Content about Research - Consumer Studies

October 8, 2014

The big-box home improvement retailers are beginning to make room for holiday merchandise.

And as they make the transition, and independents follow the path to Christmas lights and lawn ornaments, The National Retail Federation served a bit of holiday cheer in early October.

October 1, 2014

A study from the Freedonia Group suggests U.S. demand for decking is on the rise to the tune of 2.4% per year through 2018 to 3.5 billion lineal feet, valued at $6.5 billion. 

September 30, 2014

Consumer confidence fell from its recent high of 93.4 in August to 86.0 in September, breaking a string of four consecutive monthly gains.

September 3, 2014

International home buyers are making their mark in the Texas market -- and increasingly so.

According to the 2014 Texas International Homebuyers Report by the Texas Association of Realtors, international homebuyers added $11.06 billion to the Texas economy between March 2013 and March 2014 -- their highest level in five years.

To put that number in perspective, Texas accounted for 12% of the total $92.2 billion contributed by this demographic to the nationwide economy. That makes Texas the No. 3 state for international home sales.

August 26, 2014

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in July, improved further in August, according to data released Tuesday morning. 

The Index now stands at 92.4 (1985=100), up from 90.3 in July. The Present Situation Index increased to 94.6 from 87.9, while the Expectations Index edged down to 90.9 from 91.9 in July.

July 29, 2014

Consumer confidence pushed ahead to a new post-recession high of 90.9 in July, its highest level since October 2007, The Conference Board reported this morning.

July's figure is also in comparison with an upwardly revised figure of 86.4 in June, where the previous post-recession high had stood.

July 24, 2014

Statistics from the American Pet Products Association estimate a 5% increase in total U.S. pet industry expenditures in 2014, bringing the figure to $58.5 billion. 

Compared with 10 years ago, pet expenditures are up 68%.

July 21, 2014

San Jose, California-based Realtor.com 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 10, 2014

Understanding shopping and buying behavior is the most common challenge facing retailers. According to a survey of nearly 200 retailers, executives, financial analysts, industry analysts and university academics at the recent ShopperTrak users group conference, 44% of attendees reported that understanding consumer behavior in-store is currently their biggest challenge.

July 2, 2014

The most recent Home Improvement Research Institute study shows 74.5% of homeowners are planning one or more projects around the home.

June 27, 2014

Nothing about this business is the same as it was just a few years ago, and nothing has changed more than the shopper. Customers today think differently, their expectations are unique, and they are highly engaged in the shopping process.

June 25, 2014

Shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in record numbers by U.S. retailers in 2013, according to a recent survey of theft. 

The "26th Annual Retail Theft Survey" by Jack L. Hayes International shed plenty of light on the dark practice of stealing. Perhaps most worrisome, according to the survey organizer, is that theft seems to be on the rise.

June 24, 2014

Continuing this week's trend of optimism in market fundamentals, consumer confidence pushed to a new post-recession high of 85.2 in June, up from a downwardly revised figure of 82.2 in May.

June 17, 2014

J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey released earlier this month showed Ace Hardware, Menards and Lowe’s ranked one, two and three on its proprietary customer satisfaction index rankings. 

June 4, 2014

While staff and service remains the most influential factor in satisfaction once customers are at a home improvement retail store, price is what drives customers to a retailer in the first place, underscoring the importance of competitive differentiation efforts via better price and value perception, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study released today.

The survey results also showed Ace Hardware at the top of the 2014 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study, followed by Menards and Lowe’s.

June 4, 2014

Following the gathering of “open carry” gun enthusiasts at a Texas Home Depot, most HCN readers indicated they would have no problem with a similar event at their locations.

In fact, in a recent survey, 58% said they would welcome gun owners with open arms, compared with 31% who said they would invite those carrying guns to disperse.

May 27, 2014

Consumer confidence hedged up a bit to near-March highs in May after dropping in April. The Index now reads 83.0, up from a downwardly revised estimate of 81.7 in April.

May 27, 2014

While the operational performance of cabinets is still critical, a smooth ordering and delivery process is essential to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power "2014 U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction Study."

May 21, 2014

A new survey from Houzz reveals that homeowners are more keen on remodeling than moving these days, and not always for purely financial reasons.

April 29, 2014

The Consumer Confidence backed down slightly from its recent peak in March, now standing at 82.3, according to The Conference Board.

April 25, 2014

A new Houzz study examines the many motivations behind landscaping projects in 2014, and they range from the purely practical to the pleasure-seeking.

Among the findings were that 56% are improving their yard for entertaining purposes, and 55% are seeking to problem-solve (that's 41% to protect against flooding, 25% to protect against sun exposure, and 23% to create more privacy). Additionally, 30% of homeowners in the West are attempting to find drought-related solutions.

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. 

April 7, 2014

To kick off National Painting Week, Sherwin-Williams is releasing the findings of its National Home Design and Color Survey, which found that painting tops the list of planned home improvement projects for U.S. homeowners.

The vast majority of those surveyed -- 70% -- plan to undertake some kind of house-related project in the next six months, according to Sherwin-Williams.

Of those planning projects, 42% plan to paint, 39% intend to landscape and 30% are simply thinking about redecorating.

March 27, 2014

Residential cleaning franchise Molly Maid surveyed over 2,000 homeowners to discover that "spring cleaning," in the widely understood sense of being a far-reaching phenomenon, is kind of a myth.

According to the company, fewer than half of the respondents said they participate in an annual spring cleaning. In fact, 93% of respondents said they would prefer to do anything but; 44% said they would rather speak in front of a large group, and 30% would rather go for a six-hour car ride with their in-laws.

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