Over the decades, lawn care has grown into a national passion that has proved to be a resilient home improvement sector, even in tough economies. Sales of lawn mowers, however, are slumping, according to data from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group. In 2010, the dollar-volume estimate for riding mowers was $1.57 billion, down 11.6% from the prior year. Walk-behind mowers slipped 17.3% to $1.16 billion. Here’s a breakdown of recent consumer activity.
Analysis: Department stores are seeing growth in riding mowers compared with 2008, but the mass and warehouse home center channels showed better performance over 2009. WHCs were the clear leaders in walk-behind mowers, compared with 2009 sales.
Analysis: Significant moves were made by the 45-to-54 age group in the riding mower category — up from 18.9% in 2008 to 26.6% in 2010. Also, the 65-plus age group became a much more important player in 2010.
Analysis: “Trusted brand” ranks first among purchase motivators for riding mowers; “Price” ranks first for walk-behind mowers. Also significant: More riding mower purchasers say they are motivated by “Warranty.”