Originally published in the Nov. 2011 print issue of Casual Living
A lot has happened since 2009, the last time we published a Universe Study. In these two years, we've had the advantage of reviewing our estimates and hindsight is 20-20.
It's been ugly out there and the retail landscape has been in a tailspin. While the recession officially ended in June 2009, the U.S. economy has yet to recover. Here’s a breakdown of key macro-economic indicators between then and now:
*Consumer confidence declined 26.1% between September 2008 and 2011.
*The unemployment rate, at 6.2% in September 2008, increased to 9.8% the following year and seems stuck this year, at 9.1% for both August and September 2011.
*New home sales decreased 34.7% and sales of existing homes dipped 9.3% between August 2008 and 2011.
*Median annual household income fell 6.7% between June 2009 and 2011.
That said, retail forecasts are cautiously optimistic. According to figures from the Department of Commerce, consumer spending for all products, including food and gasoline, is forecasted to grow between 2 and 3% this year. And, we feel the outdoor industry is headed in the same direction, albeit slowly.
Casual Living projects the 2011 outdoor market, including furniture, shade products and grills, to be $6.7 billion, up nearly 1% from an estimated $6.65 billion in 2010.
Casual Living's exclusive Universe Study of the outdoor home furnishings industry provides estimated 2010, 2009 and 2008 retail sales totals for outdoor furniture and grills, as well as the percentage and dollar breakdowns by specific products through all distribution channels. It also gives projected 2011 sales for each product and channel.
All figures are Casual Living market research estimates. All data is based on retail sales figures and all figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. Universe Study figures include sales from grills, outdoor dining sets, conversation groups, other seating, other outdoor furniture and shade products. Casual and outdoor accessories, as well as outdoor lighting, have been excluded from figures.
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