Industry supplier sales rose 4.8% in the second quarter of 2013, reaching $3.2 billion overall, according to new data released by ASI. The increase marks the fourteenth consecutive quarterly jump in sales and exceeds the Q1 rise of 4.5%.
"I think the Q2 figure seems like a realistic growth percentage," said Doug Hayes, CEO of Counselor Top 40 supplier Ash City (asi/37143), "though feedback from internal and external sources seems to indicate that hard goods is trending more positively than apparel in Q2."
The majority (52.8%) of supplier respondents said their Q2 sales increased, an uptick from the prior two quarters when less than half of suppliers reported year-over-year gains. Smaller suppliers (less than $10 million in annual revenues) reported an average second-quarter sales increase of 6%, while larger suppliers (more than $10 million) reported an average increase of 4.3%.
Most suppliers (54.3%) expect their total 2013 sales will be improved over last year, although smaller firms especially are now much less optimistic than they were several months ago. "There will always be companies that significantly outperform and you see that in the large and some medium-size companies," said Paul Lage, president and CEO of Top 40 supplier Gill Studios (asi/56950). "I think the smaller suppliers are struggling and I'm not sure if we are actually capturing those numbers."
By comparison to suppliers, a greater number of distributors are forecasting better 2013 sales, with 69% of firms that have annual sales of more than $1 million predicting a rise in revenues this year. So far in 2013, distributor sales also continue to outpace supplier revenues, ASI data shows. Last month, Counselor reported Q2 distributor revenues increased 5.1% year-over-year, following Q1 gains of 5.7%.