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HIRI Mentions

June 2015

Haverty Furniture Companies: Undercovered And UndervaluedJune 10, 2015, Seeking Alpha


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Macro Environment

The greater economic climate signals opportunity for a near-premium furniture retailer like HVT. U.S. home improvement and furnishing industry sales are forecast to increase 5.7% through this year and continue growing at mid single digits through 2019 - led by the "Consumer Market" category.

"With continued strong employment growth, a pick-up in wage growth, and the consumer dividend from lower gasoline prices, we expect the pace of home improvement product sales growth to accelerate in 2015" - Home Improvement Research Institute

Unsurprisingly, industry sales are highly correlated to new and existing home sales which, as seen below, are also expected to accelerate through 2016 after a pause last year.




June 2015

Home Decor and Improvement Businesses Worldwide Using SLI Systems Solutions to Connect Shoppers with the Products They are Most Likely to BuyJune 10, 2015, PR Newswire


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SAN JOSE, Calif.June 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- An array of positive economic factors, from declining unemployment rates to increasing home sales, are driving consumers in many regions to purchase products to improve their homes. Total home improvement products sales increased 4% in 2014 to $303 billion, with 2015 forecasted to increase 5.7% over 2014 (Source: HIRI).  SLI Systems, a worldwide e-commerce provider for mid- to large-size Internet retailers and B2B sites, shares how it is helping companies in this market sector improve revenues via lower bounce rates, higher session-duration times and increased conversion rates.


 

 

June 2015

Home Depot & Lowe’s: The Pros Know Best, June 3, 2015, Barron's


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Home Depot has said pros are just 3% of their customers and 35% of sales while Lowe’s suggests that pros are about 15% of customers and 30% of their sales (we believe there is some apples-to-oranges on how each company defines a pro and, yes, Home Depot tends to deal with larger pros as well). Both Home Depot and Lowe’s, according to their own reports, have seen pro customers grow about 500 bp within their business mix over the last decade. While the math isn’t exact – this suggests meaningful leverage from adding more pro customers – or more spend from pro customers. Pros are, essentially, the best potential new customers for both Home Depot and Lowe’s even after years of growth. This is doubly important, in our view. First, growth of pro business can mean meaningful incremental sales (even at sharp pro pricing) are incrementally profitable due to leverage on existing costs and assets. Second, sustained better revenue growth, due to success with pro customers could help Home Depot and Lowe’s be seen as somewhat “growthier” rather than just “cyclical” (although, obviously, housing cycles will affect demand from DIY and pro customers alike). In rough terms – using HIRI market size data – Home Depot and Lowe’s do about 37% of the DIY business in the U.S. ($91 bn of $244 bn) and 49% of the pro business in the U.S. ($45 bn of the $91 bn). Ten years ago, Home Depot and Lowe’s did about 39% of the DIY business in the U.S. ($82 bn of $209 bn) and 43% of the pro business ($32 bn of $75 bn). We see no reason Home Depot and Lowe’s incremental focus on the category will not lead to continued slow, steady share growth in pro…

 


 

April 2015

Remodeling spending increases as renovations are on the rise, April 30, 2015, Suburban


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In the not-so-distant past, home improvement projects all but came to a halt, as homeowners were weary about investing any money into fixer-uppers. But the tides have changed dramatically in recent months, and homeowners are again ready and willing to invest big dollars into home renovations. Renewed confidence in the economy and an upswing in the real estate market have contributed to the remodeling frenzy. In early 2014, the Joint Center for Housing Statistics of Harvard University forecasted nearly $150 billion in major remodeling spending over the year. JCHS said as homeowners gain more confidence in the housing market, they’re more likely to undertake home improvements they would have avoided in recent years.

 


  

April 2015

The blogosphere examines the kitchenApril 29, 2015, Hardware + Building Supply Dealer

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Tampa, Florida – The rise of interest in the kitchen can be tracked online as home owners tweet, search and share information on the topic.

