ROSEMONT, Ill. -- The U.S. housewares industry racked up $57.9 billion in retail sales last year, marking a 6.3% gain over 1994. Supermarkets generated $3.059 billion of that amount, according to the recently released National Housewares Manufacturers Association's 1996 State of the Industry Report.
reflect traditional supermarkets, and exclude supercenters like those operated by Wal-Mart and Kmart, whose sales were included with discount store retailers, said Deborah A. Teschke, manager of media relations and communications for NHMA here.
According to the report, the average U.S. household spent $567 on housewares -- roughly the same amount spent on medical services but more than on education or fruits and vegetables.
The report offers an overview of the size and scope of the housewares industry. It also reflects consumer lifestyle trends, the importance of leisure time, informal dining and personal care, concerns with safety and healthy eating and the work-at-home phenomenon.
Last year, for example, sales of outdoor furniture increased 25%, personal products sales climbed 12.6%, microwave oven volume rose 18% and smoke-alarm sales moved ahead 36.6%.
The home office surge propelled telephone and telephone accessories sales 156% higher; home equipment products jumped 16.6%% and non-electric cookware declined 26.4%, the report stated.
As housewares continues to grow in the mass channel, sales from catalog and hardware stores, electronic home shopping and the Internet are growing, according to the report.
The 1996 Internal Intelligence Survey, also compiled by Willard Bishop Consulting, Barrington, Ill., provides benchmarks on company performance that members can use in positioning their company to succeed in the future, according to Thomas P. Conley, NHMA president and chief operating officer.
Meanwhile, NHMA is set to celebrate its 100th International Housewares Show Jan. 12 to 15, 1997, when the event will officially open in the new McCormick Place South Building.