Content about Research

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


(Click the image to download a larger version.)

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.

Chain Store Age spotlights the winners of its 31st annual Retail Store of the Year design competition, which attracted entries from around the globe. Simons, a leading Canadian department store retailer, was awarded top honors. Its 118,000-sq.-ft. store in Edmonton, Alberta, was named Store of the Year.

Click here for the report.

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.

August 29, 2013

A new study from The Freedonia Group predicts that demand for paint and coatings in the U.S. will reach 1.5 billion gallons in 2017.

This would mark a 4.2% annual increase to a total valuation of $30.6 billion, a reversal of fortunes since the market decline of the recession years.

August 15, 2013

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) registered a three-point gain in builder confidence in August. The metric, which indicates builder sentiment toward new single-family homes, rose to an eight-year record of 59.

Two of the HMI's three components were buoyed by this positive momentum. Sentiment toward current sales conditions also went up three points to 62, with sales expectations for the next six months up a point to 68. Sentiment toward the traffic of prospective buyers was unchanged at 45.

August 13, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau announced July sales for the retail trade were up 0.1% compared to June 2013, bringing the adjusted estimate to $378.7 billion.

Sales for businesses described as building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS 444) were an estimated $25.8 billion in the month of July, down 0.4% from last month, but up 7.9% from the year-ago month. 

August 1, 2013

The Home Projects Council, a recently formed panel of 10 home improvement experts, surveyed more than 1,200 homeowners planning home improvement projects in 2013. The findings: Functional utility rules the day when it comes to outdoor DIY projects.

Specifically, 57% of respondents reported that functional value was their most important consideration, compared with 28.3% who valued aesthetics and 14.7% who weighed price above all.

July 17, 2013

J.D. Power and Associates has released its annual kitchen and laundry appliance satisfaction surveys, with warranty playing an increasingly important role in the minds of customers.

Performance and product-specific features have long been the most influential factors in calculating these statistics, but warranty and price have been trending upwards in importance. Warranty now contributes to about 10% of the overall satisfaction score across all categories, a jump of two percentage points over the last three years.

July 16, 2013

According to a new market research report titled "Landscaping Products to 2017" by, U.S. demand for landscaping products is expected to come out of its recession slump and grow at an annual rate of 6.9% through 2017, placing the market worth at $6.5 billion in four years' time.

Heightened construction activity is cited as top driver behind this growth, coupled with energized existing home sales and a drop in office vacancy rates.