The Home Improvement Research Institute’s latest analysis of the online activity produced the following findings:

 


 

 April 2015

A HIRI president looks back, and forward, April 27, 2015, Hardware + Building Supply Dealer

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The recent Home Improvement Research Institute spring conference was the last for Dennis Neumann, HIRI board president.

Neumann, who will be retiring soon from his role as manager of marketing analysis at Andersen Windows, has for several years been a strong behind-the-scenes supporter for HIRI, encouraging participation here, organizing a committee there.

In an interview with HBSDealer, he reflected on his role with the non-profit organization that shares research among its 74 members. He also shared his thoughts on what makes a great brand.

 

 


 

April 2015

The joy of neuroscience, April 23, 2015, Hardware + Building Supply Dealer

Orlando, Florida -- There have been some ambitious presentations at Home Improvement Research Institute conferences in the past, but few have plunged the depths of the art and science of human decision making like Michelle Adams' dive into neuroscience.

Her presentation, titled "Lie to me: Do consumers know what they are really thinking?" referenced popular cultural (the TV series "Lie to Me," and the lie-detector scene from "Meet the Fockers") as it pointed to major research challenges.

  


 

 

April 2015

Hundreds get home improvement ideas at annual showApril 19, 2015, www.upnorthlive.com

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TRAVERSE CITY -- The 6th Annual ‘Up North’ Lake & Cottage show wrapped up in Traverse City on Sunday.

Hundreds filled the Grand Traverse County Civic Center to visit different exhibits, most of which were geared towards getting a fresh idea for the home.

“People come to the Lake and Cottage show because they might be looking to build a new home, or new cottage,” said Show Producer Andrew MacDonald. “They might be looking to put an addition onto their home or cottage, they might be looking for new furniture perhaps home services, or just to see what’s new on the market.”

It’s not just cottages either, according to the Home Improvement Research Institutethe sale of total home improvement products went up 4 percent last year and they expect that number to grow.

 


 

March 2015

Top 5 Kitchen Design Trends for 2015,   Mortgages and Real Estate News

 

Remodeling is back in a big way. According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, kitchen renovations are a top priority for homeowners nationally.   

 

 

 


 

 

July 2014

Home Improvement Sales Could Rise Following The Slight Slowdown In Q1
July, Forbes

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January 2014

HIRI elects new officers

January 14, 2014 | By Hcn Staff

The Home Improvement Research Institute elected new officers during the group’s quarterly board meeting Tuesday.

Dennis Neumann, manager marketing analysis at Andersen Windows, was elected as HIRI president. Russ Ellis, VP at the Reader’s Digest Association, was elected VP. Rounding out the list of officers, Shawna Martin, market research manager for Masco Corp., was elected secretary.

"HIRI is very excited to enter 2014 with such a talented group of officers,” said Fred Miller, managing director. "Leadership from these highly involved members continues to drive HIRI as a vital source of industry information."

HIRI is a membership-based, independent, not-for-profit organization of manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and allied organizations in the home improvement industry. Its mission is to be recognized as the primary authority for effective, useful information about home improvement products and services in North America.


 



September 2013

 

Futures Co. describes slimmed-down mind-set

The Home Improvement Research Institute's (HIRI's) Fall Conference kicked off Wednesday with an examination of the slimming-down mind-set of the American consumer.

J. Walker Smith, executive chairman of The Futures Co., said that "slimming down" can be best explained quickly by the phrase: "Live large, carry little." But the full story, according to Smith, the charismatic chronicler of consumer trends and HIRI-event regular, is far too complicated for a simple slogan.

"A slimming down mind-set is defining the aspirational framework with which consumers are approaching the marketplace," Smith said.

By way of further explanation, he backed up to 2006, when consumers were looking up to what they could buy and become. Fast forward to 2013, the idea is to look down at what to avoid.

During that shift, some positive developments have hit consumers. The birth rate has stabilized, after dropping during the downturn. Car sales are at pre-recession highs.

And the housing market is showing significant improvement, compared with the historic lows. MORE

 

 

 

 


 


July 2013

HIRI announces 2013 Fall Conference in Chicago

The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) has announced its upcoming 2013 HIRI Fall Conference, with this year's theme set to focus on "Changing Home Improvement Attitudes & Behaviors."

