Power tools by the numbers

REASON FOR PURCHASE

There’s nothing like a new power tool display to draw the attention of the average mid- to high-testosterone do-it-yourselfer. But how do consumers shop by channel? And what drives their decisions and their purchases? Recent consumer research from Port Washington, N.Y.-based The NPD Group shows “trusted brand” still ranks No. 1 as the reason for purchase.

Channel analysis

BREAKDOWN OF TOTAL POWER TOOL SALES BY CHANNEL (DOLLAR SHARE)
Channel200820092010
WHC56.1%57.2%61.0%
Dept. stores11.714.612.0
Mass merchants10.28.47.7
Specialty stores6.25.46.5
Hardware stores5.75.16.1
Other4.03.53.1

Analysis: The survey covered combo power tool kits, electric saws, drills, sanders, air-powered tools, rotary tools and electric staplers. For the most part, each product fell in line with the channel breakdown above, with some exceptions. For instance, hardware stores had a 12.5% dollar share of sanders, compared with a 6.1% share for all power tools. Also, combo-power tool kits are a sweet spot for the big boxes at 63.5% dollar share.

Purchase motivators

REASON RETAILER SHOPPED
ReasonElectric SawDrill
Price43.9%42.3%
Brand/selection25.124.3
Close to home19.220.3
Availability11.813.1

Analysis: The power of “trusted brand” as a reason for purchase came as somewhat of a surprise, according to Matt Fortsch, researcher for NPD. “When the economy declined, we expected that price was going to be the driving force behind these purchases. But it’s quality brand that ranks first,” he said. “Of course, people still want it at a good price.” Behind the scenes, the use of the Internet has surpassed store visits as the No. 1 research method, he added.

Demographic analysis

2010 TOTAL POWER TOOL SALES BY AGE GROUP (UNIT SALES)
Age groupTotalElectric sawDrill
18-3431.8%27.3%33.8%
35-4421.522.721.3
45-5422.926.122.1
55-6415.415.414.0
65+8.48.58.8

2010 POWER TOOL PAINT SALES BY INCOME BRACKET

Income groupWHCsHardware storesMass
Under $15k10.7%15.8%21.3%
$15k-$30k14.723.025.0
$30k-$45k13.415.315.5
$45k-$60k15.813.913.4
$60k-$75k11.611.68.6
$75k-$100k13.86.48.2
$100k-$150k13.99.15.6
$150k+6.15.12.3

Analysis: The youngest (18 to 34) demographic is more likely to buy drills than any other power tool, and is also more likely than the other age groups listed above to buy any power tool at all. In the warehouse home center channel, however, the 45 to 54 age group accounted for the largest increase in sales. This group also had the largest increase in mass merchant power tool sales, according to NPD research.

Methodolgy: NPD data are based on a monthly tracking of nearly 70 categories and 30,000 opt-in consumers. The 2010 data above come from the 12 months ended Aug. 31, 2010.

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