As we head into 2020, the economy looks and feels strong. Yet, just as was the case in 2019, that positivity is couched in uncertainty. Questions are escalating throughout the global economy about a number of issues including the effects of tariffs, the upcoming presidential election, the Coronavirus, and fragile global relations.
In anticipation of attending the Inspired Home Show in Chicago in March, we’d like to specifically look at how these issues impact the housewares industry.
The Current State of the Housewares Industry
Many indicators for the houseware industry are encouraging. Houseware spending rose in 2018 (the most current data available) by 8.3% to $394.3 billion. Additionally, the stock market increased by 28% in 2019, retail sales were up, as was holiday shopping.
However, those in the industry note that amidst this positivity, it’s important to consider the impact that the cost of tariffs, the ever-changing world of shopping, and rapidly changing consumer needs and desires could have on businesses.
Questions in 2020
In addition to these industry-specific questions, an ongoing trade war with China and some indications of an economic slowdown add to uncertainties in 2020. Questions about the long-term effects of the current tariffs on goods from China, the future of these tariffs, the potential for new tariffs, as well as precarious global relations only further add to the unpredictability.
And, the upcoming presidential election brings with it more questions. Experts note that the uncertainty leading up to an election inevitably can impact markets as will the volatility immediately following the election.
With all of these factors, perhaps the greatest takeaway for 2020 is the need for businesses to become comfortable with these uncertainties. The houseware industry has long shown itself capable of being resilient amidst economic, global, and political changes. By being prepared to adapt and utilizing technology to stay current, companies can keep up with and respond to the inevitable yet unpredictable changes ahead.
To learn more about how some of these uncertainties could impact logistics and how ClearFreight can help your business manage these issues, contact us or come visit with us at the Inspired Home Show. The Inspired Home Show is the largest houseware trade show in North America, hosting over 50,000 houseware professionals from 130 countries. We look forward to having a booth there and continuing to provide logistical support to the industry. If you’re in Chicago from March 14-17th, come to our booth, #S4074, at McCormick Place.