press release -
International Housewares Association

Contact: Deborah A.Teschke
Senior Manager, Public Relations & Communications
Email Debbie Teschke

IHA Report Takes State of the Industry Snapshot

Data includes global sales, household spending, top categories, and other macro trends

Rosemont, ILL (January 28, 2010)—The average U.S. household spent $609 on housewares in 2008, a 0.7 percent increase from the previous year, according to the just released 2009 International Housewares Association State of the Industry (SOI) Report.

Put into perspective using U.S. government data, U.S. households spent more on housewares than on dairy products and just slightly less than on fruits and vegetables. Those households spent the most on gasoline and motor oil, on average nearly four times that for housewares.

Every year since 1996, the International Housewares Association (IHA) has provided a look into the housewares industry mirror as a strategic service to its hundreds of members. This annual recap of the industry, a joint effort of IHA and Raftery Resource Network, Inc, includes a compilation of data from the IHA annual membership survey and authoritative sources such as the U.S. government.

In a change this year, the data that member companies contributed are entirely from 2008. In past years, a small percentage of some category and channel data from prior years were included to expand the sample size. Additionally, new category-level data from IHA members released in 2009 are aggregated with more detail than top-line estimates developed for the SOI report, which supports strategic planning between housewares suppliers and their retail partners.

This new data, compiled by Riedel Marketing Group for IHA, includes U.S. retail sales estimates for bakeware, $425.5 million, and cutlery, $633 million.

Key findings from the 2009 SOI report:

  • Global housewares market data show an overall decrease of 0.3 percent, driven in part by a decline in the U.S. dollar. The statistics used in these global projections reflect only modest changes from 2007 around the globe.
  • The average U.S. household spent 3 percent less on housewares in 2008, in the midst of a deep economic downturn. Among five major categories, three declined (furniture, appliances and miscellaneous household equipment), while two increased (housewares and personal care products.)
  • More than half (58 percent) of IHA member companies produce all their products offshore. Another third (34 percent) make some products in the U.S.
  • Most IHA member companies (65 percent) export product to other countries. At least half of those companies focus on Canada, Western Europe, Mexico and Latin America.
  • Discount stores and supercenters remained the sales leaders in all housewares categories, yet other channels did pick up market share for the second consecutive year.
  • Virtual retailers distributed 13 percent of the 2008 housewares sales, which was slightly down from 2007, but gains were seen from manufacturers’ direct to consumer Web sites.

“The data IHA provides in this report gathers information that member companies may not have the time or resources to compile individually,” says Philip Brandl, IHA president. “It’s an important way the Association can help our members and our industry identify trends that can impact the way they do business in the near future. ‘SOI Insights’ on many pages of the report offer an executive summary.”

One such nugget based on household income data, for instance, says consumers are apparently becoming thriftier, even as most earn less income. “If gasoline prices remain moderate,” the Insight states, “the implication for housewares manufacturers is a more discerning and price-sensitive –yet still active – consumer for the immediate future.”

Another Insight based on advertising budget data says housewares manufacturers may need to follow their audiences closely as they “migrate from the traditional print media to online options.”

And a third Insight considers store saturation: “Since most retail inventory is on the sales floor, today’s consumer is likely to experience less densely packed aisles versus the mid-90s, when stores emptied one less time per year and retail space was 10 square feet smaller per person.”

The 72-page SOI Report also offer several “top” lists including Top 100 domestic retailers, top domestic housewares retailers, warehouse vacancy rates for selected U.S. cities and top Internet properties ranked by number of unique visitors.

The SOI Report co-author, Raftery Resource Network (R2N), is a multi-disciplinary team of independent professions led by Dan Raftery, who has authored more than three-dozen reports on a variety of leading-edge subjects for food, drug and housewares associations. R2N has co-authored the SOI report since 2002.

The 2009 SOI Report is available at Non-members can purchase a copy of the report for $500.