Survey points to hardware optimism

Stats from the Ace Hardware Biennial Retailer Satisfaction Survey

Signs of optimism in hardware retailing.

How optimistic are 765 Ace Hardware retailers surveyed in the recent biennial Retailer Satisfaction Survey? Almost 90% say they “intend to grow and expand operations in the near term,” the co-op said.

Another 64% said they plan to create more jobs.

The latest data revealed by Ace Hardware Corporation from its biennial Retailer Satisfaction Survey that point to strong business optimism among Ace retail store owners, despite an otherwise uncertain small business climate in the U.S.

Survey results from 765 Ace Hardware retail store owners revealed a large majority of surveyed Ace retailers have ambitious growth and expansion plans charted for their businesses in the next two years.

Other stats from the survey:

• 82% of retailers plan to add new merchandise categories;
• 77% intend to renovate their stores or take on departmental renovations;
• 71% of store owners plan to add new target segments into their stores sales efforts (for instance, business-to-business );
• Nearly 20% of retailers plan to add square footage to their existing stores; and
• More than a quarter of surveyed retailers plan to open a new store.

Those indications of optimism in the convenience hardware space contrast with those of other industries. The Index of Small Business Optimism declined two-tenths of a point in August to 94.4 – a figure that sits well below the 42-year average of 98. A report from the National Federation of Independent Business attributes the decline to, “owners refusing to expand; expecting worse business conditions; and unable to fill open positions.”

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