2016 November Business Climate
In early December Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare November 2016 sales to November 2015. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 186 useable returns.
RETAILER SALES – U.S. AND CANADA
In November, 69% of Hearth retailers were Up or the Same, and 76% of Spa dealers were Up or the Same.
13 MONTH YEAR-OVER-YEAR RETAILER SALES
Sales of Spas through the specialty channel were up seven percent in November, and sales of Hearth products were up four percent.
Connecticut: (Hearth) “Traffic has picked up but still no urgency. Pellet business down the most. Wood and gas products are getting the most interest.”
Maine: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Low oil and LP gas prices are hurting consumer spending on alternative heating products, paired with a mild winter in 2015-2016 and an above-average summer. Customers don’t seem to be looking to buy supplemental heating.”
Maine: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “November product sales were off compared to last year. The Thanksgiving holiday is leading the charge for fireplace service.”
Massachusetts: (Hearth) “We are having a great year so far. Extremely busy. Looks like it will carry through to the spring.”
New Jersey: (Hearth, BBQ) “Snow coming!”
New Jersey: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Great month, same as last year. Looking to finish up well ahead of 2015.”
New York: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “November was a great month for hearth and spa sales. Non-stop traffic all month and it hasn’t gotten cold in the Northeast yet!”
New York: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “It’s starting to slow down, but it’s been a very nice, manageable fall.”
New York: (Hearth, BBQ) “Better than last year but still disappointing. We barely have a four-week backlog on installs. Glass doors seem to be doing well. Lots of recent home purchases.”
New York: (Hearth) “Steady, nothing fabulous without any snow.”
New York: (Hearth, BBQ) “Retail strong. Commercial slowed down.”
New York: (Hearth) “I sound like a broken record but our sales are still down from last year. The percentage is getting smaller as the colder weather gets closer, but sales of fuel and stoves are both down.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth, BBQ) “Pleased with store traffic and incoming phone calls. Percentage of proposals being accepted is up. Changes we’ve made over the past 18 months are showing a return on our investments.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “For the calendar year, down 10 percent. But still profitable.”
For the following weather charts, the numbers for each state reflect the temperature ranking for the period since records began in 1895.
November was a very warm month. The entire country experienced Above Normal to Much Above Normal temperatures, with Washington, Idaho and North Dakota setting new records.
The three months from September to November were very warm throughout all of the contiguous states. Only two states, California and Oregon, posted Above Normal temperatures, while 40 states experienced Much Above Normal temperatures and eight states set records.
With the exception of Virginia which posted Much Above Average precipitation in the month of November, all other states were at the unremarkable levels of Below Average, Near Average or Above Average.
Arkansas: (Hearth) “Not a good retail month due to warmer temps and election jitters. Still way behind from 2015 and running out of time to catch up. Oh, well!”
Georgia: (Hearth, BBQ) “New construction home sales remain strong for the Atlanta Metro market. Our Outdoor Living market is growing month over month.”
North Carolina: (Patio) “Favorable weather and customer traffic. Keep it up.”
North Carolina: (Hearth) “Could have been up 75 percent, BUT THERE IS NO and I mean NO GOOD HELP AVAILABLE in our area.”
Oklahoma: (Hearth) “Winter is on its way!”
Tennessee: (BBQ, Spas) “The consumer has finally pulled ahead of the Great Recession, and is no longer eyeing it in the rearview mirror.”
Texas: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “November started slow, but by the second week things picked up. Outdoor kitchen contractors are placing orders, cooler weather has customers looking for gas logs and hearth products. Holiday shopping started strong, with our best Black Friday and Shop Small weekend.”
Indiana: (Patio, BBQ, Spas) “The store traffic has dropped off in the last month for most of the backyard items. The in-ground swimming pool and spa market is still going strong. We held a Black Friday sale and actually sold two spas and have another one that is looking at a swim spa. People are still looking to purchase the larger items we sell. I hope this will continue through winter into next year. “I have half of our schedule filled for next year already on in-ground pools and I have not seen anything close to that since 2008. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the upcoming spring and hope to have another warm summer!”
Michigan: (Hearth) “November was strong in Michigan for the hearth industry. If it gets cold we should see a strong finish to the year and a good start to 2017.”
Minnesota: (Hearth, BBQ) “Finally have cold weather and are looking forward to a robust change in direction.”
Minnesota: (Hearth) “Where’s the cold?”
Ohio: (Hearth, BBQ) “Gas inserts and fireplaces were down but wood stoves, wood inserts and add-on furnaces were up in the Toledo area for my shop.”
Ohio: (Hearth, BBQ) “Nothing to write home about for sales, but we expected worse with all of the election drama.”
Wisconsin: (Hearth, BBQ) “Sales were way up for the month of November in comparison to a year ago. When we look at the total sales to date for the year in comparison to the previous year they are almost exactly the same. Weather has been mild for this time of the year in our area. This has allowed us to continue installations without delays.”
Wisconsin: (Hearth, BBQ) “Still waiting for winter to arrive. It’s too warm to sell stoves or pellets.”
Wisconsin: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “Overall sales have almost doubled over last year’s month of November. Expenses are slightly up (15%), profit is up 179 % overall. Very good month. Have added a few more bodies to help with fast-track type jobs. Should help the year-end overall.”
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.
Arizona: (Hearth) “Busy, Busy, Busy!”
Arizona: (Hearth) “90 degrees on Nov. 23, 2016.”
California: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “Optimistic and ready!”
California: (Hearth, Spas) “Very busy year although we slowed down some during the election frenzy.”
California: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “November begins our fireplace season and we’ve found a surprising increase in sales this year. Hopefully it continues!”
Colorado: (Hearth, BBQ) “The Election had no negative impact, which was a relief! We’re steadily busy – almost to the point that we can’t do any more. Life is good, at least at the moment. One thing I learned in 30 years is that life is uncertain in the hearth industry.”
Idaho: (Hearth) “Strong year, YTD up 19%.”
Oregon: (Hearth, BBQ) “November was huge; we continue to see monumental growth.”
Washington: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “Even with last November.”
British Columbia: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “An amazing finish to our fiscal year, sales are up by 85% for November, a record month to cap off a record year! I can only hope 2017 is as good. I’m loving the local economy.”
Ontario: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Floor traffic slowed; dollars in, dollars out were within 2.5 percent of 2015 November. We see this as a trend. I’m thinking the false highs of yesteryear were just growth spurts of an adolescent (and the behavior). Now our industry has reached its actual size and everybody needs to adjust themselves accordingly. More attention to percentages and less blind faith in volume keeps month to month profits acceptable for the investment, for now.”
Ontario: (Patio) “Exchange rate to U.S. dollars still hurting.”
Ontario: (BBQ) “November up 30% plus from last year.”
|COMPANY – EXCHANGE||SYMBOL||52 WEEK||Week Ending||% CHANGE||MARKET CAPITALIZATION|
|High||Low||28-Oct-16||25-Nov-16||4 WEEK||26 WEEK||52 WEEK||($000,000)|
|HNI Corporation (a)||HNI||56.96||29.84||40.39||54.90||35.9%||19.8%||22.1%||$2,320.0|
|Pool Corporation (b)||POOL||103.55||72.41||92.22||101.93||10.5%||10.3%||23.0%||$4,130.0|
|Restoration Hardware Holdings (a)||RH||94.88||24.75||29.02||36.48||25.7%||8.8%||-60.9%||$1,430.0|
|Wayfair, Inc. (a)||W||50.00||27.60||33.37||35.02||4.9%||-14.2%||-8.2%||$3,170.0|
(a) = New York Stock Exchange