IHA: Global Housewares Sales on the Rise

IHAROSEMONT, Ill.-Global retail sales of housewares were up 2.9 percent to $314.3 billion in 2012, according to the 2013 State of the Industry Report from the International Housewares Association.

In the United States, housewares expenditures rose 3.3 percent to $69.3 billion. These are the most recent statistics available, according to IHA in its statement on the report.

Among other key findings, the leading retail channel for sales of all housewares categories in 2012 was discount stores and supercenters, with non-store retailers accounting for the second largest share of housewares sales, at 15 percent versus 13.1 percent in 2011. The four top categories in housewares sales were cook and bakeware (16.7 percent), kitchen tools and accessories (12.4 percent), tabletop (11.8 percent) and kitchen electrics (11.1 percent).

The report also provided a number of insights, one of which said while inventory turns may be slowing, inventory levels are being matched to store sales, meaning less investment buying by retailers. In addition, the U.S. housewares business continues to see retailer consolidation and Internet sales growth, indicating that housewares vendors can expect to have fewer brick-and-mortar customers.

Also, health-care costs continue to inhibit housewares companies in two ways: increased operating costs for manufacturers and decreased consumer spending as more employee wages go toward paying for health care. At the same time, consumers have begun to spend more in general, offering the hope for increased in-home purchases such as housewares.