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August 8, 2014

The latest update from the Home Improvement Research Institute on consumer spending patterns shows homeowners are planning 3.4% more projects around the house than they were planning a year ago.

The stat reflects total projects planned per 100 homeowners, which increased from 314 to 328.

The year-over-year increase in project planning follows three consecutive quarters of declines of the metric. 

July 21, 2014

San Jose, California-based reports that 67% of visitors to the real estate web site plan home renovations within the next six months. 

That finding is the result of the web site's Home Improvement Survey, in which more than 1,500 consumers participated from May 19 to May 29. 

The survey results, released July 17, include the following.

Most popular reasons for planned home improvements:

July 15, 2014

Recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Economic census shows that the value of household appliance manufacturing shipments dropped 10.8% to $4.3 billion, down from nearly $5 billion in 2007.

The drop in shipping value comes along with other decreases in the industry — including a decrease in the number of people it employed in 2007.

June 27, 2014

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May 16, 2014

Three little words can have huge emotional power. Case in point: “Made in America.”

When one objectively surveys the Made-in-USA landscape, one sees American manufacturers eager to promote their products as “Made in USA” for the clear emotional pull of those words. On the other end, one sees American consumers predisposed to support the idea of Made in America, because, after all, it’s their country.

April 22, 2014

A harsh winter is the likely culprit for a decline in a popular measure of the remodeling market.

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s first-quarter 2014 Remodeling Business Pulse data of current and future remodeling business conditions show current condition ratings fell significantly in March.

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. 

February 11, 2014
January 15, 2014

Market share and consumer behavior statistics from TraQline

January 13, 2014

Friday was a good day for the stocks. Most were up and those in the red fell marginally, save for Sears, which declined by -13.77%.

December 27, 2013

HCN sister publication Retailing Today presents the 2014 Walmart Supplier Survey, in which Walmart's trading partners weigh in on working with the world's first $500 billion retailer.

Stories in this special digital edition include:

December 12, 2013

Adjusted November retail sales for "Building material & garden equipment and supplies dealers" (NAICS code 444) increased 1.8% compared with last month and increased 5.3% compared with November 2012, according to the Advance Monthly Retail Trade Survey from the Census Bureau, released Thursday.

November 4, 2013

Chain Store Age spotlights the winners of its 31st annual Retail Store of the Year design competition, which attracted entries from around the globe.

October 28, 2013

A report from the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, issued last week, predicts a slowdown for the recovering home improvement market in mid-2014.

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 2, 2013

A survey from the Schaumburg, Ill.-based American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) found most members see sales higher than a year ago.

In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 75% of respondents said sales were higher in September versus year-ago levels, according to the AHMA’s monthly survey. 

In August, 77% of respondents said sales were trending higher.

September 18, 2013

Housing starts data released Wednesday morning shows a lull in housing construction, as the pace of residential construction showed a less-than-1% gain in August. 

The official seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of housing starts in August was 891,000, up 0.9% above the downwardly revised July estimate of 883,000. Total housing starts are up 19.0% compared to the August 2012 rate.

Analysts had expected total starts to comfortably exceed the 900,000 mark.

September 13, 2013

Retail sales increased in the month of August but came in at a much slower pace than anticipated by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

September 10, 2013

Two-step distribution is riding a housing recovery for both LBM and hardware.

Sales gains and growth were the major themes of the HCN Top 300 Retailer and Top 200 Pro Dealer Scoreboards released earlier this year.

So it’s only logical that the HCN Top 100 Distributor Scoreboard shares in that growth, fueled by rising prices on certain products and a long awaited — though staggering and somewhat unreliable — housing market recovery.

September 9, 2013

In a statement following the recent ho-hum employment situation report, the National Retail Federation (NRF) CEO said the “economy continues to sputter along.”

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Employers and retailers are adding to their payrolls and ranks, but still remain guarded. The business community is hiring yet waiting for stronger signs of sustained economic growth before extending too many job offers.”

September 9, 2013

Washington, D.C - Import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to grow 5.1% in September over the same month last year as retailers head into the holiday season. U.S. ports followed by the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the NRF and Hackett Associates handled 1.43 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in July, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. 

September 6, 2013

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 169,000 in August, according to data released Friday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The nation’s unemployment rate was 7.3%, compared to 7.4% in the previous month. The employment-population ratio held at 58.6%, essentially unchanged.

Employment in the construction industry also showed little or no change in August, according to the bureau.

The full report can be found here.


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 29, 2013

The Pending Home Sales Index for July declined 1.3% to 109.5 as higher mortgage rates dampened enthusiasm for home buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The NAR's Chief Economist Lawrence Yun didn't seem concerned by what he called a "modest decline in sales." 

The Pending Home Sales Index is a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings. The index has remained above year-ago levels for 27 consecutive months.

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