Speakers will discuss topics such as forward-looking consumer behaviors, economic trends and the home improvement market, targeting various demographics, the impact of Durables on the home improvement landscape, future housing demand, as well as changing attitudes toward the home and price-driven shopping behavior.

A break for attendees to network, eat lunch and visit sponsor tables will be provided. Additionally, one attendee will walk away with a free tablet computer during a end of day giveaway.

The conference will take place at the Crowne Plaza at Chicago O'Hare Hotel and Conference Center on Oct. 16, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. MORE…


 



June 2013



HIRI adds to membership list

Stock Building Supply and Masonite join the non-profit, research-driven Home Improvement Research Institute.

The new additions bring membership of the non-profit, research-driven Home Improvement Research Institute to 75.

Stock Building Supply is a Raleigh, N.C.-based pro dealer with 48 retail and distribution locations in 13 states. Masonite, based in Tampa, Fla., is a designer and manufacturer of interior and exterior doors. MORE...




More positive signs for remodeling market

In the June Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) Pulse of the Industry Webinar, the growth areas have officially outpaced the declining areas. If remodelers were still holding on to cautious optimism, they won’t any longer based on these key market indicators.

HIRI’s Home Improvement Products Market forecasts for solid growth. Product sales increased 5.4 percent in 2012, and the 2013 forecast shows a 4.3 percent increase in sales in 2013, landing at $287.3 billion dollars.

Second-quarter data from the HIRI Sentiment Tracking Study, which tracks consumer (homeowners/renters) project planning and agreement ratings with key attitudes, shows 75.5% of U.S. homeowners were planning one or more projects in the next three months. Of that, homeowners in the Northeast outpace the other regions with 77.9% of homeowners.

Of those total homeowners and renters planning projects:

  • 53.4% of all respondents indicated they are planning a lawn and garden project.
  • 27.7% of all respondents indicated they are planning a living room, dining or family room project.
  • 24.5% of all respondents indicated they are planning to do an exterior project.
  • 22.7% of all respondents indicated they are planning a bedroom project.

The study also measured attitude agreement ratings on a scale of 1 to 9, where 9 represents complete agreement and 1 represents complete disagreement, 5 is the midpoint. The statements generating the highest agreement ratings among homeowners/renters include:

  • Finding ways to save energy is important (7.3)
  • Having a home that is attractive is important(7.0)
  • Money spent on improving a home will show a good return (6.8)

The statement that posted the highest increase in the second-quarter study: "This is a good time to sell a home in my area (4.2).” MORE

 



May 2013

From HIRI, a deep data dive in Orlando

Researchers come to grips with new tools

Orlando, Fla. — It’s a brave new world for home improvement researchers.

Take for instance the gathering of more than 70 research and marketing professionals here for the Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI’s) Spring Conference.

While Gwen Ishmael, senior VP insights and innovation for Decision Analyst, was leading a discussion on social media opportunities, a HIRI member in the audience was taking advantage of one. In an experiment that wouldn’t have happened just a few years ago, Steve Hauser of Lowe’s texted his son and gathered information from a targeted captive audience — high school and college students on a school bus. The results from the convenience sample of the spontaneous survey supported one of Ishmael’s points about the plateau of social media among teens (about half of the teens on the bus use Facebook less than they used to.)

More importantly, the little survey showcased the power that’s available to the modern researcher through modern tools. Facebook, Twitter, texting and other modern social media open doors to researchers, but must be managed carefully, she said. MORE…


 



April 2013

Orgill joins Home Improvement Research Institute

Memphis, Tenn.-based hardlines distributor Orgill is the latest home improvement player to join the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI).

HIRI, which ended 2012 with 77 members, is a membership-based, independent, not-for-profit organization of manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and allied organizations in the home improvement industry. MORE…


 



Price Hikes Forecast To Play Big Role in Product Sales Gains Through 2014

IHS Global Insight expects 5% rise in pro sales in 2013, 6.2% gain in 2014

 

More than half of the rise in sales that building product dealers can expect to get from home improvement pros this year and next will come because of hikes in material prices, the man who oversees such forecasts for the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) told the group today during the institute's annual spring conferencein Orlando, Fla.

