Industry confidence surges, says AHMA index
The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s (AHMA’s) Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index improved in March to an all-time high of 350 from 270.8 in February (March 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index also increased to 298.3 from 229.3.
In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 84% of respondents said sales were higher in March versus year-ago levels, up from 65% in February. For March, 11% reported sales were even, and five% said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 84% of March respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 68% in February. In March, 16% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and zero percent expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 89% of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 65% who felt that way in February. Five percent of March respondents project sales will be even one year from now and five% project sales will be below current levels.
Timothy S. Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), said: “With 84% of our members reporting sales levels higher than they were one year ago, we are obviously pleased with the positive momentum and have hopes that the trend continues. Moving forward, however, we fully realize that continuing unsatisfactory employment levels and a still-struggling housing sector within the home improvement industry present major obstacles to steady, long-term growth.”
On Long Island, shamrock sales for charity
Costello’s Ace raised $10,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA’s) Make a Muscle … Make a Difference program last month.
The Deer Park, N.Y., operator of 19 neighborhood hardware stores on New York’s Long Island raised the funds by collecting donations that were recognized by shamrock decorations displayed throughout the store.
“We are proud to say we raised $10,000 for this great cause, with our North Massapequa location raising more than $1,400 alone,” said David Faulhaber, marketing coordinator for the company.
In 2011, Costello’s Ace was selected by Home Channel News as the New York state representative for the national list of 50 Hardware All-Stars.
HIRI looks at consumer paths to purchase
The Home Improvement Research Institute’s Spring Conference next week will examine, among other things, the decision paths of consumers.
The group’s spring conference – “Insights and Resources for the Home Improvement Industry” – will include a session titled: “What paths do consumers take before coming to a decision?”
The presentation will borrow from a study of more than 42 products by The Stevenson Co. that looked at reasons for purchase, immediacy of need and type and price of the product. “In this presentation, results will be shared about how the study was designed to handle such a wide array of processes,” according to the agenda.
The April 18 event will take place at the DoubleTree Hotel Crystal City by Hilton in Arlington, Va. The first of seven presenters speaks at 8:30 a.m. and the event runs until 4:30 p.m.
Registration fee for HIRI members is $200. For nonmembers the fee is $450.
For more information, visit HIRI.org.
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