Posted by Diane Capuano
Independent paint and decorating stores in the U.S. ended 2011 on a positive note, posting a 2.9 increase in total sales for the fourth quarter over the same period the year before. For all of 2011, sales posted a gain of 1.9 percent when compared to the entirety of 2010.
In Canada, a strong fourth quarter (with an uptick of 3.5 percent) allowed independent retailers to end the year in slightly positive territory as they posted a gain of 0.2 percent for 2011 when compared to 2010.
In the U.S., paint and window coverings led the way with positive sales gains for 2011. Paint had a particularly strong fourth quarter, with a gain of 3.1 percent over the fourth quarter for last year. That put the product category in positive territory for the year, with a 1.5 percent uptick in sales for the entire year.
Window coverings slumped to a negative 5.7 percent sales change in the fourth quarter, but stronger sales earlier in the year allowed the category to post a 2.2 percent sales gain for the entire calendar year of 2011 when compared to 2010.
Regionally, the South and Midwest posted the best sales gains for the year, though the Northeast is showed strong improvement in the fourth quarter. The West is still lagging behind with falling sales in the neighborhood of 3.5 percent, both for the fourth quarter and the year.
In Canada, paint had a particularly strong fourth quarter, posting an increase of 5.6 over the same quarter of the previous year. This allowed paint to move into positive sales gain for the entire year at a 1.1 percent increase over 2010.
Among the factors leading to this improved sales performance are continuing recovery in the new housing sector (though used home sales are still experiencing declines) and an improvement in the Consumer Confidence Index.
The Pulse Report is a product of the PDRA Research Department. You can take a look at the full report here.