Upfront: Industry insights

By Steve Noe

As has become a tradition here at OPE, we kicked off the New Year with our two-part “Industry Forecasts” series with the second installment appearing in this issue, starting on page 16. I would like to sincerely thank all of the 13 industry leaders who took time out of their busy holiday schedules to share their thoughts on the state of the industry heading into this year.

To help you gain even further insight as to where our industry is headed between now and 2019, I also wanted to share with you the following information that I received from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm, regarding its 340-page Power Lawn & Garden Equipment study that was published in December 2015.

US Power L&G Eq DmdDemand for power lawn and garden equipment in the U.S. is expected to rise 3.2 percent per year to $11.7 billion in 2019. Through 2019, gains will be supported by accelerating growth in the single-family housing stock and the number of landscaping establishments, which will result in increased demand for both consumer- and commercial-grade equipment. Sales will also benefit from ongoing technological innovations, including improvements to battery-powered products that allow for longer runtimes and faster recharging.

“The residential market accounts for the majority of power lawn and garden equipment sales. Gains will primarily stem from expansion of the market as the housing stock increases. Gains in the commercial market are expected to outpace those in the residential market, driven by accelerating growth in the number of landscaping establishments as more homes and businesses outsource these services. However, growth in the commercial market will be restrained to a degree by weakness in the golf industry as the net number of golf courses continues to decline.

“Sales of consumer-grade lawn mowers will benefit from the expansion in the housing stock, supporting demand for both new and replacement lawn mowers. Value gains will be boosted by growing consumer interest in higher-end models, such as riding mowers, electric types, and those that feature self-propulsion. According to analyst Katherine Brink, ‘Although robotic lawn mowers are expected to remain a niche product in the residential market through the forecast period, sales will triple through 2019 as the number of product offerings increases and prices begin to come down.’

“Turf and grounds equipment will see some of the fastest gains as the number of landscaping establishments continues to climb and existing establishments expand their fleets. Lawn mowers and turf and grounds equipment, the two largest product segments, will combine to account for more than half of value gains through 2019. Smaller segments such as blowers, vacuums, sweepers and hedge trimmers are also projected to see above-average growth as landscaping establishments expand and replace their equipment and as commercial users become more confident in higher-value, battery-powered models.”

For more information on The Freedonia Group’s Power Lawn & Garden Equipment study, visit www.freedoniagroup.com.

OPE Editor Steve Noe


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