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The store of the future?

The slides and statistics were flying fast and furious at the Home Improvement Research Institute’s Fall Conference in Chicago last month.

That’s the way the HIRI members like it. Amid the myriad graphs and charts showing “changing economic realities” and “consumer sentiment and home improvement activity,” there was one slide—from Kantar Retail VP Steve Spiwak—that struck HCN as particularly noteworthy. It’s titled “Home Improvement Store of the Future.”

Spiwak lays out this mythical store based on three principals:

1) Make it easy to shop: This involves bringing product to eye level, improving sightlines across the store, clearly designated product and price hierarchies.

2) Make way for emerging product categories: These include but are not limited to pet supplies, green products, a move toward consumables and even prefab housing kits and RV-related segments.

3) Create innovation centers: We’ve seen this at the big boxes—energy centers, connected or smart home center areas. But there’s also opportunity in retrofitting centers for seniors and sustainable gardening centers for gardeners.

In other words, it’s kind of a combination of the modern warehouse home center mixed with Marvin’s Home Centers, Cole’s Home Solutions, Tractor Supply Co. and the Apple store. It should be interesting to watch.


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