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Hearth & Home June 2018

2018 April Business Climate

April Sales

In early May, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio and barbecue products asking them to compare April 2018 sales to April 2017. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 208 useable returns.

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Weather Report

Consumer Confidence

Stock Watch


RETAILER SALES – U.S. AND CANADA – April 2018 vs. April 2017

In April, 53% of Hearth retailers were UP, while 40% of Spa retailers, 29% of Barbecue retailers, and 26% of Patio retailers were also UP.

April 2017 vs. April 2018

In April, sales of Spas were UP 27%, sales of Hearth products were UP 9%, Barbecues were UP 5%, and sales of Patio products were UP 2%.


January 1 – April 30, 2018

For the period January 1 to April 30, 59% of Hearth retailers are UP, 53% of Spa retailers are UP, 28% of Patio retailers are UP, and 23% of Barbecue retailers are UP.

Retailer Comments


Connecticut:(Hearth) “Worst month ever in business.”

New Hampshire: (Hearth, BBQ) “Cold spring equals low barbecue sales.”

New Jersey: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Solid increase for April. Hope this will continue.”

New York: (BBQ, Spas) “The month started off slow – gained momentum. Didn’t hurt that we were featured on Bravo TV.”

New York: (Hearth, BBQ) “April was tough with storms early and cold hanging on. The remodeling did not take off.”

New York: (Hearth, Spas) “April was slooow. Crappy weather here in the Northeast kept everyone home, and NOT outdoors getting their backyards ready!”

Pennsylvania: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “The extended cold weather has helped hearth, maybe rising oil prices will help the pellet and wood appliance sales. Outdoor products are picking up but the weather has pushed back the interest.”

Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “The first couple weeks of April were spent evaluating and bidding jobs. The last couple of weeks were spent following up. Follow-ups are as important as the bidding. Big payoff.”

Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “Profit is up more than 11%. We are adding three new product lines this year.”

Weather Report

For the following weather charts, the numbers for each state reflects the temperature and percipitation rankings for the period since records began in 1895.

April was the Record Coldest month in both Iowa and Wisconsin, while 20 other states posted Much Below Average temperatures.

For the three-month period February to April, three states – Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida – posted Much Above Average temperatures, while three other states – Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota – were at the other end of the spectrum with Much Below Average temperatures.

With Much Above Average precipitation, the state of Washington continues to receive more than its fair share of precipitation. Twenty other states posted Above Average precipitation.

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Arkansas: (Hearth) “Exceptionally cold month that kept customers at home. Very little floor traffic with sales mostly in wood units and some interest in electric products. Now things will really slow down for hearth going forward this spring.”

Tennessee: (Patio, BBQ) “Rain, cold, off and on! Two rainy weekends. Finally spring and warmer weather!”


Illinois: (Patio) “We had near record cold and rain during April. We had snow on the second weekend of April. I think some clients were just sick of winter and wanted to be thinking of things for summer. By the end of the month we were really busy. We had a record day on Monday April 30.”

Indiana: (Patio, BBQ, Spas) “Cold, wet, crappy spring has hampered sales for the backyards; the only bright side is spa sales are on the uptick right now. It appears with the economy on a roll there is more disposable income out there to spend again. We are seeing a small increase on our Green Mountain pellet grills and the Big Green Egg sales for the ending of April and first of May timeframe.”

Michigan: (Spas) “It was a fantastic month even with horrible weather and I owe it all to my people. First quarter has been dragging along. My team took it upon themselves, with no influence from me – grab the ball with a take no prisoner attitude – incredible team work – they put all the commissions into a pot and split it up evenly. Amazing effort, amazing results gave us a big boost in delivered product. I might stay out of the way more often.”

Wisconsin: (Hearth) “Very strong construction market as well as strong retail market.”

Wisconsin: (Hearth, BBQ) “We had a drop in immediate sales this month. Have given out a significant number of proposals on future work. We have a significant number of verbal commitments. However, they do not count until we receive a downpayment. Our year-to-date sales are 11% ahead of the previous year’s sales.”

Wisconsin: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “April is our anniversary month. Sales from April are usually reflected in May and June. Also, the cold extended winter helped fireplace sales but hurt patio and grill sales. Looks like it’s going to be a short summer and, BAM, back into winter again.”

Consumer Confidence

The Consumer Confidence Index Index increased in April, following a decline in March. The Index now stands at 128.7 (1985=100), up from 127.0 in March.

“Consumer confidence increased moderately in April after a decline in March,” said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved somewhat, with consumers rating both business and labor market conditions quite favorably.

“Consumers’ short-term expectations also improved, with the percent of consumers expecting their incomes to decline over the coming months reaching its lowest level since December 2000 (6.0 percent). Overall, confidence levels remain strong and suggest that the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace in the months ahead.”

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.

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California: (Hearth, BBQ, Spas) “April was good for estimates; customers are waiting for summer for installation. It looks good for the year so far.”

Washington: (Hearth, BBQ) “We have moved from two temporary locations while building our new store. Moved back to one building on Nov. 1, 2017.”

Washington: (Hearth, BBQ, Spas) “With weather turning nice and winter not too cold, customers coming in have slowed way down compared to last year. We’re optimistic that good weather and new construction will keep us steady through the summer, just like last year.”


British Columbia: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “April made up for a stuttering start to the year; we’ll see if the trend continues. Governments, federal, provincial and local, seem determined to kill the housing economy which drives our business – the future doesn’t look bright. So much for sunny days.”

Ontario: (Patio) “We’re big in patio, but still struggling with high U.S. dollar or low Canadian dollar, whichever it is.”

Ontario: (BBQ) “Cold – cold – cold all month.”

Stock Watch

    High Low 30-Mar-18 27-Apr-18 4 WEEK 26 WEEK 52 WEEK ($000,000)
Standard & Poor’s 500 (a) S & P 2,872.87 2,352.72 2,640.87 2,669.91 1.1% 3.4% 12.0%  
HNI Corporation (b) HNI 46.53 31.16 36.09 34.25 -5.1% -4.4% -26.8% $1,490.00
Pool Corporation (c) POOL 150.26 97.25 146.22 138.93 -5.0% 14.7% 16.1% $5,740.00
Restoration Hardware (b) RH 109.53 41.52 95.28 93.77 -1.6% 8.2% 95.5% $2,060.00
Wayfair, Inc. (b) W 100.14 47.68 67.53 66.61 -1.4% -1.4% 45.7% $6,770.00


(a) = Standard & Poor’s 500 is based on the market capitalizations of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. It is considered one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy.
(b) = New York Stock Exchange
(c) = NASDAQ

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More Industry Data

2018 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 2018 sales to June 2017. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 216 useable returns.

» Continue

2018 May Business Climate

In early June, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio, and barbecue products, asking them to compare May 2018 sales to May 2017. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 219 useable returns.

» Continue