Housewares Retailing: Letter From the Editor
Since we turned the calendar from 2011 to 2012, the sense of pessimism and gloom of the past year seems to be slowly shifting to a more hopeful 2012. We saw this mood shift in January at CES in Las Vegas, and a variety of key indicators seem to show changing winds.
There's the enormous psychological and financial consequences of the resurging auto industry in the U.S., increased job growth in the U.S albeit slowly, and the U.S. Commerce Department recently reported that U.S. production of new single-family homes and apartments increased 1.5% in January, with significantly upward revised numbers for the previous two months to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of almost 700,000 units—or the second-best pace of overall housing production since October 2008. Are all the numbers in the stratosphere? No, but they seem to be enough to indicate that we are gradually but consistently moving in the right direction.
While economic uncertainties may have forever altered consumer buying habits along multiple dimensions across different categories—the kitchen remains the heart and soul of the home in times when we are all constantly distracted and running in different directions. This continues to be an important factor for retailers and vendors as they consider the positioning of small appliances.