2011 Universe Study conducted in partnership with Pride Family Brands to examine state of the industry

Indicating growth in the casual furnishings industry, the results of the 2011 Universe Survey for the outdoor marketplace have been released. Published in Casual Living's November issue through an ongoing sponsorship by Pride Family Brands, the Universe Survey reflected that the outdoor marketplace is estimated to reach $6.7 billion in sales for 2011, up 1% overall from the previous year.

Madrid sling, Pride Family BrandsThe Universe Survey found that outdoor specialty retailers continue to be seen as the go-to place for quality products built for longevity. This segment is expected to hit $535 million in retail figures.

The areas estimated to see the most growth include shade products and conversation groups. Within furnishings, dining sets continue as the No. 1 category, comprising 52% of all outdoor living products at an estimated $1.95 billion in sales. For specialty retailers, 46% of all sales include dining sets.

"Retail sales for all outdoor furniture products totaled an estimated $3.75 billion last year, a 1.4% increase from 2009," said Dana French, director of research for Sandow Media. "Casual Living magazine is predicting outdoor furniture sales to grow slowly through the end of 2011, another 0.7% to $3.78 billion. Outdoor furniture comprises about 5% of the $80 billion-plus residential U.S. furniture and mattress market."

This exclusive category-specific research for the outdoor living segment has been made available through an association with designer and manufacturer of luxury cast aluminum casual furniture Pride Family Brands since 2008. "Pride Family Brands is committed to establishing itself as a true partner with our retail base not only during the sale, but also in providing valuable insight into the industry as a whole," said Steve Lowsky, president, Pride Family Brands.

The Universe Survey research is based on numerous data sources including import figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bureau of Economic Analysis as well as consumer surveys and conversations and unpublished reports from casual retailers, vendors and industry analysts. The complete research results were published in the November issue of Casual Living magazine.