1Q 2013 Industry Sales Report: Industry Sales Increase 4.5%

Research by Larry Basinait

On April 2, 2013, ASI® commissioned an exclusive survey to estimate industry sales for the first quarter of 2013, as well as the outlook for all of 2013. Invitations went to ASI supplier members who were the primary contact with their firms, and had been in business at least one year. The results of this survey will be published in Counselor® PromoGram® and ASI press releases.

The 2Q 2013 Sales Study Report will be published in July 2013.

Methodology:

A total of 144 supplier firms responded to the survey request out of 2,339 firms invited, resulting in a 6.2% response rate. An incentive of an annual drawing for $500 was offered.

Conclusions:

  • During the first quarter, there was a year-over-year increase in sales among ASI supplier members of 4.5%. While this is the thirteenth consecutive increase in sales vs. the corresponding quarter of the previous year, the increase was 1.0 percentage points less than the increase in the first quarter of 2012 vs. 2011.

    • The percentage increase in sales for the first quarter of 2013 (4.5%) was less than the percentage increase in sales for the first quarter of 2012 (5.5%).

  • Total supplier sales for the first quarter were approximately $2.5 billion. The net increase over Q1 2012 was $109 million.

  • Sales for all of 2013 are expected to be higher than 2012 by 57.0% of suppliers. In contrast to recent patterns, smaller suppliers are more optimistic about 2012, as 59.4% anticipate an increase vs. 50.0% of larger suppliers.

    • This contrasts with findings from one year ago, when 75.1% of larger suppliers anticipated greater sales in 2012. The drop is 25 percentage points.

  • Distributors were also somewhat optimistic about sales for 2013. Over one-half (57.8%) of all distributors feel sales for 2013 will be higher than sales in 2012.

    • However, similar to suppliers, fewer distributors are expecting to better the results they had in 2012. During the first quarter of 2012, over three-quarters (77.5%) of distributor firms expected an increase in sales for the year, which is nearly 20 percentage points higher than findings for 1Q 2013 (57.8%).

Detailed Findings:

Supplier vs. Distributor Sales

  • Supplier sales for the first quarter of 2013 increased by 4.5%, the 13th consecutive increase. This represents the smallest percentage increase since 1Q 2011.

  • The increase in sales for suppliers was lower than for distributors, who had a 5.7% increase. The first quarter of 2012 also showed higher increases for distributors than suppliers, but the two groups were very similar the rest of the year.

Industry sales revenue % change vs. year ago quarter

How did your first-quarter 2013 sales compare to your first-quarter 2012 sales?

  • 42.7% of respondents reported an increase in sales, while 29.0% reported a decrease. This was the smallest percentage of suppliers who reported a decrease in the last five quarters, with three straight quarters of fewer suppliers reporting increased sales vs. the corresponding quarter one year prior.

Sales result qtrly comparison

How did your first-quarter 2013 sales compare to your first-quarter 2012 sales? (Continued)

  • Both larger (more than $10 million in sales) and smaller (less than $10 million in sales) suppliers reported increases in sales as compared to the corresponding quarter from the prior year. Smaller suppliers reported a greater increase in sales (5.1%) than larger suppliers (4.1%). Most of the last eight quarters saw larger suppliers posting higher percentage growth.

  • The percentage increase for the first quarter of 2013 (4.5%) was less than the percentage increase for the first quarter of 2012 (5.5%).

  • Total supplier sales for the first quarter were approximately $2.5 billion. The net increase over Q1 2012 was $109 million.

Current quarter sales vs. quarter year ago

How do you feel your sales for all of 2013 will compare to your sales in 2012?

  • Over one-half (57.0%) feel sales for 2013 will be higher than in 2012. Smaller suppliers in particular were more optimistic with their forecast for 2013; nearly 6 out of 10 (59.4%) feel sales in 2013 will be higher than in 2012, vs. 50.0% of larger suppliers anticipating an increase.

    • This contrasts with findings from one year ago, when 75.1% of larger suppliers anticipated greater sales in 2012. The drop is 25 percentage points.

  • Among those anticipating an increase in sales over 2012, the average increase is 12.1%, while the minority anticipating a decrease estimated a decline of 15%.

Forecast 2013 sales vs. 2011 sales