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Paint by the numbers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Across the home channel, retailers and distributors point to painting as the most common home improvement project. It stands to reason. Everybody can paint a room—a low-cost, high-impact project. Exterior painting can be more ambitious, but according to the consumer research presented below from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group, the purchase motivators are similar inside and out.

Channel analysis

BREAKDOWN OF TOTAL PAINT SALES BY CHANNEL

Channel 2008 2009 2010
WHC 55.5% 57.6% 58.1%
Specialty paint stores 19.6 18.6 20.0
Mass merchants 7.6 8.2 7.1
Hardware stores 6.9 6.6 5.3
Department stores 4.1 4.2 4.0
Other 6.3 4.8 5.5

Analysis: The warehouse home centers dominate the market, and the domination has shown steady growth over the past three years. According to NPD Group’s director of home improvement Mark Delaney, the specialty store performance is notable. “In a down economy, it’s reasonable to expect specialty stores to lose share,” he said. “But here we see them holding their own at 20% in 2010.”

Purchase motivators

REASON RETAILER SHOPPED

Reason Interior Paint Exterior Paint
Brand/model 35.1% 36.8%
Price 27.2 29.1
Close to home 23.8 18.6
Availability 13.8 15.5

Analysis: The purchase motivators of “price” and “brand” run neck-and-neck in most categories measured by NPD. But brand leads clearly in paint. “It just goes to show people are inclined to spend a little more for a brand they trust when it comes to color and paint,” Delaney said. “If you’re a retailer, here’s an area that’s maybe a little less price-sensitive than most.”

Demographic analysis

2010 PAINT SALES BY AGE GROUP

Age Total paint Interior paint Exterior paint
18-34 27.7% 28.0% 27.0%
35-44 20.1 21.3 17.6
45-54 25.2 25.2 25.1
55-64 16.4 15.5 18.2
65+ 10.7 10.0 12.1

HARDWARE STORE PAINT SALES BY INCOME BRACKET

Income group WHC Hardware stores Mass
Under $15k 6.7% 8.4% 16.0%
$15k-$30k 12.6 14.6 22.9
$30k-$45k 13.2 11.4 16.0
$45k-$60k 12.5 15.9 15.6
$60k-$75k 11.1 15.7 7.7
$75k-$100k 14.6 10.9 7.9
$100k-$150k 19.9 16.4 9.0
$150k+ 9.3 6.6 5.0

Analysis: As one might expect, the mass channel’s sweet spot is the under-$30,000 demographic, while home centers and hardware stores find their highest percentage of sales in the $100,000-to-$150,000 range.

The 18-to-34 age group bought more paint in 2010 than the other age groups. “Most people are handy enough to pick up a can of paint and begin working,” Delaney said.

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 June 30, 2010.

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Inside the home

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Consumer research from The NPD Group connects the dots of appliance ownership in its most recent report, “Inside the Home: Appliances We Own & Use.”

According to the report, ownership in the major appliance category over-indexes among those who also own their home. However, homeownership does not fully predict who owns these products, nor who has recently purchased them. While one in four homeowners indicate having purchased a major appliance in the past 12 months, one in five renters have as well.

Here are some of the key findings: 

• Small kitchen electrics: The most owned and purchased products are often considered traditional countertop appliances, such as toasters, coffee makers, electric can openers and toaster ovens.

• Home environment appliances: The products used most often are those within the water filtration category, followed by upright vacuums. Close to half of upright vacuum owners are using their product once a week or more often.

• Hair appliances: Hair straightener owners are most likely to own other hair care appliances. Three-quarters of hair straighteners owners also own a curling iron or brush. The likelihood of a curling iron/brush owner to own a straightener is far less likely at 46%, however, a significant figure.   • Americans who have a refrigeration filtration system are least likely to own a pitcher, pour-through water filtration, or a faucet-mount device — just 18% and 15%, respectively.

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True Temper sale completed

BY HBSDEALER Staff

New York-based Castle Harlan announced it has completed the sale of Ames True Temper to Griffon Corp. for $542 million.

“Our five-year plan for Ames True Temper Inc. was to expand the business, increase market share in the U.S., create international exposure and broaden product lines for distribution through our pipeline. We have done that and are pleased with the results. We wish the company continued success as part of the Griffon family,” said Castle Harlan co-president William Pruellage.

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