James Gillula of IHS Global Insight said that he expects sales to the professional market of home improvement products will rise 5% this year and another 6.2% in 2014. But he cautioned that after adjusting for inflation, those increases will be just 3.9% and 3.2%, respectively. Higher material prices—particularly for dimensional lumber and plywood/OSB—account for the rest of the gain, he said.

Gillula said that he expects inflation-adjusted consumer spending levels to grow about 2% this year and around 2.5% in both 2014 and 2015, in part because of the recovering housing market. SEE MORE

 



LOOKING AHEAD TO MODEST GROWTH


Orlando, Fla. -- The Home Improvement Research Institute’s Spring Conference included a mixed message for future home improvement spending.

In a presentation from James Gillula, managing director of consulting services for IHS Global Insights, one of the takeaways was an expectation of modest growth for consumer spending in 2013.

"There is a lot of hope that we’ll get to a point where we’ll have a little faster economic acceleration,” Gillula said. "And certainly the idea that there should be a lot of pent-up demand out there is relevant for home improvement products market."

One of the key slides from Gillula's "Outlook for the U.S. Economy and Home Improvement Spending” presentation looked at the nominal dollar and constant dollar market forecast.The forecast varied depending on whether the sales forecast was measured in nominal dollars or constant prices. SEE MORE



 



MORE POSITIVE SIGNS AS HOUSING MARKET GAINS STRENGTH

The Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI) March 2013 Pulse of the Industry Webinar shed more light on signs of growth in the remodeling industry from a variety of sources. Here are the highlights:

  • The March 2013 HIRI Size of Market Report, which forecasts activity in the home improvement products market in the U.S., shows an overall 5.4% increase in home improvement product sales in 2012 and 5.8 percent increase in the professional market sales for the year. The report expects an average growth of 5.9% during the 2014 to 2015 cycle.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau placed January retail sales in the building materials and supplies dealer sales up 5% from Jan. 2012. Also, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 12-month forecasts in residential improvement spending are estimated to have a 10.1% increase through Jan. 2013 versus the same time last year.
  • Those in the Northeast should take note of new data from HIRI’s quarterly Sentiment Tracking Studies, which measures project planning and consumer attitudes toward home improvement. The January 2013 study used ZIP code analysis of homeowners to measure the impact of Hurricane Sandy. The study found those in the Sandy Zone had a higher average of planned projects (4.6 projects compared to 3.5 outside the region), and 80% from the Sandy Zone are planning one or more projects, compared with 71% of homeowners planning located outside SEE MORE

 


 

March 2013

LOWE'S CAMPAIGN KEEPS EYE ON THE WEATHER

LOWE’S is introducing a new round of advertising to promote home improvement projects in the spring, its prime revenue-generating period. The ads, which began appearing on Sunday, reflect an effort by Lowe’s to take advantage of the rebounding housing market and catch up to Home Depot, the country’s most profitable national home improvement company.

Spring, said Matthew Fassler, who follows Lowe’s for Goldman Sachs, is "Christmas for home improvement retailers.”

According to David Gober, a retail analyst for Morgan Stanley, 28 percent of Lowe’s sales are generated in the second quarter of the calendar year, representing 36 percent of its total operating profit.

As part of its new advertising, an extension of the "Never stop improving” campaign introduced in 2011, Lowe’s is for the first time advertising directly to men, in a spot that was first shown Sunday during a Nascar race on Fox, and that will be broadcast during the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament. On Tuesday, Lowe’s will begin running ads created for specific regions and weather conditions.

The ads were created by the New York office of BBDO Worldwide, a division of the Omnicom Group, which has worked with Lowe’s since 2006.

Mr. Gober said home improvement retailers "took a pretty significant decline” when the housing bubble burst about five years ago. "Throughout the recession and in the early stages of recovery,” home improvement spending per home was depressed "well below long-term levels.”

Mr. Gober said there had been "some recovery, particularly in the last six months of last year,” in spending, as "existing home sales and home prices seemed to have turned the corner.”

