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22-25 Retail Barometer 2019.qxp_Grid 02/04/2019 13:10 Page 1

The 2019 Retail Barometer readings



Uncertain times

Independents are proud to be surviving – and in many cases prospering – in a very tough retail climate with the help of good staff, enticing promotions and proactive social media activity. 2018 will be remembered for its warm summer, the rising importance of ditching single-use plastic, and the continued saga surrounding Brexit. So what was it really like for independent cookshops and housewares stockists? What were the key positive and negative influences? How did categories perform? What’s the future outlook? Progressive Housewares presents the results of the 14th edition of the Retail Barometer, organised by PH and in conjunction with Bira. Declined 32.5%


Now in its 14th year, the Retail Barometer 2018 survey was open to all independent cookshops and housewares Increased significantly 8% stockists to create a full picture of independent housewares retailing in today’s turbulent climate. For the majority of independent retailers, business Declined significantly 8% was the same or better over the last year compared to the year before. This at least breaks the downward Increased slightly 13.5% trend of recent years. While 46% of respondents fared Same 38% ‘worse’ last year compared to 2017, in the previous two Retail Barometers this figure went above the half way About the same 30% mark (53% and 54% ‘worse’ respectively-see table). Looking back at overall expectations at the beginning of 2018, while some 39% of independents were looking forward to ‘marginal Independent view: “Until growth,’ in reality, 26% achieved there is a level playing field Significant growth 5% growth. Moreover, only 26% had on taxation, bricks and Major decline 5% anticipated decline, which sadly mortar stores are going to does not match the 46% that lose out to online. Brexit fared ‘worse’. uncertainty and austerity are Slight decline 30% However, showing that some killing independent UKindies definitely had a good year’s based businesses.” Marginal growth 30% trade, some of those who did experience growth specified increases of at least 10% for 2018. last year’s Also on the positive side, a fifth of respondents saw an increase ‘challenging’ (no longer in the top four). in average sales last year with another 20% experiencing a stable The other most frequently descriptors are: ‘uncertain’,‘worrying’ ‘basket value’ compared to the average sale in 2018. This reflects and ‘difficult.’ With the majority being negative terminology, the an increase in consumer caution when compared with recent years most positive words used to describe today’s housewares industry when the majority has experienced stability or increase. are : ‘solid,’ ‘steady’ and ‘surviving’. Expectations of the year ahead are evenly split. Some 35% are Looking further ahead, 24% feel positive about the future of optimistic for growth, while roughly the same number are independent cookshops and housewares retailers in the next three expecting to hold the line while the final third are anticipating a to five years, more than the 18% in last year’s Retail Barometer. decline in business this year compared to 2018. The figures are more tempered than a year ago How has your business fared over the last year? when 76% expected their business to grow PH looks back at four years of Retail Barometer data: marginally or stay the same, compared with 65% 2018 vs 2017 2017 vs 2016 2016 vs 2015 2015 vs 2014 this year. Better 26% Better 31% Better 41% Better 49% When asked for one word to describe the Same 28% Same 16% Same 5% Same 21% housewares industry at present, one word has risen Worse 46% Worse 53% Worse 54% Worse 30% to top the list: ‘struggling’. This has taken over from







Year ahead?






5% 5%

Profile for Max Publishing

Progressive Housewares March/April 2019  

Progressive Housewares March/April 2019