The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) have released their Q1 2020 Kitchen & Bath Market Index (KBMI). Each quarter, NKBA surveys professionals in building/construction, manufacturing, design and retail sales on industry conditions, with this iteration focused largely on the effects of COVID-19. Respondents say the pandemic has an impact of 8.08 (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being no impact and 10 being significant impact) on their business, with retail sales (8.3) and building/construction (8.29) most affected, compared to design (7.96) and manufacturing (7.84).
Kitchen and bath professionals list economic uncertainty and fear of recession as their current primary challenges, demoting cost of materials, availability of skilled labor and labor costs — the top three concerns last quarter — to seventh, eighth and 11th on the list, respectively.
While the impact of COVID-19 on kitchen and bath professionals is undeniable, there are indicators of the recovery to come. For instance, though 69 percent of all kitchen and bath projects have been impacted by the crisis, the majority of these (48 percent) were postponements, as opposed to cancellations.
Additional key takeaways from KBMI's first-quarter report include the following:
"The first quarter of 2020 brought unprecedented change — not just to our industry, but the economy as a whole," said Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO. "We know that many kitchen and bath businesses, especially smaller ones, are hurting, and we hope that this report and its findings provide insights on how their fellow industry members are responding. And while the global health and economic crisis has negatively affected our members — there's no doubt about that — we are pleased to see that work does continue and there are signs of brighter times ahead."
"The KBMI always holds great value for our clients, but this particular report is especially vital as the timeline for economic and housing recovery is so unknown," added Todd Tomalak, senior vice president of research for JBREC. "As we all adapt, the KBMI is a look into an industry that is one of the quickest to recover in times of crisis and recession, and can be used as a gauge for other economic indicators, such as housing and consumer confidence."
The following findings by sector shed additional light on the day-to-day impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the kitchen and bath industry:
A copy of the NKBA KBMI Q1 Report can be downloaded online.