Content about Consumer behaviour

February 29, 2012

The widely watched measure of consumer confidence from The Conference Board now stands at 70.8, up from 61.5 in January.

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.

December 9, 2011

Consumer research from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group shows consumers are feeling a little better about the economy, but not as good as they felt last year at this time.

The November 2011 NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator, a measure of consumer confidence, increased slightly to an index reading of 37.4, on a scale of 0 -- "very concerned" -- to 100 -- "very confident."

The November reading is up from 35.9 in October. A year ago, the perception indicator index was at 40.5.

December 5, 2011

All three of the Consumer Watch metrics are heading in the right direction -- unemployment, consumer confidence and gas prices. Elsewhere, stocks are all over the board again.

November 29, 2011

The Conference Board reported Tuesday morning that its Consumer Confidence Index increased to 56.0 in November, up from 40.9 in October.

That's not the only metric improving. The Expectations Index rose to 67.8 from 50.0, and the Present Situation Index increased to 38.3 from 27.1. 

It's certainly not partying like 1985 -- when the Index was set at 100. But it's an improvement welcomed by Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. 

October 27, 2011

Despite concerns about the economy and rising household expenses, nearly three out of five (59%) consumers will put aside economic worries and spend the same or more this holiday season, according to Deloitte’s 26th annual survey of holiday spending intentions and trends. While this is a slight decline from 2010, it represents an eight-percentage point increase from 2009.

September 27, 2011

Consumer confidence continues to plod along in the mid-forties.

Data released Tuesday morning by the New York City-based Conference Board showed the Consumer Confidence Index for the month of September at 45.4, up slightly from an upwardly revised 45.2 reading in August. 

September 16, 2011

Consumer research from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group shows a sharp rise in concern over the economy in August.

The August 2011 NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator, a measure of consumer confidence, is down slightly to an index reading of 35.1 on a scale of 0 -- "very concerned" -- to 100 -- "very confident."

The August reading is down from 39.6 in July. A year ago, the perception indicator index was at 40.3.  

August 30, 2011

After an uptick in July, the Consumer Confidence Index issued by The Conference Board fell to 44.5, down from a downwardly revised 59.2 reading in July. 

The August figure is the lowest since April 2009 when the index was 40.8.

August 3, 2011

A customer satisfaction survey by J.D. Powers and Associates found that sales, delivery and installation service are slightly more important than facilities, product assortment and price when it comes to buying major appliances. 

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.


July 26, 2011

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in June, improved slightly in July.

Released Tuesday morning, the index now stands at 59.5 (1985=100), up from a downwardly revised 57.6 in June. 

Last year, July's index stood at 51.0. The Present Situation Index decreased to 35.7 from 36.6. The Expectations Index rose to 75.4 from 71.6 last month.

June 28, 2011

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had declined in May, decreased again in June. The Index now stands at 58.5 (1985=100), down from 61.7 in May. The Present Situation Index decreased to 37.6 from 39.3. The Expectations Index declined to 72.4 from 76.7 last month.

June 23, 2011

Consumer research from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group shows more concern than confidence in the economy.

The June 2011 NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator, a measure of consumer confidence, is down slightly to an index reading of 39.5. The figure indicates consumers are slightly more concerned about the economy than they were last month, when the index stood at 40.0, or in the same month last year, when the index was also at 40.0.

June 9, 2011

The National Retail Federation describes a kind of pent-up demand for Father's Day spending as one reason for positive signals from its Consumer Intentions and Actions Father's Day survey.

As June 19 approaches, research suggests Americans will spend an average of $106.49 on fathers across the country -- the highest figure in the survey's eight-year history, and up significantly from $94.32 last year. 

June 3, 2011

The J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Store Satisfaction Study ranked Ace Hardware highest in customer satisfaction among home improvement retail stores. It's the fifth straight year for the recognition. 

June 3, 2011

The May 2011 NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator, a measure of consumer confidence, is up slightly to an index reading of 40.0. That's up slightly from 39.8 in April, showing consumers are slightly more concerned about the U.S. economy than a month ago, but the index is down from 40.6 in May.

The NPD Group's U.S. Economic Perception Indicator measures consumer beliefs about the current and near-term state of the U.S. economy, on a scale of 0 -- "very concerned" -- to 100 -- "very confident." 

April 26, 2011

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased slightly to 65.4 in April, up from 63.8 in March, and up from 57.7 in April 2010.

March 25, 2011

The March 2011 NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator, a measure of consumer confidence, showed a 2.7 point decline from the previous month to a new reading of 39.2. The March figure is also down from 40.1 in March 2010.

Consumers' economic perception is certainly not helped by the near-record low housing construction and home sales reports that were released in the last two weeks.

February 25, 2011

The February 2011 NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator, a measure of consumer confidence, is up slightly. The reading from January 2011 shows consumers are slightly less concerned than they were last month.

The NPD Group's U.S. Economic Perception Indicator measures consumer beliefs about the current and near-term state of the U.S. economy, on a scale of 0 -- "very concerned" -- to 100 -- "very confident."

February 22, 2011

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved to a reading of 70.4, up from 64.8 in January. 

The February reading is at a three-year high -- the highest since February 2008, when the index was at 76.4.

January 28, 2011

The NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator, a measure of consumer confidence, is up slightly over December. The reading from January 2011 shows consumers are slightly less concerned than they were last month.

The NPD Group's U.S. Economic Perception Indicator measures consumer beliefs about the current and near-term state of the U.S. economy, on a scale of 0 -- "very concerned" -- to 100 -- "very confident."

January 25, 2011

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had dipped in December, increased in January. The Index now stands at 60.6 (1985=100), up from 53.3 in December. The Present Situation Index improved to 31.0 from 24.9. The Expectations Index increased to 80.3 from 72.3 last month.

December 28, 2010

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index slipped to a reading of 52.5 in December, down from November's figure of 54.3.

The percentage of consumers claiming business conditions are "bad" decreased to 41.2% from 42.9%, however, those claiming business conditions are "good" declined to 7.5% from 8.5%.

October 3, 2010

As a writer of these kinds of columns, one gets to talk to a lot...

As a writer of these kinds of columns, one gets to talk to a lot of home improvement retailers. There isn’t one that I can remember—from the smallest to the largest—that didn’t put a heavy emphasis on the art of customer service.

One of the reasons for the preponderance of customer service champions in our space is the nature of the business. It’s a lot harder to help a typical hardware store customer than just about any other kind of customer you can think of.