Highlights from the HIRI Summit

The last week of September brought in not only the fall, but the largest HIRI event to date, the 2019 HIRI Summit. The annual event held in downtown Chicago brought together industry insiders, thought leaders and some of the largest stakeholders in home improvement and remodeling to discuss current trends, the economic environment, and actionable insights.

There will more coverage of the Summit in coming weeks, but in the meantime, here are some of the top insights.

  • The fundamentals of the home improvement market are strong, and housing stock and homeowner make-up are favorable in keeping the market strong. - Nino Sitchinava, Houzz

  • Discretionary luxury remodeling is slowing with the five product categories facing most severe headwinds: High end cabinets, cladding, flooring, roofing and dimensional lumber. - Todd Tomalak, John Burns Real Estate Consulting

  • Do not underestimate the effects that trade wars have on “bystander” countries and industries—firms can and have paid dearly for assuming they will be unaffected simply because their supply chains and/or end products are not being directly targeted. - David Logan, NAHB

  • It is important to measure the impact the weather has on your business, and you CAN do something about the weather — both in the planning process and during the selling season — to increase sales, minimize costs, and enhance profit. - Scott Bernhardt, Planalytics

  • For home improvement, the shopper’s journey is not just ‘where do I find this?’ but more importantly ‘how do I do this?’ making the role of the associate critical. - Amy Anthony, Lowe's

  • Shopping and purchasing via mobile device is growing rapidly and must be a main strategy at retail. - Brendan Baby, The Home Depot

  • Breaking barriers to entry online requires creative solutions such as how to bring the ‘touch & feel’ from the store into the home, expanding delivery options, reducing shipping expenses, reversing a bad return experience, and capturing the customer’s attention early during their research phase to avoid cart abandonment. - Leen Nsouli, The NPD Group

  • Gen Z is a DIFFERENT generation than Millennials. They look like no other youth generation before. They value pragmatism and security as they embark on changing the world. - Therese Caruso, Zeno Group

  • 80% of organizations expect to compete mainly based on CX this year – Experience-led businesses have higher customer retention, return on spend and higher customer satisfaction rates. - Michele Booth, IPSOS

  • When you talk about sustainability as it relates to home improvement purchases, savings is not an effective message. Try to tie the benefit to health, and give Americans prescriptive steps to take to make it happen. - Suzanne Shelton, Shelton Group.
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