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Emerging global industry will help grow plumbing sales

BY Brae Canlen

Global demand for plumbing fixtures and fittings is forecast to increase 6.2% annually over the next five years, according to a report from the Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research firm. 

The increase in demand, which will reach $80 billion in the year 2016, is expected to be driven by two main factors. In industrializing countries of the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions, rising per capita incomes will fuel desire for more and beter plumbing products. In developed countries such as the United States, Canada and those in Western Europe, an expected recovery in construction spending will generate demand.

The Asia/Pacific region will see the most rapid growth in demand, primarily fueled by China’s increasing, albeit decelerating, rate of industrialization. China alone is forecast to account for one-half of the increase in global plumbing demand generated between 2011 and 2016. The country’s vast population makes infrastructure and sewage system development a necessity, supporting demand by households that previously did not have a piped water supply. Other industrializing countries in Asia, such as India and Indonesia, and in the Africa/Mideast region, will also contribute to overall plumbing product demand.

North America is forecast to post the second fastest regional growth in plumbing product demand through 2016, primarily driven by the rebound in the U.S. construction market after the downturn during the global financial crisis. Canada and Mexico are also expected to post healthy gains. 

The slowest plumbing product demand growth is anticipated in Western Europe, primarily due to the region’s mature building infrastructure and slow population growth, which combine to limit building construction activity. However, the pace is expected to accelerate from what was registered between 2006 and 2011. While construction expenditures in this region are predicted to grow at the slowest rate globally, they will reflect a recovery from a low 2011 base. 

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Menards is expanding in Missouri

BY Brae Canlen

Menards is planning to open a 162,320-sq.-ft. store in St. Peters, Mo., this spring, according to an article in the Granite City Press Record.

St. Peter will be the first Menards store in St. Charles County, although the Eau Claire, Wis.-based home-improvement chain is also building units in nearby Manchester and O’Fallon, Ill., according to the article.

"We think very highly of this area and believe it’s a wonderful market with Midwestern folks and values," company spokesman Jeff Abbott wrote in an email to the newspaper. "We’re a small, family-run Midwestern company that shares these same beliefs and values. We felt the great people of (St. Peters) desperately need a better choice for home improvement products."

Menards stores are nearly double in size and offer 40% more products in-store compared with Home Depot and Lowe’s, Abbott said. Construction has already begun on the St. Peters store, which is situated on a 26.7-acre parcel. Menards also owns four other lots, ranging from 1.6 acres to 2.2 acres, within the development site and hopes to sell those to other businesses.

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Weather Trends retail forecast

BY HBSDEALER Staff

WTI expects October 2012 to be the coolest in three years, but still warmer than what is typical for this time of year. After a very warm start to the month on both coasts, colder weather will overspread much of the nation with the exception of the Southeast. October 2012 will be drier than last year with much less snowfall. Recall that an unusual early season snowstorm walloped the Northeast last year with up to 3 ft. of snow late in the month. Demand for snow removal products, such as snow blowers and shovels, will be weaker this year in the Northeast with demand for snow products confined to the Rockies.

The wettest area will be in the center of the nation with isolated severe weather in the South Central states during the middle of the month. Drier weather in the East and West will benefit seasonal outdoor DIY projects and lawn maintenance categories such as rakes, tarps and leaf blowers. Severe weather in the South Central states would increase demand for cleanup supplies. Wetter weather in the Central states will drive demand for seasonal grasses, mainly in areas affected by the summer drought where lawns are in need of reseeding. Cooler Octobers are often associated with less hurricane activity, but if any storms do threaten the United States, the highest risk for landfall will be along the Gulf Coast. 

Having an outdoor party, wedding or just curious what the weather will be 11 months from now? Visit wt360.com for city-specific forecasts a year ahead.

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