2013 November Business Climate
November Retail Sales
In early December, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,130 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare November 2013 sales to November 2012. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 197 useable returns.
For the first time in three months, all product categories had a higher percentage of retailers with better, as opposed to lower, year-over-year sales.
13 MONTH YEAR-OVER-YEAR RETAILER SALES
Hearth products are still registering double-digit sales gains, and it has now been nine consecutive months of positive year-over-year sales for barbecue products.
Connecticut: (Hearth) “Still steady traffic. Seems like season is staying strong. We’ll take it.”
Connecticut: (Hearth) “Great month. Easy to get spoiled.”
Connecticut: (Hearth) “Just as we thought in July – a fantastic hearth season.”
Maryland: “Surprisingly slow early in the month, but busier now that it’s cold. We’re seeing a lot of sticker shock with hearth appliances, resulting in people not buying.”
Massachusetts: (Hearth) “We have seen a huge spike in numbers the second half of 2013.”
New Jersey: (Hearth) “Strong increase over 2012 in all categories. Showroom traffic is great.”
New Jersey: (Hearth, BBQ) “Leveling off already.”
New York: (Hearth) “Having a great season so far. Wood and gas inserts are the big sellers. We’re also seeing an increase in pellet stoves and inserts.”
New York: (Spas/Hot Tubs) “Excellent month. Traffic wasn’t great, but customers that had been on the fence came in to buy.”
New York: “Hearth products and pellet/coal fuel have been a real driver for our sales. A strong fall is being followed by a strong start to winter.”
New York: “By November most of our customers have the stove installed and are up and running for the fall/winter season. It was a busy month, but sales were down about 10 percent.”
Pennsylvania: “Very strong sales in pellet and gas inserts. Hopefully Internet sales will be controlled to protect those of us who service what we sell.”
Pennsylvania: “Mild temperatures. Still building pools in November. Fewer shoppers, but many of those that visited bought hearth products.”
Pennsylvania: “Strong demand for gas inserts, and pellet stoves drove sales. Cold weather helped.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “Busy. Busy. Busy. Planning for expansion to accommodate better efficiency and grow Outdoor Living.”
Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “No change for November, but up 10 percent for the calendar year.”
Pennsylvania: “Steady flow of shoppers with one common anthem, ‘We’re tired of paying for oil.’ Pellet stove sales continue to outpace other fuels.”
Vermont: (Hearth) “October and November were up approximately 25 percent.”
For the following weather charts, the numbers for each state reflect the temperature ranking for the period since records began in 1895.
Only California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida had average temperatures in November that were above normal. Twenty-eight states from Texas to Vermont were colder than normal.
During the three-month period September – November, only Idaho, Colorado, Florida and Delaware experienced above normal average temperatures. Most of the contiguous U.S. was near normal. Eight states averaged colder than normal over the period.
Precipitation throughout most of the contiguous U.S. in November was near normal. Ten states experienced above normal precipitation, with Michigan undergoing the 7th wettest November in 119 years. Of the eight states with below normal precipitation, Wyoming had its 11th driest November since 1895.
Arkansas: “Excellent month for wood stove and vent-free gas log sales. Class A chimney sales also strong, with two- to three-week backlog. Bring on winter.”
Louisiana: “Grill demos during Thanksgiving week increased our barbecue sales. Unusually cold weather has helped with fireplace accessory sales. Offering 25 percent off on patio furniture brought customers in.”
Oklahoma: “Bring on the snow and ice.”
Tennessee: (Hearth, BBQ) “Snow flurries November 12 and 25 and winter weather (for Tennessee) did what no amount of advertising can do. Our biggest and best month ever, and that’s after 40 Novembers.”
Tennessee: (Hearth) “For November we are down less than one percent from last November.”
Texas: (Hearth, BBQ) “Texas loves cold weather. The only reason barbecue is down is that we don’t have the time to talk about it.”
Virginia: (Hearth, BBQ) “OK month.”
Illinois: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Real busy around Thanksgiving.”
Indiana: (Hearth) “Sales were up in November with strong traffic in the showroom.”
Iowa: “Wood sales are down slightly, electric is the same as last year, while gas is king. Gas sales are the best we have seen in five years.”
Wisconsin: “A really busy month. Selling both wood and gas units. There’s a fair amount of new construction/remodeling taking place. Very encouraging.”
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which took a big hit in October, dropped again in November, registering a reading of 70.4. According to Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board, “Sentiment regarding current conditions was mixed, with consumers saying the job market had strengthened, while economic conditions had slowed. When looking ahead six months, consumers expressed greater concern about future job and earning prospects, but remain neutral about economic conditions. All in all, with such uncertainty prevailing, this could be a challenging holiday season for retailers.”
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) “Having another great month.”
Arizona: (Hearth) “Cold, cold, cold adds up to lots of sales in the North Country.”
California: (Hearth, BBQ) “Our 2013 slogan is, ‘If you desire it, we can acquire it.’”
California: (Hearth) “Busy, busy.”
Washington: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas) “Great month. Great year. Big expectations for 2014.”
Washington: (Hearth) “Traffic flattened out, but we’re still at a pretty good level.”
Washington: (Hearth, Spas) “Busy.”
Alberta: “Did not sell any barbecues last November. This year we sold four.”
Alberta: (Hearth) “We opened in April and have shown incredible growth both at retail and in the builder component. We have an incredible, one-of-a-kind showroom where all our fireplaces are individually vented and displayed in a home atmosphere. A ‘must see’ hottest place in town.”
British Columbia: (Patio, BBQ) “November was down 27 percent, but was higher than November 2011. We had an exceptional November 2012, which is why we’re showing a decline.”
Saskatchewan: (Hearth) “Good showroom traffic. Summer was pretty dead, but October/November have been excellent.”
Ontario: “Fireplace and stove sales are flat, and there is no change in sight. Our patio showroom looks great, but there are few customers to see and appreciate it.”
Ontario: (Hearth) “October was exceptionally busy. November was average, but we saw increased traffic planning for later purchases.”
Ontario: (Hearth, BBQ) “Down. Not much I can say. It felt busy, so we can’t figure it out. Starting to lose faith in this business.”
Ontario: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Held our own, which is good, considering.”
Quebec: “Bad weather, too hot for selling stoves.”
|COMPANY – EXCHANGE||SYMBOL||52 WEEK||Week Ending||% CHANGE||MARKET CAPITALIZATION|
|High||Low||01-Nov-13||29-Nov-13||4 Week||26 Week||52 Week||($000,000)|
|Furniture Brands International (d)||FBNIQ||0.87||0.08||0.60||0.11||-87.7%||NA||NA||$8.0|
|HNI Corporation (a)||HNI||40.73||28.28||38.42||39.64||3.2%||7.8%||33.1%||$1,793.7|
|Pool Corporation (b)||POOL||58.87||39.88||54.15||56.04||3.5%||8.9%||33.8%||$2,574.5|
|Restoration Hardware Holdings (a)(c)||RH||78.50||30.92||68.59||75.50||10.1%||35.1%||104.6%||$2,937.7|
(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.