Pivoting To A More Responsive Retailer Ranking

First-half retail financials confirm sudden shifts in retailer market share during the pandemic.

The results also confirm an unprecedented, yet necessary, pivot by the HomeWorld Business team in the development of its annual ranking of top housewares retailers.

Recalibrated Power

Our usual deep dive into top 100 housewares retailers, a special statistical report that had anchored September editions of HomeWorld every year since its launch in 1989, served up a reliable gauge of leading retailers’ housewares sales the previous year while recording a steady evolution of market share best measured over longer periods.

The HomeWorld team realized, however, an historic pandemic that shutdown most physical stores, benefitted a privileged few “essential” operators and accelerated e-commerce across the map would render a ranking of the previous year’s housewares retailers outdated and irrelevant by September. Instead, our readers, in so fluid a marketplace, require a precise look into how the pandemic has recalibrated the balance of power among housewares retailers in less than half a year.

We saw no choice but to convert the longstanding methodology behind our top 100 housewares retailers ranking to present HomeWorld’s Top 50 Housewares Retailers ranked by houseware sales through the first six months of 2020.

To report such an up-to-date, vivid picture of pandemic-influenced retail housewares sales, HomeWorld partnered with leading retail market analytics firm The NPD Group, which ranked the top 50 retailers by housewares sales in the January-June period of this year, according to NPD’s Checkout service. The service tracks sales across retail channels over time from a panel of more than 130,000 consumers who provide NPD with receipt-based information on in-store and e-commerce purchases.

Top-Line Detail

HomeWorld Business Executive Editor Mike Duff provides accompanying in-depth analysis of the first-half shifts in retailer housewares sales while examining if such situational realignment could become more permanent.

I won’t spoil the ending, but a look at this timely Top 50 Housewares Retailers ranking confirms, in revealing top-line detail, presumptions about which operators benefitted the most as the pandemic escalated through the second quarter. Beyond detailing the first-half performance of many retailers expected to be among the top housewares retailers, the report also spotlights retailers whose surprising inclusion among the Top 50 underscores how pressing homebound consumer needs and wants drew people to outlets not ordinarily recognized for surging housewares sales.

Strategies & Practices

This pandemic necessitated swift and substantial pivoting along the housewares supply chain from strategies and practices that in many cases have been highly reliable and productive from year to year.

HomeWorld pivoted, too, to deliver a Top 50 Housewares Retailers report serving the need for a more responsive measure of such sudden, sweeping change.