COVID19 Feb 2021 Takeaways HERO

COVID-19 Impact Tracker: February 2021 Takeaways for Home Improvement

To pro­vide man­u­fac­tur­ers and retail­ers with con­sis­tent updates regard­ing the impact of COVID-19 on the home improve­ment indus­try, Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute (HIRI) part­nered with The Farnsworth Group to devel­op the COVID-19 Impact Track­er. Since March 2020, our team has con­duct­ed reg­u­lar research to under­stand the pandemic’s effect on pur­chas­ing behav­iors of home improve­ment pro­fes­sion­als and DIYers.

The Feb­ru­ary 2021 results reflect sur­vey respons­es from 1,000 DIY­ers and hun­dreds of con­trac­tors.

Here’s what we learned…

Pur­chas­ing Trends Among Consumers

Home-bas­ing and manda­to­ry stay-at-home orders fueled a rise in DIY projects in 2020. These projects, in turn, caused a major mar­ket shift and impact­ed home­own­ers’ pur­chase deci­sions over the last sev­er­al months.

The lat­est COVID-19 Track­er results show that while the coro­n­avirus still plays a role, it is becom­ing less of a fac­tor regard­ing home project moti­va­tors. Fur­ther­more, after a flur­ry of activ­i­ty last sum­mer, project rates have fall­en back to ear­ly 2020 numbers.

The good news is, although projects are declin­ing from the peak home-bas­ing peri­od, they remain high­er than nor­mal for this time of year. Addi­tion­al­ly, few­er project can­cel­la­tions are being report­ed, and even few­er of those are being can­celled due to COVID-19.

Among con­sumers, online prod­uct pur­chas­ing has remained strong, even as COVID-19 cas­es have con­tin­ued to drop and more busi­ness­es have reopened. Few­er con­sumers are report­ing COVID-19 fears as the rea­son for pur­chas­ing online, imply­ing a trend that may be here to stay.

Effects on Pro­fes­sion­al Contractors

Per­haps due to decreas­ing COVID-19 cas­es and an increased lev­el of com­fort with accept­ing oth­ers into the home, pro­fes­sion­al build­ing work has been pick­ing up. Lead­ing up to 2021 and into the new year, few­er project delays and can­cel­la­tions are being report­ed. Com­pared to con­sumers, pro­fes­sion­als are also more read­i­ly shift­ing back to in-store pur­chas­ing for their sup­ply needs. 

Most projects are said to be of equal or slight­ly small­er scale com­pared to projects pre-pan­dem­ic, yet the num­ber of pros get­ting larg­er projects con­tin­ues to grow. With hopes for wide­spread vac­ci­na­tion by the end of the sum­mer, and as home­own­ers become more com­fort­able spend­ing mon­ey, this trend could rep­re­sent a light at the end of the tunnel.

While things are look­ing up for the pro­fes­sion­al home improve­ment indus­try, most still report that COVID-19 has had a neg­a­tive impact on their business.

Need help stay­ing on track?

For the past year, HIRI has helped home improve­ment com­pa­nies and pro­fes­sion­als nav­i­gate the shift­ing mar­ket, shed­ding light on con­sumer spend­ing habits and shar­ing guid­ance for mak­ing crit­i­cal busi­ness deci­sions in a tumul­tuous market.

HIRI is com­mit­ted to deliv­er­ing reg­u­lar, action­able infor­ma­tion and resources to pro­fes­sion­als in the home improve­ment indus­try. Our mem­bers gain insight into all aspects of the indus­try. Log in to get the lat­est stud­ies and reports or join HIRI for access today.

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