Following a similar pattern that we noticed last year, consumer electronics retailers reported a drop off in confidence following the end of the holiday shopping season. As the calendar flipped to the second month of 2018, our Dealerscope CE Retail Confidence Index (DS Index) checked in at 188.89, nearly 18 points lower than January’s score, which was a record high for the DS Index.
The decreased confidence level was slightly higher than the January-to-February drop off last year, but the DS Index was coming down from an all-time high. And, on a year-over-year basis, CE retailers confidence score is actually nearly a point higher in 2018.
Continuing our theme for 2018, which involves diving deeper into the how the store type impacts the DS Index score each month, Dealerscope did find that there was a significant decrease in confidence among the independent portion of our respondents. Independent CE retailers saw their confidence score drop by nearly 26 points month-over-month, regional chains had a drop off of 11 points, and big box stores fell slightly less than 1 point. Given that the majority of the Dealerscope audience—and thus, survey respondents—are independent stores, that disparity, which reflects the true demographic of the CE retail landscape, is what resulted in the big downturn in overall confidence.