2023 to 2027 Market Expectations and Trends in Outdoor Power Equipment Purchases by Pros and Homeowners

2023-2027 Market Expectations and Trends in Outdoor Power Equipment Purchases by Pros and Homeowners

Mar 04, 2024

Peo­ple have a vari­ety of rea­sons for tak­ing on land­scap­ing, gar­den­ing, and oth­er out­door projects. For some old­er home­own­ers, it’s about hav­ing a hob­by to fill time in their retire­ment years or to make their home suit­able for aging. For oth­ers, it’s about main­tain­ing their home to live in it longer as the hous­ing inven­to­ry across the coun­try grows old­er and slimmer.

Because of the high rate of DIY land­scap­ing projects, indi­vid­ual home­own­ers are them­selves going out to pur­chase out­door pow­er equip­ment (OPE) and the equip­ment and sup­plies need­ed to do the work. Pro con­trac­tors are more often called in when prop­er­ty own­ers want to add new land­scap­ing, hard­scap­ing, and infra­struc­ture to their out­door spaces. 

These trends, as well as insight into oth­er char­ac­ter­is­tics and pur­chase moti­va­tions of cus­tomers, can help man­u­fac­tur­ers and sup­pli­ers of OPE make informed deci­sions around prod­uct devel­op­ment, mar­ket­ing, and strate­giz­ing for the future. 

What is the Market Forecast for Outdoor Power Equipment?

Spend­ing on lawn and gar­den equip­ment and sup­plies expe­ri­enced mod­est growth of about 4.9% in 2023, and is pro­ject­ed to grow anoth­er 3 – 5% from 2024 to 2027. How­ev­er, when you take into account infla­tion, the long-term growth expect­ed over the next cou­ple of years is clos­er to that 3% fore­cast accord­ing to find­ings in our lat­est U.S. Home Improve­ment Prod­ucts Mar­ket Fore­cast.

Geo­graph­i­cal­ly, the south has the high­est vol­ume of lawn and gar­den pur­chased, fol­lowed by the Mid­west and the west. The north­east makes up the small­est region­al pur­chas­er group at 16%.

HIRI PPTS 2022 Lawn and Garden Purchaser Region

Generational Trends

Boomers are the high­est gen­er­a­tional age group to make lawn and gar­den pur­chas­es (41%), fol­lowed by mil­len­ni­als and Gen Xers. Almost half of home­own­er con­sumers mak­ing pur­chas­es for lawn and gar­den prod­ucts, includ­ing pow­er equip­ment, are mak­ing $100,000 or more, and about 65% have no chil­dren younger than 18, accord­ing to find­ings in HIRI’s 2022 Prod­uct Pur­chase Track­ing Study Cat­e­go­ry Report for Lawn & Gar­den. That is a reflec­tion of how many gar­den­ing and land­scap­ing projects are under­tak­en by retirees and old­er home­own­ers com­pared to their younger counterparts.

Lawn and Garden Project Spending Trends

Expec­ta­tions sur­round­ing costs for gar­den­ing and land­scap­ing projects, and the sup­plies and equip­ment need­ed for them, are fair­ly in line with actu­al costs. About three-quar­ters of home­own­ers feel like the actu­al costs were about the same as expect­ed,” which is slight­ly more than the sen­ti­ment sur­round­ing all home improve­ment projects. More home­own­ers (71%) also are using cash on hand to pay for for gar­den­ing and land­scap­ing projects com­pared with sources of fund­ing for all project types.

Trends in Outdoor Power Equipment Purchases

Look­ing more specif­i­cal­ly at pow­er equip­ment, prod­uct pur­chas­es have increased in sev­er­al cat­e­gories — includ­ing chain­saws, con­crete edgers, leaf blow­ers, rid­ing and push lawn mow­ers, and hedge trim­mers — from 2017 to 2021. Pur­chas­es for lawn edgers and pres­sure wash­ers have remained rel­a­tive­ly even dur­ing the same time­frame. Snow blow­ers have seen one of the big­ger spikes, from 2% in 2017 to 6% in 2021.

Lawn and Garden Project Behaviors: Pros vs. Homeowners

A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of home­own­ers will take on DIY gar­den­ing, land­scap­ing, and oth­er types of out­door projects. In terms of what dri­ves home­own­ers to start projects — and as they’re mak­ing the nec­es­sary prod­uct pur­chas­es — about 74% of home­own­ers want to make improve­ments to be able to remain in their house as they age and about 67% also say they buy prod­ucts that help them main­tain a healthy home.

HIRI PPTS 2022 Lawn and Garden Purchaser Attitudes

Emo­tion­al rea­sons are also strong moti­va­tors for gar­den­ing and land­scap­ing activ­i­ties, accord­ing to our 2023 Project Deci­sion Study. Over the past decade, the sat­is­fac­tion that comes from a job well done” has con­sis­tent­ly been the top rea­son for start­ing these types of projects. Anoth­er rea­son that we’ve seen become more promi­nent from 2015 to 2023 is the desire to reduce ongo­ing main­te­nance.” Notably, rea­sons such as the enjoy­ment of work­ing on one’s house; want­i­ng to update the look of a house; and want­i­ng to increase the val­ue of a house have all waned over the past few years. 

Outdoor Power Equipment Purchase Behaviors

Sea­son­al­i­ty and weath­er play a big role in when out­door pow­er equip­ment is pur­chased by indi­vid­ual con­sumers and when their projects get under­way. Our find­ings in the Prod­uct Pur­chase Track­ing Study cov­er­ing Pow­er Tools show that much equip­ment — across all prod­uct cat­e­gories — is acquired dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter of the year, as home­own­ers gear up for out­door land­scap­ing and gar­den projects — with 3 in 4 project starts occur­ring from April through June. One of the excep­tions is pow­er blow­ers, which have the high­est pur­chase rate in the fourth quar­ter of the year.

