow start.”
Minnesota: (Hearth, BBQ) “Feeling optimistic.”
Missouri: (Hearth, BBQ) “June was a very hot month. That could have contributed to our lower sales. New construction is picking up. Hopefully the next week will make up for it.”
Nebraska: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Weather finally is cooperating and the 4th of July push helped drive some sales.”
Ohio: (Hearth, BBQ) “Big Green Eggs have been selling well as usual, but the meat and potatoes gas grills are down a bit. Larger fireplace remodeling projects are helping to make up that difference. Really struggling to find a good gas grill line that sells in the $300 - $800 range that isn’t being sold by the mass merchants. We may end up only selling high-end grills next year, and try to increase hearth remodeling sales.”
Wisconsin: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “June was strong due to new construction starts as well as remodeling. Gas dominates. There’s continued growth in our market.”
Wisconsin: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “Fireplace sales continue to be high. Barbecue up slightly. Hot tubs same. Fireplace installs are still 10 days out.”
Wisconsin: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “Sales were up compared to 2015 but also cost of goods purchased was up. We buy a lot during June so profits are down, but compared to 2015 we had 50 percent less loss. So life is good? Accountant says overall profits are good! Where is the money?”
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.
California: (Hearth, BBQ, Spas) “Sales are rising each month on hearth products – hope it continues.”
California: (Hearth, BBQ) “June is up seven percent from last year. Mostly contractor sales.”
California: (Hearth, Spas) “Same June gloom. Full of holidays, graduations, vacations, etc. But we were up 21 percent for June so I can’t really complain. Up 26 percent for the year.”
California: (Hearth) “We have seen an increase in stove sales and customers shopping early for prices including installs. Usually we don’t see this until later, August through December.”
Colorado: (Hearth, BBQ) “Still up from last year, but could always be better. Getting good help is a problem here in Colorado. We placed an ad looking for a salesperson and a service tech with a good driver’s license who can pass a drug screening. Had 738 views in two days and one call! GADS!”
Nevada: (Hearth, BBQ) “Not looking good.”
Oregon: (Hearth, Spas) “Stove sales are down, but picking up in July. Spas sales are up.”
Oregon: (Hearth, BBQ) “Barbecue sales off more. Big Green Egg dealers in my area and local Costco sell Kamado Joe, now gas grills are about even.”
Washington: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “Crews have been busy. Cash received was down 10 percent.”
British Columbia: (Hearth, BBQ) “What a terrific year. Lots of traffic and sales. Well up from last year and last year was a good year!”
Ontario: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “When will this thing settle one way or the other so I can at least try to keep a budget on track? One day it’s up, next day it’s down, there is no life like it!”
Ontario: (Patio, BBQ) “I’m guessing that a lot of customers are replacing patio furniture and we are a fortunate recipient of those sales. Our weather has been rain, rain and more rain - I have saved a pile not having to get the car washed!”
Ontario: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Not a good season for our patio furniture. We purchase USA furniture only, and because our dollar is only worth about 70 cents, we are not in a position to give any discounts – which customers seem to expect!!”
Ontario: (Hearth, BBQ) “Good solid month! Couldn’t be happier.”
Ontario: (Patio) “High U.S. dollar still hurting.”
|COMPANY – EXCHANGE||SYMBOL||52 WEEK||Week Ending||% CHANGE||MARKET CAPITALIZATION|
|High||Low||03-JUN-16||01-JUL-16||4 WEEK||26 WEEK||52 WEEK||($000,000)|
|HNI Corporation (a)||HNI||52.52||29.84||46.63||46.68||0.1%||29.5%||-7.3%||$2,110.0|
|Pool Corporation (b)||POOL||96.99||65.56||92.56||95.05||2.7%||17.7%||36.1%||$3,980.0|
|Restoration Hardware Holdings (a)||RH||106.49||24.75||34.03||30.00||-11.8%||-62.2%||-69.2%||$1,220.0|
|Wayfair, Inc. (a)||W||56.84||28.85||42.04||38.06||-9.5%||-20.1%||1.0%||$3,220.0|
(a) = New York Stock Exchange