Lawn mowers, by the numbers

Channel analysis

The year 2010 was a year of double-digit declines for lawn mower sales. Happily, 2011 saw an 8.1% increase, according to consumer research from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group, though lawn mower sales remain below the 2009 sales of about $3.2 billion. The resurgence is making the biggest impact at warehouse home centers (WHC) and specialty stores, according to the data.

Product attributes

Of all the various and measurable attributes of a lawn mower — either riding mower or walk-behind — nothing is growing faster than the 16-to-21 horsepower riding mower category. This family of engines showed an 8.1 percentage point increase over 2010, growth that came largely at the expense of riding mowers with 22 hp or more.

Demographic analysis

Based on NPD Group’s data, the person most likely to buy a mower meets the following conditions: lives in the South, earns less than $30,000 a year, is aged 18 to 34 years and is male. In fact, the percentage of males has grown in each of the last three years, finishing 2011 at 71.1%.

Purchase motivators

Consumers increasingly are looking for bargains, as the purchase motivator “on sale/special promotion” increased 2.1 percentage points among reasons for purchase of a mower. No other motivator increased more in 2011, and “Price” remains the No. 1 purchase motivator, and growing. “Trusted brand” is ranked second, but it fell the most in 2011, down 4.4 percentage points from 2010.

Methodology: NPD data are based on monthly tracking of more than 30 home improvement-related  categories and 30,000 opt-in consumers.

*2011 data reflect the period January 2011 through December 2011.

**Key: WHC: warehouse home center; MM: mass merchant; DS: department store; SS: specialty store; HS: hardware store

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