According to Mr. Fassler, sales of new and existing homes rose more than 10 percent in January, the seventh consecutive month of double-digit growth.

A report released last week by the Home Improvement Research Institute, a trade group, and IHS, an information company, predicted that home improvement spending in the United States would grow 4.3 percent this year, down from last year’s increase of 5.4 percent.  SEE MORE

 


 

December 2012

OLD IS FOR MUSEUMS, CURRENT IS FOR RETAIL

When I picked up my local newspaper the other day, a headline read "Collierville’s McGinnis Hardware to close its doors after 146 years.” Clearly this isn’t the first independent store to go out of business, but it brought on feelings of nostalgia. Started in 1866 and in the same location on the picturesque Town Square since 1879, McGinnis Hardware was a fixture in the community. It stood through the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm and the Iraq War. What could bring this institution to an end? SEE MORE

 


 

 

September 2012

OUTLOOK FOR THE HOME IMPROVEMENT PRODUCTS MARKET
September 25, 2012 | By Ken Clark

The September 2012 IHS Global Insight/HIRI Home Improvement Products Market Forecast for total home improvement product sales for 2012 is little changed -- pointing to an increase of 4.9% to $274 billion, compared with the March 2012 forecast of 5.0% growth to $283 billion.
Consumer Market sales are expected to increase by 5.3% and Professional Market sales by 3.9%, according to the data.
As employment growth accelerates and housing markets improve in 2014, IHS/HIRI expects stronger growth of home improvement sales averaging 5.9% in 2014-2015 with a slight deceleration in the following two years as the housing market cycle runs its course.
The national economic situation will certainly have a say in the matter. SEE MORE



 

September 23, 2012

AFTER YEARS OF HUNKERING DOWN and spending less on renovations, many homeowners are ready to start giving in to the desire to cook up something new in their kitchens. "During the recession,” says Fred Miller, managing director of the Florida-based Home Improvement Research Institute, "a lot of what got cut were bigger-ticket discretionary items. If your water heater went out, you weren’t going to take cold showers, but because some kitchen remodeling can be pretty pricey, many owners decided they could live with their existing kitchens for a year or two.” SEE MORE

 


 

 
 
HOMEOWNERS HIT HARDWARE STORES, TACKLING OWN UPGRADES; LOCAL SHOPS SEE INCREASE IN BUSINESS

(Source: Brian Ianieri Press of Atlantic City, Pleasantville, N.J. (MCT) — Local hardware stores are seeing an uptick in the numbers of customers doing work themselves, from replacing kitchen sinks to repairing their own lawnmowers.

"For a while people clammed up and weren't doing much on anything, or just emergency repairs like fixing leaky faucets,” said Victor LaTorre, owner of LaTorre Delsea Hardware in Vineland. "Now we've seen more people doing projects themselves, replacing vanities, renovating kitchens, and changing cabinet hardware A lot of people are repairing their own lawnmowers.”
Other home improvement projects put on hold due to the economy appear to be coming back, LaTorre said.
"In my house I have to replace my deck. I put it off for a few years, but now it’s on my schedule,” he said.
Nationally, home improvement spending is expected to increase about 4 percent in 2013, according to Fitch Ratings, which issued a report on the industry in August. SEE MORE


 

HOME IMPROVEMENT SPENDING TO INCREASE: HIRI
Source: HIRI.org
Created: September 8, 2012

Tampa, FL (Sept. 5, 2012) Growth of 4.9% in 2012 and 4.0% in 2013 will bring the remodeling market size to $284.8 billion in 2013, according to a forecast released today by the The Home Improvement Research Institute.
Home improvement sales are expected to outpace GDP growth, says Fred Miller, Managing Director of HIRI. "Consumers are starting to get back closer to normal in their maintenance, repair and improvement of their homes. Some of the newest data on housing should help maintain the positive momentum the industry started experiencing last year.”

