Houzz reads temperature of landscaping market
A new Houzz study examines the many motivations behind landscaping projects in 2014, and they range from the purely practical to the pleasure-seeking.
Among the findings were that 56% are improving their yard for entertaining purposes, and 55% are seeking to problem-solve (that’s 41% to protect against flooding, 25% to protect against sun exposure, and 23% to create more privacy). Additionally, 30% of homeowners in the West are attempting to find drought-related solutions.
“Smart landscape design can solve real problems that affect a yard or home, from privacy and shade to water use and nighttime safety,” said Liza Hausman, VP community for Houzz. “A professional landscape designer or contractor can often provide the best solutions to these problems and turn your yard into a space you can enjoy for years.”
Backyards are also being used in a variety of ways — most popularly as enteratining spaces (83%), followed by outdoor eating spaces (73%) and outdoor living rooms (53%).
Among the features homeowners are incorporating are patios and decks (83%), BBQs (48%), fire pits (48%), sound systems (19%) and outdoor kitchens (14%).
Green features are also a hit, with 58% adding LED lighting outside, and 56% adding solar-powered lights. Native plants are a preference for 92% of homeowners, though more for maintenance reduction (67%) than eco-friendliness (49%). A good chunk (64%) are planning to grow their own edibles, with approximately 70% of those growing edibles for the first time. "Edibles," in this case, typically means herbs (73%), but vegetables (70%) and fruit trees (51%) are close behind.
The Spring Houzz Landscaping Survey took the pulse of more than 4,500 Houzz users who are currently landscaping (or planning to).
PPG rolls out pro branding makeover
A three-pronged approach to reaching the pro, including an expanded pro program at Home Depot, is the new brand strategy from Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries’ branding makeover.
The company describes the new brand strategy as a way to better serve the professional customer.
The three elements of the plan are:
- Rebrand the U.S. company-owned paint stores under the PPG Paints brand;
- Expand brand and product offering through independent paint dealers; and
- The expansion of a pro customer program at The Home Depot.
“The professional customer represents approximately 60% of the paint purchased and applied in the United States and is an extremely important part of our business,” said Scott Sinetar, PPG VP architectural coatings, North America. “We pride ourselves on being the best in the industry at meeting the needs of the pro, and this clarified brand alignment helps us demonstrate that position.”
All 600-plus PPG company-owned stores currently operating under the PPG Pittsburgh Paints, PPG Porter Paints and Glidden Professional brands will be rebranded under a PPG Paints brand by the fall of 2014.
For independent dealers, the company will take advantage of the 2013 acquisition of AkzoNobel’s North American coatings business to create dealer exclusive brands launching in late 2014. The products will incorporate Devoe paint sub-brands under the PPG Pittsburgh Paints brands.
At Home Depot, PPG says it will work more closely with the Atlanta-based retail giant, leveraging the Glidden Professional brand with joint marketing and sales efforts. Those efforts directed at the pro business will begin in May.
Lowe’s fills CMO seat with McDermott
Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s has named Michael McDermott to the high-profile position of chief merchandising officer.
McDermott replaces Michael Jones, who is transitioninig into the role of COO on April 30, supervising McDermott. He will be responsible for the merchandising operations of Lowe’s U.S. business, as well as all global sourcing activities. He has been with the company since 2013 as SVP general merchandising. He has over 20 years of experience in the field, with previous stints at General Electric.
"Mike McDermott is an accomplished business leader and, during his time at Lowe’s, has helped develop the 2014 merchandising plan as well as processes to improve the building and maintenance brand portfolio to make it more relevant to both Pro and DIY customers," said Jones.