Posted by Diane Capuano
Thanks to a slight improvement in some key economic factors, the final quarter of 2010 held a bit of good news for the independent retailer in the U.S.
The independent paint and decorating products retailer finished the year on a positive note. Overall store sales were up around 4 percent on average for the quarter, with the Western region topping out at 5.8 percent. The South had the smallest increase at 3.2 percent.
Paint and sundries came in with 1.2 percent and 2.5 percent increases respectively. While up slightly, wallcoverings were also below the store sales average. Window treatments sales were the clear leader at nearly 10 percent. For the year, total store sales were near the same level as the previous year.
Canadian sales were down slightly for the quarter. However, window coverings were up sharply at 27.3 percent.
Mid-term elections in November may have played a small role in the slight bump in consumer confidence. November and December indices were up about 10 percent over October. For the last 18 months, consumers have been stuck at around 50 on the index with little movement in either direction.
New housing starts had stabilized at around 600,000 through last summer before taking a sharp drop to 533,000 units in October. Harsh December weather, combined with the continuing glut of repossessed homes on the market, continued to hurt the new home construction industry.
Used home sales continued their climb to more than 5,000,000 units from July’s dismal low. At year’s end, however, sales levels were well below the same period in 2009.
Paint and decorating market sales figures come from the quarterly Pulse Report, which is a product of the PDRA Market Research Center. Click here for a full report.