Hardware Retailing

SEP 2016

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 | September 2016 90 Homeowners Dive Into Project Research More Engaged O ver the past nine years, homeowners have seen extensive changes to home values as the market worked its way through the Great Recession. Recent research, however, suggests that consumers are once again investing in their homes. Market research firm Consumer Specialists (consumerspecialists.com) conducted a recent study on homeowners' home improvement habits and discovered that 61 percent of them did a project or had work done on their houses in the past year. The average amount they spent on home improvement products and projects was $3,597, or about even with the average spending pre-recession. And the consumers surveyed are more interested in getting product and project information now compared to homeowners before the recession. The research contrasts data collected in 2015 with numbers from a similar 2006 study. The new study shows that homeowners overall are more interested now than in 2006 in researching topics such as project costs, the availability of products, the appropriate materials for projects and the length of time needed to complete projects. Current homeowners are also more likely to look for style ideas and learn how projects will impact their home values. A Closer Look at the Numbers The 2015 study also shows that nearly 58 percent of homeowners have local hardware stores located near enough to shop at them, and these consumers approach projects differently than shoppers who don't have access to local stores. For example, the people who are near local stores tend to do more research on their home projects than shoppers who don't have close access to a local hardware store, according to the survey. They are also more engaged in project planning, and are more likely to rely on store personnel and in-store displays for product and project information than nonhardware store shoppers. Because they're doing more research, these homeowners who have access to local stores also tend more often to get home improvement information online, from their friends and family members and from professional contractors and home improvement stores. The following pages lay out some of Consumer Specialists' data. The first chart shows the topics that homeowners are most interested in researching. The second chart compares where two types of homeowners prefer to get their information for projects.

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