Posted by Diane Capuano
The sales picture for independent paint and decorating stores was relatively flat, with reports indicating growth of less than 1 percentage point in the third quarter. A 0.4 uptick in sales is still better than a negative figure, however. And on an even more positive note, the average independent paint and decorating retailer has been in positive sales territory through the first three quarters of 2011. Year-to-date sales show positive growth of 1.8 percent.
The strongest growth continues to be in the Northeast, which posted sales growth of 2.9 percent for the third quarter and 4.5 percent for the first nine months of the year. Lagging behind are the South and Midwest (at 3.2 and 1.1 year-to-date sales growth for the entire year respectively). The West, meanwhile, continues to be in negative territory with a sales decline of 3.6 percent through the first three quarters. However, the decline was only 1.7 percent for the third quarter alone.
Meanwhile, Canada posted a third-quarter gain of 4.6 percent, though for the first three quarters combined, sales for Canadian independent retailers is still down by 1.9 percent.
Weak consumer confidence continues to have an impact, though September showed a slight uptick. New housing starts ended the third quarter on an upward note, tying its best performance of the last two years. Used home sales continue their up-and-down performance, with the third quarter at least stopping a downward trend that had been in April.
The Pulse Report is a product of the PDRA Research Department. You can take a look at the full report here.