Posted by: Diane Capuano
2012 got off to a good start for independent retailers of paint and decorating products in the U.S., posting a 6.8 percent increase in the first three months when compared to the first quarter of 2011. In Canada, total store sales were comparable to 2011 through the first three months of the year.
These are the findings of the latest quarterly Pulse Report, which compiles sales figures from independent paint and decorating retailers on a quarterly basis. Independent retailers responding to the survey were upbeat about the opening quarter of 2012, calling it “the first decent quarter in ages” and “the first time it’s been good in four years.”
Increased consumer confidence could be one of the factors contributing to the improving sales picture. The Consumer Confidence Index continues to rise from its record low set in October 2011.
Also on the rise are new housing starts, which over the past year have climbed from 518,000 units in February 2011 to their current high of 699,000 units in March 2012. Used home sales, meanwhile, had a modest boost in January. However, February and March showed slight declines. This category continues to have difficulty climbing over the 5,000,000-unit mark.
In the U.S., the most robust first-quarter growth incame in the window coverings category at 9.6 percent. Paint and sundries posted gains of 7.5 percent and 6.7 percent respectively, with wallcoverings about even with the first quarter of last year. Canadian retailers, meanwhile, experienced a slight 0.4 percent growth in sales for the first quarter, with growth in wallcoverings improving by 7 percent.
The Pulse Report is a product of the PDRA Research Department. You can take a look at the full report here.