Consumers are spending less money — nearly 20% less — on tool storage, according to data from Port Washington, N.Y.-based The NPD Group. In the 12 months ended Oct. 31, dollar volume fell to about $480 million, down 19.9% from the prior year. The decline is far from shocking in a difficult hardware environment. By themselves, tool storage products don’t fix leaks or repair roofs. But try doing multiple home improvement projects without them.
Analysis: Specialty stores and hardware stores appear to be doing the best job growing their dollar share of tool storage spending. On a unit share basis, the story is similar, with hardware stores gaining 3.5 percentage points and specialty stores gaining 5.3 percentage points over the 12 months ended Oct. 31, 2010.
Analysis: The sweet spot, based on the above data, is the 18- to 34-year-old in the $15K to $30K income range. This makes perfect sense, as it describes a young homeowner just beginning to collect tools. The 35 to 44 and the 65-plus age groups are showing growth.
Analysis: As “portable plastic” weighs in as top type of tool storage and the reason for retailer shopped varies by channel, one common denominator for all purchases is increased use of the Internet as a research tool. “Roughly 34% of consumers performed at least some research before purchase,” said Mark Delaney, director of home improvement, NPD. “The Internet was the main method — accounting for 43% of research performed.”
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 Oct. 31, 2010.