It took a few extra months, but the summer slide in the Dealerscope Consumer Electronics Retail Confidence Index (DS Index) finally kicked in as the calendar flipped to July. The DS Index shed a little less than 10 points to settle in at 185.66 for the month, which is still 8 points higher than the DS Index was during the same period last year.
The trend downward is exactly what we expected to happen as the retail industry moves into the grueling summer months with rising temperatures and the start of the vacation season. Another reason that cropped up in a few of the open responses to the survey also included recent moves by the Trump administration to impose harsh tariffs on products and materials that directly impact the consumer electronics industry. No retailer dove too deep into detail about how the tariffs are impacting their business, but this is the first time that retailers have mentioned trade policy, which is worth noting and something we will continue to keep an eye on.
Diving deeper into the responses by store type, the main culprit for the decline in confidence this month is a fairly large selloff by the regional chain retailer in July. Since the start of 2018, our regional retailers have been far and away the most confident segment of the CE retail channel, averaging a confidence score north of 213. In July, however, the segment checked in with a 185.91, nearly a 30-point drop off month-over-month.