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DIY Retailing - US - April 2012

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Home Improvement—U.S., February 2011 and DIY Home Improvement—U.S., May 2010. The focus of this report is retail Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and decorating products purchased directly by consumers and installed by them. DIY activities include repairs or additions to the home/garden, including projects such as renovating a kitchen, installing a new bathroom, installing central heating, fixing a fence, or building a patio. Decorating includes activities such as internal and external painting, wood staining, or wallpapering.

This report presents and analyzes sales through the major DIY/hardware-type stores and, more specifically, the DIY market. Excluded are sales to professionals as well as sales of professional services to consumers.

Analysis of product segment sales is for DIY purchases and includes:

  • Paint, wallpaper, and related supplies.
  • Plumbing supplies and equipment.
  • Materials for hard surface flooring, repair, and replacement.
  • Flooring products and adhesives.
  • Other: includes supplies and equipment for electrical and HVAC work; roof and gutters; plaster/paneling; siding; windows, doors, screens, awnings; patio, walk, driveway; fencing; masonry, brick, stucco; landscaping maintenance; etc.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                        • The market
                          • Figure 1: U.S. Fan chart forecast of total expenditures by U.S. consumer units on equipment and supplies for home maintenance, improvements, and repair, at current prices, 2006-16
                        • DIY segments start to gain post-recession momentum
                          • Figure 2: Total expenditures by U.S. consumer units on equipment and supplies for home maintenance, improvements, and repair, segmented by product type, 2009 and 2011
                        • Market factors
                          • DIY expenditures grow in spite of lackluster housing market
                            • Figure 3: Homeownership rate*, 2007-11
                          • Home improvement on the rise overall
                            • Figure 4: BuildFax Remodeling Index, seasonally adjusted annual rate, 2008-12
                          • The DIY consumer
                            • Home Depot and Lowe’s attract the most DIYers
                              • Hardware stores attract fewer DIYers, tend to focus on smaller projects
                                • Figure 5: Hardware/DIY stores shopped, December 2011
                              • Relatively few consumers participate in loyalty card programs
                                • MyLowe’s offers fresh take on loyalty
                                  • Figure 6: Hardware/DIY store loyalty cards held, by gender, December 2011
                                • Prices, products, and locations most common uses of retailer websites
                                  • Figure 7: Needs and use for DIY/Hardware store websites, December 2011
                                • Retailers get generally positive marks on staff product knowledge
                                  • Figure 8: Rating of staff knowledge in key product areas, by retailer shopped most often, December 2011
                                • Retail basics well-regarded, but room to improve project advice ratings
                                  • Figure 9: Rating of staff performance in key service areas at DIY/hardware store shopped most often, December 2011
                                • Friends and family the most frequently cited source of DIY information
                                  • Figure 10: Sources of information on DIY projects, December 2011
                                • What we think
                                • Issues in the Market

                                    • Can DIY keep growing even if real estate stays stuck in low gear?
                                      • What does it take to increase DIY project frequency?
                                        • How well are retailers doing at offering project advice and education?
                                          • What challenges and opportunities do Millennials hold for DIY retailers?
                                          • Insights and Opportunities

                                            • Project focus
                                              • Opportunity to inspire
                                                • Loyalty games
                                                  • The next generation of DIYers
                                                    • More digitally savvy…
                                                      • …but less invested in homeownership
                                                        • Entertainment value important in battle for household budget
                                                        • Inspire Insights

