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Patio Living - US - March 2011

While sales growth slowed to a halt during the recession, the outdoor furniture market held up better than most other sectors of the home furnishings industry, driven in part by increasing interest in “staycations” and the overall appeal of outdoor living. Post-recession sales growth has picked up and is likely to remain strong as more consumers outfit their patios, decks, porches and poolsides with a greater array of furniture and accessories that extend the season and make the great outdoors more comfortable.

This report provides an up-close look at the outdoor furniture market, including:

  • Sales trends for the category as a whole and Mintel’s forecast for future growth
  • An examination of trends in the major segments that comprise the category
  • Profiles of leading companies and brands
  • A sampling of innovative new products including environmentally-friendly
  • An overview of advertising and marketing, including the industry’s initial steps into social media
  • Analysis of Mintel’s exclusive consumer research covering overall ownership of patio furniture and types of furniture owned

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • After a pause during the recession, market returns to growth
                      • Broader economic factors tell a mixed story for outdoor furniture
                        • Patio prioritized over other home furniture expenditures during recession
                          • Segments based on materials used; metal dominant
                            • Most marketing focuses on the trade
                              • A majority of adults own outdoor furniture
                                • Replacement the primary purchase motivator for current owners
                                  • Dining pieces most commonly owned, more room for growth in relaxation
                                    • Gen-Xers, Boomers combine outdoor improvements and furniture
                                      • Just like another room in the house
                                        • Big boxes dominate the patio furniture retail landscape
                                          • Seeing (and sitting) is believing
                                          • Insights and Opportunities

                                            • Picking up the pace
                                              • Humanity
                                                • Fun and games
                                                  • Skins
                                                    • Creativity
                                                      • Trade-ins
                                                        • Leasing
                                                          • Getting more social
                                                          • Inspire Insight

                                                              • Trend: Home of the Senses
                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Market set for post-recession growth
                                                                    • Other takes on the market
                                                                      • Figure 1: Total U.S. sales of outdoor furniture, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                                      • Figure 2: Total U.S. sales of outdoor furniture, at inflation-adjusted 2010 prices, 2005-15
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Consumer sentiment makes halting gains
                                                                        • Figure 3: ICS, January 2006–February 2011
                                                                      • Housing market continues to slide
                                                                        • Figure 4: Sales of existing and new single-family homes, 2001-10
                                                                      • Home ownership slips
                                                                        • Figure 5: Grill ownership, past-year outdoor furniture purchase, and past-year home improvements, by home ownership, July 2009– Sept. 2010
                                                                        • Figure 6: U.S. home ownership rate, 1960-2010
                                                                      • Homeowners in smaller houses may place greater emphasis on outdoor space
                                                                      • Competitive Context

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Furniture becoming less of a priority among other household expenses
                                                                            • Figure 7: Distribution of household expenditures, by consumer unit, 2006-09
                                                                          • Spending on furniture not a top-of-mind priority
                                                                            • Figure 8: Where consumers spend extra money, July 2008–July 2010
                                                                          • Patio prioritized over other home furniture expenditures during recession
                                                                            • Figure 9: U.S. sales of select home furnishings categories, 2008-10
                                                                          • Patio furniture performing better than barbecue grills
                                                                          • Segments

                                                                            • Segments based on materials used
                                                                              • Import trends suggest that metal matters
                                                                                • Figure 10: Imports of outdoor furniture, by major material as a percent of world total, 2009
                                                                              • Metal market continues the move to cast aluminum
                                                                                • Plastic goes green
                                                                                  • Wicker as popular a choice as ever
                                                                                    • Wood maintains high-end niche
                                                                                      • Umbrellas
                                                                                      • Leading Companies

                                                                                        • Suppliers of outdoor furniture in mixed material
                                                                                          • Agio (Shianco)
                                                                                            • Brown Jordan
                                                                                              • Furniture Brands International
                                                                                                • Suppliers of outdoor furniture in resin
                                                                                                  • Keter Group
                                                                                                    • Grosfillex
                                                                                                      • Suppliers of outdoor furniture in metal
                                                                                                        • Hanamint
                                                                                                          • Tropitone
                                                                                                          • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                            • Eco-friendly options expand
                                                                                                              • Firing up the patio
                                                                                                                • Sunbrella pushes innovation in fabric durability and design
                                                                                                                  • Kmart and Sears help online shoppers “plan the perfect patio”
                                                                                                                  • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                    • Overview
                                                                                                                      • Focus on the retail and design trade
                                                                                                                        • Show time
                                                                                                                          • Co-branding
                                                                                                                            • Big box home centers rely on web to promote outdoor furniture
                                                                                                                              • Home Depot promotes patio furniture alongside lawn and garden care
                                                                                                                                • Walmart offers savings and expanded selection
                                                                                                                                  • Sunbrella and other suppliers use social media to connect with the trade
                                                                                                                                  • Outdoor Furniture Ownership

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Boomers most likely to own outdoor furniture
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 11: Outdoor furniture ownership, by age, November 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Ownership levels peak among higher-income households
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 12: Outdoor furniture ownership, by household income, November 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Suburbanites most likely to own outdoor furniture
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 13: Outdoor furniture ownership, by region and type of location, November 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Why Do People Buy New Outdoor Furniture?

