Hardware Retailing

OCT 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | October 2018 74 Illuminating the Outdoors R emember 2008? Homeowners were reeling from the Great Recession, and retailers were trying to figure out how they could make the most of a shrinking building market. As a result, consumers were cutting back in every form of discretionary spending. As household budgets across the country tightened, many homeowners chose to entertain guests at home as a less expensive option says Joe Girard, owner of Girard's Ace Hardware, Lighting and Furniture in Bourbonnais, Illinois. That trend has continued in the ensuing decade of economic recovery, and outdoor lighting options have grown more diverse and functional to match this trend. Homeowners continue to focus on how they can best take advantage of new options in outdoor lighting to beautify and secure their homes. The new oasis of the outdoor space has become an area that must be maintained just as much as interior spaces. According to the most recent Home Improvement Research Institute Recent Home Buyers 2016 Report, 77 percent of recent homebuyers intend to conduct renovation projects on their houses. Landscaping and cement work leads the list, while deck, patio and fencing place a close second in areas homeowners plan to improve. Deck and patio projects often require an investment in outdoor lighting to keep a home desireable in today's market. To learn about the consumer expectations in the outdoor lighting category, Hardware Retailing spoke to two retailers who have made lighting and design a focal point of their businesses. These retailers shed light on the products customers are asking for, discuss how professional builders are designing the modern outdoor space and suggest how other retailers can make their businesses destinations for outdoor lighting. Help Exterior Spaces Shine With a Variety of Lighting Options By Chad Husted, chusted@nrha.org

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