Growth in purchases by contractors is expected to lag somewhat behind consumer purchases this year (3.9% vs. 5.3%). With improving housing turnover, the outlook for 2013 is the reverse with contractor sales expected to grow 4.4% vs. 3.9% for consumer sales.
As employment growth accelerates and housing markets improve in 2014, expectations are for stronger growth of home improvement sales averaging 5.9% in 2014-2015 with a slight deceleration in the following two years as the housing market cycle runs its course. SEE MORE


HIRI CONTINUES TO SEE GROWTH FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT PRODUCT SALES

TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) has just released its September 2012 forecast for the size and trends in the home improvement market. The forecast is for a growth of 4.9% in 2012 and 4.0% in 2013.

This will bring the market size to $284.8 billion in 2013. Based on the macroeconomic factors that are known to drive the industry, home improvement sales should outpace GDP growth. "Consumers are starting to get back closer to normal in their maintenance, repair and improvement of their homes," says Fred Miller, Managing Director of HIRI. "Some of the newest data on housing should help maintain the positive momentum the industry started experiencing last year.

"The growth in purchases by contractors is expected to lag somewhat behind consumer purchases this year (3.9% vs. 5.3%). With improving housing turnover, the outlook for 2013 is the reverse with contractor sales expected to grow 4.4% vs. 3.9% for consumer sales.

As employment growth accelerates and housing markets improve in 2014, expectations are for stronger growth of home improvement sales averaging 5.9% in 2014-2015 with a slight deceleration in the following two years as the housing market cycle runs its course. SEE MORE

Contractor fraud
Most contractors are honest and ethical, but a sizable minority of contractors are dishonest. This is especially true after natural disasters, when unlicensed "storm chasers” typically canvass damaged neighborhoods for repair work. Ongoing home improvements also attract contractor fraud.

Shady contractors might demand a large downpayment, then disappear without completing most or any repairs. They might inflate or invent damage to increase their fraudulent insurance billings. Dishonest contractors, for example, have enlarged holes in damaged roofs, or nicked shingles and pounded siding to mimic hail damage. Contractors also might use substandard materials.

There are few omnibus statistics about the national extent of contractor fraud, with consumer complaints being a leading index of the problem's scope: SEE MORE


 

June 2012

LISTEN UP, SHE'S THE BUYER

Did you know that women initiate 80% of home-improvement purchases?

Women are assuming a greater role when it comes to remodeling and home improvement. If they have a bathroom that is outdated or a kitchen in need of upgrading, women most often take the initiative to remodel before their male counterparts. SEE MORE....


 

May 2012

HOMEOWNERS' EMPHASIS ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY GROWS

(ARA) – Even in a volatile economy, homeowners are making home upkeep a priority. While the number of projects annually had been on the decline in recent years, a study from BuildFax, a resource for building, remodeling and repair information, found remodeling activity was up in 2011 over 2010. Additional data shows homeowners are opting to invest in what matters most with projects that benefit their wallets, personal comfort and the environment.

Know the facts

Before buying anything, shoppers are taking time to learn more about the products they put in their homes. For one in four consumers, knowing and understanding what makes up general household products is important. As options continue to increase, this attention to research is key to finding efficient products that offer maximum value. For instance, homeowners will find that a few newer home insulation products that help provide greater energy efficiency also boast new sustainable formulations. Owens Corning EcoTouch insulation is made from 99 percent natural materials, contains a minimum of 58 percent recycled content and is verified formaldehyde free.

Energy-efficient essentials

According to the 2010 Home Improvement Research Institute Trends Program Report, reducing household energy usage and bills through energy-efficient improvements continues to be the No. 1 reason homeowners make home improvements. That same report also indicated six out of 10 consumers need help identifying what they can do to be more environmentally conscious. SEE MORE...



 

HOW DID THE RECESSION AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS?

In 2010, the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) reported the first positive growth numbers for the home improvement industry in several years. Two years later, that growth is continuing to rise; this year it is expected to reach 5 percent. Throughout the recession, many professionals struggled to make ends meet. Yet while as many businesses didn't make it, even more were able to pull through.

When the jobs aren't coming in, the bills are piling up and customers can't pay for completed jobs, home improvement professionals need to make tough decisions about how they run their business. Whether it means working extra hours, laying off workers, or cutting back on benefits, surviving a recession is a challenge. SEE MORE...