One prod­uct char­ac­ter­is­tic that’s impor­tant for man­u­fac­tur­ers and sup­pli­ers to be aware of is the pow­er source for out­door equip­ment, and that varies based on the spe­cif­ic prod­uct. For exam­ple, cus­tomers are more like­ly to pre­fer and pur­chase elec­tric cord­ed lawn edgers and pres­sure wash­ers, but bat­tery-oper­at­ed and cord­less leaf blow­ers and hedge trim­mers. When it comes to push lawn mow­ers, how­ev­er, approx­i­mate­ly 58% of cus­tomers pre­fer walk-behind mow­ers that are fueled by gaso­line. There is also a stronger pref­er­ence for gas-pow­ered chainsaws.

Pro­fes­sion­al con­trac­tors are more like­ly to have a strong loy­al­ty to cer­tain brands and spe­cif­ic OPE prod­ucts, includ­ing hedge trim­mers, blow­ers, and mow­ers. Typ­i­cal­ly, mow­ers get the high­est dol­lar share in terms of spend­ing on land­scap­ing sup­plies and equip­ment among pros, accord­ing to our 2023 Con­trac­tor Prod­uct Inci­dence Study.

How­ev­er, data shows that while pur­chase inci­dence increased from 2021 to 2023, there was a decrease in annu­al spend­ing by pros for most OPE prod­ucts, including:

  • Gas and elec­tric/­bat­tery-oper­at­ed blowers
  • Gas and elec­tric/­bat­tery-oper­at­ed hedge trimmers
  • Gas and elec­tric/­bat­tery-oper­at­ed mowers
  • Gas and elec­tric/­bat­tery-oper­at­ed string/​line trimmers

Addi­tion­al­ly, gen­er­al­ist pros have a high­er pur­chase inci­dence across OPE cat­e­gories in gen­er­al than spe­cial­ists. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, mow­ers have the high­est annu­al medi­an spend among both gen­er­al­ists and spe­cial­ists when it comes to the OPE category.

Anoth­er inter­est­ing insight when con­sid­er­ing the pur­chase moti­va­tions for pro cus­tomers is that, for land­scap­ers, about 51% of their projects revolve around rou­tine main­te­nance, while about 43% of their work involves new con­struc­tion land­scap­ing. That’s a high­er amount of new con­struc­tion com­pared to the rate asso­ci­at­ed with oth­er home improve­ment projects as a whole.

HIRI PPTS 2022 Landscaper Type of Work

What are the Takeaways for OPE Manufacturers and Suppliers for the Future?

The data about land­scap­ing and gar­den­ing activ­i­ties and relat­ed pur­chas­es can pro­vide impor­tant insight for man­u­fac­tur­ers and sup­pli­ers deal­ing with out­door pow­er equipment.

For exam­ple, there’s a fair­ly even dis­tri­b­u­tion among home­own­ers who say that they shop at dif­fer­ent stores, depend­ing on the product(s) they need; those who typ­i­cal­ly pur­chase the major­i­ty of their prod­ucts at one walk-in store; and those who shop around to find the best price. How­ev­er, the vast major­i­ty are still head­ing to actu­al stores to pur­chase their out­door pow­er equip­ment and oth­er land­scap­ing sup­plies, rather than shop­ping online, and large home improve­ment cen­ters are the main pur­chase loca­tion at 71%.

About 87% claim they do either exten­sive research” or some research” before mak­ing a pur­chase, and near­ly two-thirds say they like to get as much infor­ma­tion as pos­si­ble about a new prod­uct before they buy it. As a man­u­fac­tur­er or sup­pli­er, being the source of that infor­ma­tion for cus­tomers can cre­ate a pipeline for them to con­sid­er your prod­ucts or shop­ping location.

Addi­tion­al­ly, it’s sig­nif­i­cant to note that among indi­vid­ual cus­tomers, the major­i­ty have been in their home for 11 to 30 years. About 28% of the homes where land­scap­ing and gar­den­ing projects take place are 21 to 40 years old. Anoth­er 26% are 41 to 75 years old.

This speaks to the fact that the aver­age age of the avail­able hous­ing stock in the Unit­ed States is at the high­est lev­el it’s been in 40-plus years. This bodes well for man­u­fac­tur­ers and sup­pli­ers who are mar­ket­ing and sell­ing items prod­uct cat­e­gories used to main­tain exist­ing properties.

Look­ing ahead, our 2023 Quar­ter­ly Home Improve­ment Activ­i­ty Track­er found that, dur­ing the fourth quar­ter of last year, about 58% of home­own­ers were plan­ning to do light projects” in the next 90 days, which encom­pass­es yard enhance­ments that could be accom­plished through the use and pur­chase of tools like lawn mow­ers, weed wack­ers, hedge trim­mers, and sim­i­lar OPE.

Using Market Research to Fuel Business Strategies That Increase Home Improvement Product Sales

Cus­tomer sen­ti­ments and shop­ping behav­iors can be influ­enced by sev­er­al vari­ables, from the state of the econ­o­my and cur­rent events to region, weath­er, and time of year. It’s impor­tant to under­stand what these fac­tors are and how both home­own­ers and pro­fes­sion­al con­trac­tors are mak­ing deci­sions about where, when, and how to pur­chase out­door pow­er equip­ment and oth­er home improve­ment supplies. 

For a nom­i­nal annu­al due, HIRI mem­bers have access to an abun­dance of stud­ies and resources that pro­vide data and insight into spe­cif­ic prod­uct cat­e­gories, projects, and activ­i­ties to help you get up to speed on impor­tant trends and mar­ket fore­casts with­in the home improve­ment industry.

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