Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) released its monthly TRENDS report, showing the average sales performance by HARDI distributors was an increase of 3.7 percent during March 2020.
The average annual sales growth for the 12 months through March 2020 is 4.1 percent.
“March was a confusing month because the historic surge of initial unemployment claims began during the week of the 16th, the growth for the month looks weak in a couple of our regions because they experienced very strong sales during March of 2019, and all our regions had one extra billing day this year,” said HARDI Market Research and Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus. “When we adjust for the extra billing day, we estimate that sales declined by 1 percent.”
The Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, is 49 days. “Forty-nine this month compares to 47 in March of 2018 and 48 in March of 2019,” said Loftus. “We have been concerned about DSO given the C-19 market disruption and pleased to see it remained contained through March.
“This March report reflected the leading edge of the COVID-19 storm as it began to engulf our country,” Loftus continued. “We have seen the damage from those sustained winds with initial unemployment claims increasing like a storm surge to high teens levels, and the 8.7 percent decline of retail sales which was the largest decline on record, or until we see the April report.”
HARDI members do not receive financial compensation in exchange for their monthly sales data and can discontinue their participation without prior notice or penalty. Participation is voluntary, and the depth of market coverage varies from region to region. An independent entity collects and compiles the data that can include products not directly associated with the HVACR industry.