Grill sales slumping as Memorial Day weekend arrives
Grilling season won’t have quite as much sizzle this year.
What’s happening: With Memorial Day Weekend upon us, sales of outdoor grills have fallen in 2022 as Americans are diverting spending elsewhere, or looking to save.
- Grill masters Weber and Traeger reported first-quarter sales declines of 7% and 5%, respectively.
“Since the beginning of March, the industry has seen a significant drop-off in year-over-year point-of-sale data with sharply reduced shopper traffic, both in retail stores and online,” Weber CEO Chris Scherzinger said on a conference call last week.
The big picture: The trend is another sign that consumer spending is shifting, as the economy rebalances after a heavy pandemic tilt toward durable goods and home items.
- “A lot of demand was pulled forward over the last two years, especially among durable goods sales,” CFRA Research analyst Arun Sundaram tells Axios.
💭 Nathan's thought bubble: After a couple years of cooking their own food more often than usual, many Americans are ready to have someone else do the cooking for them.
- “A return to travel for many families” is among the key reasons for the decline in grill sales, Scherzinger said. “Right now we are seeing a lot of pent-up demand for going out in travel and services."
- “A shift in consumer spending away from durables towards services” is undermining sales, Traeger CEO Jeremy Andrus told investors in a recent conference call.
Yes, but: A general slowdown in spending is also at play.
- While acknowledging “a pull-forward dynamic” in the early days of the pandemic, Scherzinger said the company is now facing “macro pressures on consumers,” including inflation, rising gas prices and stock market volatility.
- “Those factors to me are more fundamental to the drop in retail traffic and category-wide performance,” he said.