Content about Home Improvement Research Institute

April 10, 2014

Orlando, Fla. -- Here at the 2014 Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) Spring Conference, Sarah Catlett, VP of The Futures Company, took a high-level, continental look at consumer marketing.

Catlett kicked off the HIRI conference with a quick look at Target's disappointing venture into Canada. The Minnesota-based retailer's efforts to change the way Canadians shop has fallen short, she said, partly because the company missed consumer and cultural cues. 

October 22, 2013

Lisa Marquis Jackson, SVP at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, provided a comprehensive perspective on the state of the housing recovery at the 2013 Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) Fall Conference in Rosemont, Ill. on Oct. 16.

In her presentation, titled "Clarity on the Housing Recovery," Jackson highlighted strong national housing fundamentals and pointed out that though housing starts are less than half of the way toward a full recovery, existing-home sales have already rebounded and then some, thanks in part to activity in the distressed housing market.

October 17, 2013

Chicago -- The difficult task of looking into the future from the vantage point of a Wall Street investor -- and sharing that view with home improvement researchers -- fell upon Joshua Rosenbaum, of UBS.

And the key to the future, he said, is jobs.

October 14, 2013

J. Walker Smith, executive chairman of The Futures Co., will present at the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) event Wednesday in Chicago.

Smith will deliver one of seven statistically charged presentations during the HIRI event Oct. 16 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel and Convention Center.

The conference’s theme is “Changing Home Improvement Attitudes & Behaviors.”

September 30, 2013

The upcoming Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI’s) Fall Conference will include a presentation on homeowners' views of home improvement.

George Leon, senior VP of National Analysts Worldwide, will present “Changing Attitudes toward the Home in the First 12 Years of the New Millennium.” The event takes place in Chicago Oct. 16. 

September 5, 2013

Joshua Rosenbaum, managing director of the global industrial group for UBS, will lead an economic discussion at the upcoming Home Improvement Research Institute conference.

His presentation is titled: "A Wall Street View of the Home Improvement Market and Trends."

August 19, 2013

J. Walker Smith, chairman of The Futures Group, is among the speakers at the Home Improvement Research Institute’s upcoming conference.

His presentation is titled: "A Future Unfolding: Understanding Tomorrow's Consumer Today." 

Consumers are looking to move beyond the stagnation of a slow recovery, but they will be doing so with a different view.

June 18, 2013

Stock Building Supply and Masonite are the two newest members of the Home Improvement Research Institute.

The new additions bring membership of the non-profit, research-driven Home Improvement Research Institute to 75.

Stock Building Supply is a Raleigh, N.C.-based pro dealer with 48 retail and distribution locations in 13 states. Masonite, based in Tampa, Fla., is a designer and manufacturer of interior and exterior doors.

May 6, 2013

Orlando, Fla. — It’s a brave new world for home improvement researchers.

Take for instance the gathering of more than 70 research and marketing professionals here for the Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI’s) Spring Conference.

April 3, 2013

Memphis, Tenn.-based Orgill joined the Home Improvement Research Institute, the not-for-profit research group.

March 15, 2013

When Hurricane Sandy slammed into the northeastern part of the United States, the level of damage was clearly devastating. It was the start of a tremendously difficult time for many residents of this highly populous region. When bad things happen, a silver lining often emerges. In this case, that is a positive impact on the home improvement industry.

December 13, 2012

When I picked up my local newspaper the other day, a headline read “Collierville’s McGinnis Hardware to close its doors after 146 years.” Clearly this isn’t the first independent store to go out of business, but it brought on feelings of nostalgia. Started in 1866 and in the same location on the picturesque Town Square since 1879, McGinnis Hardware was a fixture in the community. It stood through the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm and the Iraq War.

November 2, 2012

Chicago — Before the first speaker could take the podium at the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) Fall Conference, a residential construction report for September stole the show with news of a 15.0% increase in total starts.

The tone was set. One presenter pointed to an average forecast of 924,000 starts in 2013, a figure drawn from 10 estimates ranging from a high of 1.1 million and a low of 800,000.

April 27, 2012

Attendees of the 2012 Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) Spring Conference in Arlington, Va., were promised insights and resources. And even before the last of seven speakers packed up his PowerPoint, the mission was accomplished.

For instance, Mike Fratantoni of the Mortgage Bankers Association shared that the U.S. economy seemed to be on the path to a self-sustaining recovery, an assessment he qualified with a “but” and an “and.”

March 26, 2012

The 2012 Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI’s) Spring Conference will include forecasts, resources and insights into home improvement spending.

The April 18 event will take place at the DoubleTree Hotle Crystal City by Hilton in Arlington, Va. The first of seven presenters speaks at 8:30 a.m. and the event runs until 4:30 p.m.

The lineup includes presentations on the following topics:

January 6, 2012

There is an old curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Unfortunately for the economy, the last several years have been “interesting times.” Home improvement has weathered this storm better than some areas (notably new-home construction), but the industry has clearly been impacted. Twice a year the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) publishes a detailed size-of-market forecast for home improvement product sales.

January 6, 2012

There is an old curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Unfortunately for the economy, the last several years have been “interesting times.” Home improvement has weathered this storm better than some areas (notably new-home construction), but the industry has clearly been impacted. Twice a year the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) publishes a detailed size-of-market forecast for home improvement product sales.

November 7, 2011

Chicago — Mixed macroeconomic signals lurked behind many of the charts displayed at the Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI’s) Industry Summit last month. But presenter J. Walker Smith stressed that the fault lies in ourselves, not the economy. He pointed to several companies outside the home improvement industry that have shown amazing growth — Apple, Hyundai and Zappos, for instance. “These companies have shown unprecedented success during the third-worst downturn in U.S.

October 19, 2011

Chicago -- The unofficial quote of the day came from J. Walker Smith, executive chairman of The Futures Co.: "Screw the economy; you can still be successful in your business."

August 31, 2011

I’ve been in the home improvement industry for 25 years, and I cannot remember a time with so much divergent information on where we stand and where we are heading. 


August 31, 2011

Siding and roofing were the areas that saw the biggest year-over-year percentage gains in planned home improvement activity, according to the latest tally from the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI). 


The most common planned project? Lawns, with a 14% incidence rate, and landscaping/fencing, with a 12.1% rate.


These gainers give a clear indication that the consumer’s home improvement thoughts are gravitating toward the outdoors and the home exterior.


August 2, 2011

As the latest Consumer Confidence Index scored a slight uptick (see Dashboard, page 42), the latest research from the Home Improvement Research Institute showed a boost in the expected amount of spending on projects around the home. 


The anticipated cost of planned home improvement projects in June increased 5% to an average of $517 per project, according to the latest monthly update from HIRI.


August 2, 2011

While attending a meeting with the Home Improvement Research Institute, a Home Channel News editor made a side trip to another important South Florida institution that could help us all better understand our industry.


This institution is called The Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg. (Note to accounting: The $10 admission ticket and $3 parking are now officially “business related.”) And it does so by preparing us for the surreal in our world.


July 11, 2011

The anticipated cost of planned home improvement projects in June increased 5% to an average of $517 per project, according to the latest monthly update from the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI).

The spending average is the highest recorded in the month of June since tracking began in 2008. It's also the highest since the January 2011 planned-spending average of $548.

Overall, planned-project incidence increased to 49.1%, compared with 48.1% in June 2010.

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