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Overview of Home Improvement Market in Third Quarter 2014

North American Retail Hardware Association’s Executive Trends Survey shows that hardware retailers across the country gauge their growth in different categories on a quarterly basis, and overall, the retailers saw sales growth.

The survey for November 2014 found that sales growth in September and October outpaced July and August. The third quarter growth was similar to the second quarter, but was ahead of forecasts due to traffic- and transaction-count growth.

Below are the best and worst performing categories for the third quarter of 2014.

Best-Performing Categories:

  1. Paint
  2. Building Materials
  3. Seasonal

Worst-Performing Categories:

  1. Other (Pets, Auto, Consumables)
  2. Household
  3. Electrical

Within the past 90 days, 30 percent of survey respondents anticipated a higher sales forecast for quarter four and 18 percent of respondents anticipated a lower sales forecast. Overall, 2014’s fourth quarter is expected to increase by 4 percent above the third quarter.

Respondents’ outlook for 2015 is also positive. The U.S. and Canada will experience a 4 percent growth in 2015, they say.

Nearly 25 percent of respondents plan to increase headcount within the next 90 days, while 15 percent are expecting a decrease.

Twenty percent of respondents say their inventory levels were above expectations in the third quarter and 5 percent of retailers say their inventory levels were below expectations. Overall, inventory levels were higher across all categories.

As the year comes to a close, the weather will play a major part in whether the fourth quarter and the beginning of 2015 are successful.

About Sara Logel

Sara Logel
As NRHA’s market research analyst, Sara conducts organic research and stays abreast of industry trends to help hardware retailers better run their business. Sara also contributes to editorial content in Hardware Retailing magazine. Sara received her B.S. in Marketing and Spanish from Butler University and, after graduation, began her career with NRHA. Sara enjoys traveling, being outdoors and exploring the city of Indianapolis.

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