HomeWorld Census 2018: Comfort & Style Fuel Electric Fireplaces

This is part five of a special, six-part web series showcasing exclusive data and analysis from the HomeWorld Business Housewares Census 2018. This series, sponsored by The National Hardware Show, examines the retail sales performance of housewares categories that play a prominent role in the home improvement retailing channel. Scroll through charts by clicking on the arrow icons. Click here to receive the complete HomeWorld Business Housewares Census 2018.

Electric fireplace furniture has gone from being something of a specialty category to the mainstream and, in doing so, has gained in popularity while experiencing price pressure as more retailers and vendors look to get in on a category where sales are growing.

In the 2017 Home Entertainment Report consumer survey, 17.7% of consumers said they had bought an electric fireplace for their homes during the preceding three years. The most recent figure was up almost five points, from 12.9% who said they would make such a purchase in the 2016 survey. In addition, 16% of respondents said they were very likely to purchase an electric fireplace/mantle combination in the year ahead, and 14.7% said they were very likely to purchase a fireplace/furniture console combination.

*Source: HomeWorld estimates.
**Source: AIMsights

The broad range of retail prices and features as applied to electric fireplace furniture that the mass market offers today will only act as additional enticements as more consumers see an expanded range of product choice at prices they can afford. At the same time, features, better materials, more sophisticated design and electronic enhancements, ranging from more realistic flame effects to sound systems, have hit the market.

Certainly, electric fireplaces have become more attractive for the aesthetic value they provide. However, function is important too. Although evidence suggests a relatively small minority of consumers employ the warming capability that electric fireplaces offer, heating is an important purchase issue. In the Home Entertainment Report survey, 48.7% of respondents identified infrared heating as a feature that would make them more likely to pick a particular electric fireplace furniture piece, the second highest proportion among choices offered.

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