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The Official HBSDealer Editor’s Blog

BY Ken Clark

"Things without all remedy should be without regard. What's done is done."
— Lady Macbeth

So spoke Scotland's first lady. She was talking about the murder of King Duncan, but she could have been talking about DIY home improvement projects in light of new — and questionable — data on consumer attitudes toward their own projects.

A recent survey from Zillow Digs reports a high incidence of regret among homeowners that choose to go it alone in home improvement.

And I don't believe it.

For starters, common sense and my own personal experience suggest otherwise. (Remember that time I replaced the shingles on the garage? That was great.) But more than that. As soon as I saw the headline, I conducted my own survey. My wife, my mom, my dad, my sister and my brother — none could point to a single DIY home improvement project that they regretted.

Is my family so special? It doesn't seem likely. It's much more likely that Zillow Digs is doing the home improvement industry a disservice by promoting the idea that DIY projects are a minefield of regret. A "field of dreams" seems a more appropriate analogy.

Lady Macbeth touched on this topic of reaching for the stars: "Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem?" She favored the big projects.

 The Zillow Digs press release carried the headline: "One in three regret DIYing a home improvement project." See the difference? There's DIY and then there's "DIYing." In other words, the regret is not that consumers completed a project, but that they did it themselves, as opposed to hiring a pro.

Zillow Digs spelled out which projects were most regrettable: Add a room or expand an existing room (regretted by 53% of homeowners); Reface cabinetry (regretted by 49%); Refinish basement or attic (48%); Replace carpeting (43%).

On the flip side, Zillow pointed to least regrettable projects: Replace lighting fixtures (15%); Replace cabinet hardware (18%); Paint one or more rooms (18%).

But even here, the idea that DIY projects are regrettable to a large segment of home owners is questionable. Digging a little deeper into the Zillow Digs press release, we see that regret is described as "unhappy with some aspect of the project."

This description of regret, seems to me, inadequate, misleading and regrettable.

Consider the following:

Was their some aspect of your wedding that you regret? Yes.
Do you regret your wedding? No.

Was their some aspect of your college career that you regret? Yes.
Do you regret going  to college? No.

Was their some aspect of your recent golf trip that you regret? Yes.
Do you regret your recent golf trip? No.

Shall I go on? No. You get my point. There are a lot of things in this world that we don't regret at all, but we might regret some aspect of that thing. 

DIY doubters, worried by the misleading statistics might wonder: What if the home improvement challenge is too great to handle on our own? What if weather interrupts? What if the costs rise above our initial projections? In short, what if we fail?

Again with Lady Macbeth: "We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place, and we'll not fail."

Do you have an opinion on this topic? Let us know here.

 

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Ladies’ Night at Bomgaars

BY HBSDealer Staff

Sioux City, Iowa-based farm and ranch retail chain Bomgaars is planning a Ladies’ night to benefit the June E. Nylen Cancer Center.

The event will take place at the retailer’s two Sioux City stores Dec. 6, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Customers will be eligible for prizes and discounts at both locations. Bomgaars wil donate 5% of the evening’s total sales to the cancer center’s Fund a Screen program.

Among the brands represented among the prize pool are Wrangler, DeWalt, Justin Boots, and more.

With 69 locations in the Midwest, Bomgaars ranked 32nd on the 2015 HBSDealer Top 300 Industry Scoreboard.

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Sears Hometown gets a holiday refresh

BY HBSDealer Staff

Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores unveiled a broad swath of updates to its store locations as the official holiday season commences.

Several Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores are holding grand reopening celebrations from Dec. 3 to 6. The stores are all receiving a new product assortment, redesigned merchandising, new fixtures and signage, and comprehensive employee training, among other changes. The most notable change is that appliances will now occupy more than half the sales floor.

"This refresh allows our dedicated local owners and employees to better serve their communities with an enhanced shopping experience, unmatched by any other retailer," said Russ Eihausen, district manager of Sears Hometown Stores in Iowa. "Beyond physical changes to the sales floor and our expanded product offerings, customers can expect a whole new experience. Our specialized sales teams have received comprehensive training on a wide range of brands and products, and are also equipped with tablets to more easily browse the sales floor with customers while viewing more information, comparing products and finding similar appliances available online through Sears."

Affecting locations in Iowa, South Dakota, Michigan, Georgia, and more, the refresh is aimed at building the chain's credibility as "America's Appliance Expert." Specialized team members have received comprehensive training, and the new floor plans also allow for complete kitchen vignettes and laundry innovation areas. Customers can also browse selections using a touch-screen kiosk.

Sears Hometown Store locations have been undergoing a system-wide refresh since earlier this year. The company began updating units earlier this year and now has nearly 180 "America's Appliance Experts" locations across the United States. 

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