Home Improvement highlights from HIRI

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Home Improvement highlights from HIRI

By HBSDealer Staff - 02/23/2021

Stay-at-home projects like creating home offices and home gyms are one-time items, unlikely to be replicated in the future. The physical home improvement store, meanwhile, will continue to offer what eCommerce cannot on the other side.

Those are some of the conclusions of a research project from the Home Improvement Research Institute and the Caney Group. The researchers took a deep dive into a panel of DIYers and home owners with a view toward better understanding Covid-19’s effect on home improvement.

The name of the study, revealed in February, was “Remodeling Through a Pandemic: COVID’s Effect on Home Improvement.”

It was a qualitative research study that involved 20 in-depth Zoom interviews with homeowners who have completed at least one home improvement product during the pandemic.

Some key takeaways:

1) Pandemic lockdowns prompted “several immediate fixes,” with short term lift. Boosts in spending on home offices and remote learning expenses are unlikely to the replicated.

2) Familiarity breeds awareness of shortcomings. Many of the long-term projects home owners were “meaning to get around to” were pulled into the present by the stay-at-home conditions.

3) Pro projects have focused on the exterior during the pandemic. The next frontier for pro projects is inside the house, with projects that are beyond the skill (or time commitment) of the home owners.

4) Online sales grew, but stores will continue to prosper. Shoppers will likely expand online purchases, but the ability to see and feel products, the immediate availability of products, and the trusted advice of a person are the domain of the physical store, which isn’t going anywhere.

5) DIY “micro projects” are expected to decline as pro projects inside the house increase. Total dollar expenditures for many homeowners are expected to decline.

For more information, visit HIRI.org.

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