The New Year is not off to such a hot start for the consumer electronics retail industry, per the latest Dealerscope CE Retail Confidence Index (DS Index) report. Retailers checked in with a confidence score of 189.05 to start 2019, which is a 14-plus point tumble from last month, and more than 17 points lower than this time last year.
January, for what it’s worth, has historically been a record-setting kind of month for the DS Index. In each of the previous two years in which we’ve conducted and crafted this DS Index report, January had set a new record high score for the DS Index, coming in at above 200 points each year. That was certainly not the case this year as retailers checked in well below that mark and reported their first month-over-month decline heading into a new year in the survey’s history.
According to retailers, a number of factors played into the declining confidence level of the industry, including political uncertainty (some even mentioning the ongoing government shutdown), looming talk of tariffs, and poor or unseasonable weather during the holidays that kept consumers away from their stores.