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Hearth & Home March 2017

Azores Sectional from Kingsley-Bate.

Patio Retail Survey Report – The Right Direction

By Richard Wright

A 3% gain over the prior year doesn’t seem like much, but it’s the sixth year in a row with positive numbers; that adds up.

At the beginning of January, Hearth & Home sent a questionnaire to 1,200 patio retailers; a total of 151 were returned completed and usable.

It wasn’t that long ago that patio furnishings retailers felt strongly that Big Box stores and Mass Merchants were their toughest competition. Today, only 8% of patio retailers feel that Mass Merchants are their toughest competition, and only 24% tell us it’s Big Box stores.

Right now, 42% of patio furnishings retailers feel their toughest competition is coming from Internet sales, and that number will only increase in the coming years.

Toughest Competition
Seller % of Retailers
Internet Sales 42%
Big Box Stores 24%
Other Patio Stores 19%
Mass Merchants 8%
Furniture Stores 12%
Catalogs 6%
Forty-two percent of patio furnishings retailers now feel that Internet Sales are their toughest competition.

It’s easy to dismiss a 3% increase in sales as being almost too small to mention, until you look to the left of this chart and see how bad business really was in the years from 2007 to 2013.

Move to the Regional Look chart (below) and notice that only the Midwest Region had more retailers who had a negative year than a positive one. Canada is a different story altogether. The Canadian dollar (loonie) has been worth around 74 cent vs. the U.S. dollar for about two years now, and it may be another two years before parity is once again in place.

Canadian manufacturers selling into the U.S make out very well indeed. Not so with Canadian retailers; importing patio furnishings from companies in the U.S. is very expensive, so much so that consumers in Canada balk at the price.

A sales increase of 3% in 2016 is at least going in the right direction, but it’s a far cry from the whopping 13.3% posted in 2014.
Westerners like to strut their stuff, so they should be thrilled with 75% of retailers posting a positive year. Canadians, on the other hand, are suffering from a currency differential that makes patio furnishings imported from the States just too expensive for most consumers.
expected purchases for the 2017 season

Only 72% of patio retailers placed early-buy orders.

new installations vs hearth replacements

Forty-one percent of patio retailers tell us their patio sales were up over the prior year; 33% were the same, and 26% were down.

Only 17% of patio furnishings retailers increased their early-buy orders for product to be sold in 2017; 28% decreased their orders.

The average patio retailer derives 48% of his/her revenue from Outdoor Furniture; 33% from Hearth Products; 14% from Barbecue Products, 11% from Other, and 4% from Spas, and 3% from Indoor Wicker and Rattan.

expected purchases for the 2017 season

Twenty-seven percent of patio retailers surveyed had an average sales ticket of $200 to $1,000; 37% were in the $1,001 to $2,000 range; 23% were in the $2,001 to $4,000 range, and 13% were over $4,000.

new installations vs hearth replacements

Forty-one percent of patio retailers have an indoor selling area under 3,000 sq. ft.; 15% have between 3,001 and 5,000 sq. ft.; 23% have between 5,001 and 10,000 sq. ft., and 21% have over 10,000 sq. ft.

Of those retailers who do sell patio furnishings over the Internet, 35% limit those sales to their market area, meaning, of course, that 65% do not.

Seventy-four percent of patio retailers do not sell over the Internet, while 3% are doing half of their business that way.

expected purchases for the 2017 season

Forty-six percent of patio retailers have an outdoor selling area under 1,000 sq. ft.; 42% have between 1,001 and 5,000 sq. ft., and 12% have over 5,000 sq. ft.

new installations vs hearth replacements

Only 5% of patio retailers have four or five stores.

 

More Industry Data

2019 June Business Climate

In early July, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio, and barbecue products asking them to compare June 2019 sales to June 2018. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 204 useable returns.

» Continue

2018 October Business Climate

In early November, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio, and barbecue products, asking them to compare October 2018 sales to October 2017. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 232 useable returns.

» Continue

2018 September Business Climate

In early October, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio, and barbecue products, asking them to compare September 2018 sales to September 2017. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 2,003 useable returns.

» Continue

2018 August Business Climate

In early September, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio, and barbecue products, asking them to compare August 2018 sales to August 2017. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 196 useable returns.

» Continue