HOW TO SURVIVE A RECESSION: FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT PROFESSIONALS

According to recent surveys by the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), Principia, and other analysts, the home improvement industry is starting to grow once again, hopefully for good this time. Over the last 6 years, professionals have watched as clients have closed their doors and their wallets to new renovation projects. Our home improvement experts managed to survive the recession by adjusting their strategies and finding creative solutions.

Securing New Leads

No matter what the economy is doing, professionals need to strike a balance between completing jobs for revenue and building new leads through marketing and networking. When the recession began, professionals that would ultimately be successful switched their focus to marketing campaigns.
Designer Alan Hilsabeck writes, "I began marketing heavily, but this time online with as many free opportunities as possible; anything to keep our name ‘out there'.”
By maintaining contact with existing clients and generating name recognition, Hilsabeck was the first person clients would call when they were ready to start on a new project. SEE MORE...


 

March 2012

OPTIMISM IN HOME IMPROVEMENT INDUSTRY AT AUSTIN HOME AND VACATION SHOW

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The home improvement industry was one of many to take a hit in the down economy, but now things may be turning around.

At this year's Austin Home and Vacation Show industry leaders are saying, things are looking up.

Last year Charlie and his wife from Albert Lea took advantage of the housing market.

"It helped, we seemed to get a little more house for the money," he said.

Now they're looking for ideas to improve their dream house. So they went to the Austin Home and Vacation Show.

"We came out here to get different ideas for our bathroom," said Charlie.

It seems he is not alone.

"It's been pretty steady the last three years, it's been a really good turn around," said Mike Cover of Minnesota ReBath.

Cover said in the past SEE MORE...


 

ACCELERATED GROWTH FORECAST FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT MARKET

TAMPA, FL, Mar 21 (MARKET WIRE) -- Building upon the 3.8% growth in 2011, the home improvement market isforecast to grow by 5.0% in 2012. This forecast from the Home ImprovementResearch Institute represents an increase of one percentage point in bothfigures from the previous estimate. With this growth, the market for homeimprovement products is expected to reach $283 billion this year.

This outlook is the result of the mix of some positive and negativefactors:

-- Recent positive economic reports have helped give consumers the confidence to spend on their homes. In particular employment gains have been welcome news for homeowners.

-- Housing is showing signs of recovery with housing starts up and existing home sales are also anticipated to improve. -- Greater growth will occur once there are strong increases in disposable income.

-- Recent retail sales growth for home improvement products supports this overall direction.

"Having a nice home remains important to American homeowners," saysFred Miller, HIRI's Managing Director. "There is evidence of pent-updemand for projects that have been postponed over the last few years. We expect some of those projects to be done giving a boost to the overallmarket."

Put into the context of history, it is clear that the home improvementindustry is heading in a positive direction SEE MORE...


 

Home improvement crossing over into the automotive industry, interesting article about DIY, contractors and vehicle choice. Nice mention of HIRI.

GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY:  GMC VEHICLES PREPARED FOR DO-IT-YOURSELF PROJECT TRENDS

03/22/2012 | 09:23am
GMC Vehicles Prepared for Do-It-Yourself Project Trends Smart features matched for growth in home improvement market
2012-03-22

DETROIT - Springtime is here, which means the hammers and shovels for do-it-yourself home improvement projects are coming out. And from Terrain to Sierra HD, every GMC is capable of carrying the load - big or small - for a variety of home renovation projects.

Home improvement is an ever-growing industry with an expected retail sales increase of nearly 4 percent in 2012 to $269 billion, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute.

"I've been a contractor forever so I wouldn't even consider a vehicle that can't fit plywood and other materials" said Eric Stromer, host of HGTV's "Over Your Head," do-it-yourself expert on "GMC Trade Secrets" and a GMC Sierra Hybrid driver. "The crew cab is good for my kids, I can tow cement mixers and other equipment, and with it being a hybrid, it offers that capability with a lower carbon footprint." SEE MORE...




 

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