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Lawnmower market keeps on rolling

BY HBSDealer Staff

The swelling demographic of aging homeowners is one of the factors that will propel sales of exertion-saving lawnmowers through 2021, according to a recent study.

The Freedonia Group’s “Power Lawn & Garden Equipment Market in the U.S.” expects demand for power lawnmowers to rise 3.2% per year to $4.2 billion in 2021.

A limiting factor on lawnmower sales is the slower movement to homeownership among younger adults – leading to less widespread ownership of a lawnmower. Demand also could be restrained by climate-change-induced reductions in lawn sizes, or removal of grass lawns altogether as a conservation-driven home improvement trend.

On the future of electric mowers, analyst Ellitott Woo writes: “Gains for electric products will be mostly limited to less powerful consumer-grade types, and electric lawnmowers will remain a niche product overall.” 

The Freedonia Group is a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

For comparison’s sake, Freedonia’s forecast for US Lawnmover sales growth (3.2%) is stronger than its forecast for hand tools (1.7%), but weaker than its forecast for siding (5.6%).

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Next Big Thing: Educational VR

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Lowe’s Cos. is embarking on the next chapter of its virtual reality journey.

Starting Tuesday, March 7, the home improvement chain’s store in Framingham, Massachusetts, debuted its “Holoroom How To,” Lowe’s first-ever virtual reality DIY skills-training clinic. As consumers enter the interactive virtual reality (VR)-based environment, they wear an HTC Vive headset to receive “hands-on” tutorials on basic DIY skills, including supplies and steps, needed to complete a project.

The first module teaches how to tile a shower.

“This allows us to teach our customers in a way that we could have never previously imagined, and give them the confidence they need to undertake a daunting renovation,” according to Lowe’s Innovation Labs.

The chain’s prior virtual reality programs helped customers visualize their kitchen and bath renovations, “but we have found a unique opportunity to use the VR platform for skills training,” according to the chain.

“Our studies show that Holoroom How To actually lifts unskilled DIYers to a memory performance level comparable to that of experienced DIYers,” Lowe’s said. “This allows us to teach our customers in a way that we could have never previously imagined, and give them the confidence they need to undertake a daunting renovation.”

Two stores in Canada will be next to feature the VR-based classes. 

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Product Central: Milwaukee M18 FUEL Blower

BY Steph Koyfman

Outdoor power equipment is one of those categories we habitually return to because the cutting-edge products tend to look vastly different on a year-by-year basis.

This year, as with the previous year, the products have come back bolder, stronger and, actually, quieter (thanks to advancements in engine technology). Manufacturers are serving up more robust battery offerings, as well as innovative new lineups to be powered by them.

Here is a product featured in a recent issue of HBSDealer:

 

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Blower

Part of Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL lineup (all of which feature the Powerstate Brushless Motor, RedLithium Battery Pack and Redlink Plus Intelligence Hardware and Software), this blower possesses the power to clear from 15 feet (while emitting 30% less noise than a standard gas blower).
(milwaukeetool.com)

 

Check out other OPE products featured in the March 2017 issue of HBSDealer.

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