Hardware Retailing

NOV

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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By Dan Tratensek, dant@nrha.org Improvement Retail Home Market Profile Y Despite Limited Growth, Industry Still Waiting for Recovery ou know that feeling you get when you are sitting in a restaurant waiting for the server to bring your drinks and she just keeps passing by your table. You check your watch, you clear your throat and you think to yourself… "the drinks have to get here any minute, I've been waiting so long." YET WHEN THE KITCHEN DOOR swings open, all the server has is a tray with three orders of lasagna for table six and your drinks are still nowhere in sight. That's kind the same kind of feeling we all have right now in regard to the economic recovery. We got our table, ordered our drinks and here we sit… waiting for unemployment to improve, waiting for stocks to bounce back and waiting for houses to start selling—The whole time wishing we had a drink. In 2009, we saw the home improvement market bottom out somewhere in the high $260 billion range and at a five-year low. So, we knew things would have to get better in 2010. And they did. In 2010, the home improvement industry posted sales of $277.7 billion according to our estimates. This repre- sented an increase in industry sales of about 4.7 percent year over year. A Mixed Blessing While it may seem hard to give the government much credit for doing anything right these days, it seems that the tax incentives offered to new homeowners during the first several months of 2010 actu- ally helped fuel sales in the home improvement industry. www.nrha.org /PWFNCFS t )BSEXBSF Retailing 29

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