September 27, 2012
Durable Goods and McDonald's Sales
It was at least twenty years ago that our Co-Op saw a presentation from Oak Brook
"experts" who observed that over the years McDonald's benefited from an increase
in durable goods orders in the United States. Hedgeye Research just released a report
charting durable goods since 1997.
The HEDGEYE report is HERE
(Clicking on the chart brings up a larger and easier to read version)
Durable goods were generally positive in the late 1990s but McDonald's missed out on
that trend because of the cannibalization of the Convenience Strategy and the impact
of slow service times resulting from "Made For You". The increases beginning in 2003
are reported to be because of the "Plan to Win" but it looks like durable goods might also
have contributed to this success. Durable goods took a huge dip in 2009 and that was the
softest year out of the last ten for same store sales at McDonald's USA. I've made the case
that sales were poor in 2009 because McDonald's Operators wasted their advertising $$$
on espresso based drinks. But, there were strong economic headwinds.
While sales at McDonald's USA don't track perfectly with durable goods it's an interesting
metric to watch.