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Replacement the primary purchase motivator for current owners
                                                                                                                                          • Purchases guided by blend of emotional and rational factors
                                                                                                                                            • Younger adults more open to sales, or something new and different
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Primary reason for purchasing new outdoor furniture, by age, November 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Higher-income owners no more likely to buy on a whim
                                                                                                                                              • Creative ideas for outdoor space may spur new purchases
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 15: Primary reason for purchasing new outdoor furniture, by household income, November 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Type of Outdoor Furniture Owned

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Dining the most common theme in outdoor furniture
                                                                                                                                                  • Relaxation also a factor
                                                                                                                                                    • Beyond the basics: Creating an environment
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Type of outdoor furniture owned, by age, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Higher-income households own a broader array of outdoor living items
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Type of outdoor furniture owned, by household income, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Regional preferences and tastes
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Type of outdoor furniture owned, by region and type of location, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Life Event Triggers

                                                                                                                                                      • Purchase of new home can trigger outdoor improvements and furniture purchases
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Purchase of outdoor furniture, home improvements, or outdoor grill, by life events, in last 12 months, July 2009–Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Outdoor Furniture Spending

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Boomers more likely to combine outdoor improvements and furniture purchases
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Household purchased outdoor furniture, did outdoor home improvements in the last 12 months, by age, July 2009–Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Likelihood to spend on outdoor space increases with income
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Household purchased outdoor furniture, did outdoor home improvements in the last 12 months, by household income, July 2009–Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Average expenditure about $250; Boomers are heaviest spenders
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Amount spent on lawn/porch/patio furniture in the last 12 months, by age, July 2009–Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Higher-income households spend more
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Amount spent on lawn/porch/patio furniture in the last 12 months, by household income, July 2009–Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Indoor still the furniture spending priority
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Outdoor furniture spending habits, by age, July 2009–Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • Uses of Outdoor Areas

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Just like another room in the house…unless it’s raining
                                                                                                                                                            • Changing the weather
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Uses of outdoor areas, by age, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Midwesterners’ use of outdoor space most constrained by weather
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Uses of outdoor areas, by region and type of location, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                          • Where Consumers Buy Outdoor Furniture

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Big boxes dominate the patio furniture retail landscape
                                                                                                                                                                • Big boxes compete through (online) selection and branding
                                                                                                                                                                  • Indoor furniture stores and department stores attracted to the category
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Furniture purchase locations, by age, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                  • Mass merchants appeal to all but highest-income groups
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Furniture purchase locations, by household income, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                  • Where Outdoor Furniture Should be Promoted

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Seeing (and sitting) is believing
                                                                                                                                                                        • Online more important for younger shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Influential outdoor furniture advertising venues, by age, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Blacks, Asians significantly less likely to own patio furniture
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Outdoor furniture ownership, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Blacks, Hispanics less likely to have purchased or renovated
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Household purchased outdoor furniture, did outdoor home improvements in the last 12 months, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2009–Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Different types of furniture owned point to different preferences
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Type of outdoor furniture owned, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Only a few differences in attitudes toward outdoor space usage across groups
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Uses of outdoor areas, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                                          • Big spenders: amount spent on outdoor furniture in the last three years
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Demographic profile of adults who have spent $2,000+ on patio furniture in last three years, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                            • Heavy spenders actively engaged in outdoor space
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Primary reason for purchasing new outdoor furniture, by amount spent on patio furniture in last three years, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                            • Heavy spenders go for all the extras
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Type of outdoor furniture owned, by amount spent on patio furniture in last three years, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                            • Heavy spenders more likely to call outdoor space their favorite area
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Uses of outdoor areas, by amount spent on patio furniture in last three years, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                            • Heavy spenders don’t limit patio furniture shopping to specialty stores
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Furniture purchase locations, by amount spent on patio furniture in last three years, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                            • Patio furniture is everywhere they look
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Influential outdoor furniture advertising venues, by amount spent on patio furniture in last three years, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                              • Regulars
                                                                                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Irregulars
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Exposers
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Patio furniture clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Primary reason for purchasing new outdoor furniture, by patio furniture clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Uses of outdoor areas, by patio furniture clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Influential outdoor furniture advertising venues, by patio furniture clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Patio furniture clusters, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Patio furniture clusters, by age group, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Patio furniture clusters, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Patio furniture clusters, by race, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Patio furniture clusters, by Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix: Other Useful Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Spending on outdoor furniture in past three years, by gender, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Spending on outdoor furniture in past three years, by age, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Spending on outdoor furniture in past three years, by household income, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Spending on outdoor furniture in past three years, by region and type of location, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Amount spent on lawn/porch/patio furniture in the last 12 months, by region, July 2009–Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Amount spent on outdoor home improvements in the last 12 months, by age, July 2009–Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Amount spent on outdoor home improvements in the last 12 months, by household income, July 2009–Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Amount spent on outdoor home improvements in the last 12 months, by region, July 2009–Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Uses of outdoor areas, by household income, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Furniture purchase locations, by region and type of location, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Furniture purchase locations, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Influential outdoor furniture advertising venues, by gender, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Influential outdoor furniture advertising venues, by household income, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Influential outdoor furniture advertising venues, by head of household age, November 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Agio/Shian International
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Amazon North America
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Benjamin Moore & Co.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Best Buy stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brown Jordan International, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Costco Wholesale Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ethan Allen Interiors Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Forest Stewardship Council
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Furniture Brands International, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • GLOSTER FURNITURE INC.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Hanamint Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Home & Garden Television
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Home Depot (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Home Furnishings News (HFN)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Incos Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • International Trade Commission (ITC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • JCPenney (department stores and catalog)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Keter Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kmart Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Laneventure
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lowe Worldwide
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Meadowcraft, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Gardening Association (NGA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • SAM's Club
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sears Holdings Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Thomasville Furniture Industries, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Tropitone Furniture Company Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Patio Living - US - March 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                                        £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)