Fresh paint statistics

Where are they buying? 1. Paint & sundries spending by channel

Painting a room is one of the most accessible home improvement projects—in terms of cost and complexity. And it’s also one that creates bang for buck in terms of dramatic decorating results.

So it’s no surprise that retailers have thrown substantial marketing dollars and resources to attract customers to their paint departments. And consumer research from NPD group shows the big are getting bigger in terms of market share.

In the general category of paint and paint sundries, warehouse home centers’ share of consumer wallet grew to 54.6 percent in 2007, up from 51.7 percent in the previous year. (See chart #1.)

While research shows a decline in both dollar share and unit share for the specialty paint store channel, these stores have the highest average ticket, and growing. (See chart #4.) “People have come to understand: if you go to a specialty store, you may get better service and more personalized advice, but you may have to pay a few bucks more,” said Mark Delaney, NPD Group’s director of home improvement.

The biggest specific category of spending by far is interior paint, holding steady at 49.5 percent of consumer purchases. (See chart #3.) Note: the NPD consumer panel does not include pros, who are more apt to purchase large quantities of exterior paint.

In terms of demographics, the fastest growing spending rate is taking place in the youngest consumer bracket. The 18-to-34-year-old consumer grew 6.0 percentage points to 30.2 percent of spending on paint/paint sundries and sprayers. (See chart #5.)

“This makes sense,” said Delaney. “The fastest growing group of home buyers are young consumers, and paint is among the first new home projects.”


Youngest consumers paid the highest prices for paint in 2007—$26.24, compared to the total average of $24.33.

In 2007, spending in hardware stores shifted to paint/stain and away from paint sundries. In the total paint and sundries category, paint/stains account for 75.5 percent (up 3.2 points), sundries account for 18.6 percent (down 4.7 points), and sprayers account for 5.9 percent (up 1.6 points).

While all age groups spent most of their paint dollars at warehouse home centers, specialty paint stores appealed particularly to two age groups: the 35 to 44, and 65 and over.


NPD’s Consumer Tracking Service is based on monthly tracking of 30,000 opt-in respondents in 70 categories. The data above reflects the period from January 2006 to December 2007.

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