                                                            • Trend: Influentials
                                                              • Trend: Moral Brands
                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • DIY market regaining momentum after declines in recession
                                                                    • Figure 11: Total expenditures by U.S. consumer units on equipment and supplies for home maintenance, improvements, and repair, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                    • Figure 12: Total expenditures by U.S. consumer units on equipment and supplies for home maintenance, improvements, and repair, at inflation-adjusted prices*, 2006-16
                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                      • Figure 13: Fan chart forecast of total expenditures by U.S. consumer units on equipment and supplies for home maintenance, improvements, and repair at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Overview
                                                                      • Income, after dropping sharply since 2007, may have rebounded in 2011
                                                                        • Figure 14: Median household income in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2000-10
                                                                      • Improving employment picture a positive for DIY market
                                                                        • Figure 15: Unemployment rate, 2006-12
                                                                      • After wavering, consumer confidence on the upswing
                                                                        • Figure 16: Thompson Reuters/University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment (ICS), 2007-12
                                                                      • Housing market struggles to regain momentum
                                                                        • Figure 17: Sales of existing and new single-family homes, 2007-12
                                                                      • Homeownership trends down
                                                                        • Figure 18: Homeownership rate*, 2007-11
                                                                      • Home remodeling index rises, even as real estate market remains weak
                                                                        • Figure 19: BuildFax Remodeling Index, seasonally adjusted annual rate, 2008-12
                                                                    • Segment Performance

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • DIY segments start to gain post-recession momentum
                                                                          • Figure 20: Total expenditures by U.S. consumer units on equipment and supplies for home maintenance, improvements, and repair, segmented by product type, 2009 and 2011
                                                                      • Segment Performance—Paint and Wallpaper

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Segment poised to gain from economic stabilization and improvement
                                                                            • Retailers emphasize color and creativity, position paint as DIY destination
                                                                              • Figure 21: Lowe’s spring paint weekly circular ad, March 2012
                                                                              • Figure 22: Total expenditures by U.S. consumer units on paints, wallpaper, and supplies, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                          • Segment Performance—Flooring

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • DIY flooring rebounds after recession, outpaces broader flooring market
                                                                                • Retailers help drive shift to DIY flooring
                                                                                  • Figure 23: Home Depot hard surface flooring ad, March 2012
                                                                                  • Figure 24: Total expenditures by U.S. consumer units on flooring, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                              • Segment Performance—Plumbing

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Basic maintenance and water-efficient plumbing support steady sales
                                                                                    • Help for DIY plumbers
                                                                                      • Figure 25: Total expenditures by U.S. consumer units on plumbing supplies and equipment, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                  • Segment Performance—Other DIY Products

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Expenditures on other DIY products follow broader market trend
                                                                                        • Energy efficiency and environmental friendliness
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Total expenditures by U.S. consumer units on other DIY products*, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                      • Leading Retailers

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Home centers a dominant force in DIY and home improvement overall
                                                                                            • Hardware co-ops grow by thinking smaller
                                                                                              • Lumber Liquidators continues to expand
                                                                                                • Sherwin-Williams dominates paint specialty market
                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Sales and store counts at select leading DIY home improvement retailers, 2010-2011
                                                                                              • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                • E-commerce and online integration at big home centers
                                                                                                  • MyLowe’s has the potential to strengthen customer relationships
                                                                                                    • Local hardware stores win with local service
                                                                                                    • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Overview: the war for the weekend
                                                                                                          • Big boxes vs. everyone else
                                                                                                            • National vs. local
                                                                                                              • Generalist vs. specialist
                                                                                                                • Big vs. small
                                                                                                                  • Common marketing elements
                                                                                                                    • Different DIY mindsets and interpretations of the ideal weekend
                                                                                                                      • Lowe’s campaign presents DIY as an ongoing process of self-creation
                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Lowe’s “Home Improvement Journey” TV ad, 2012
                                                                                                                      • Lowe’s Creative Ideas provides project inspiration
                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Lowe’s “Creative Ideas Magazine” TV ad, 2012
                                                                                                                      • Mobile and social inspiration from Lowe’s
                                                                                                                        • Home Depot stays on task
                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Home Depot “This Weekend” TV ad, 2012
                                                                                                                        • Home Depot DIY online how-to community
                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Home Depot “How-To Community” TV ad, 2012
                                                                                                                        • Hardware co-ops emphasize convenience, expertise for smaller projects
                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Ace Hardware “Clarion Call” TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                                        • Ace gets personal with paint
                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Ace Hardware “Soul Paint” TV ad, 2012
                                                                                                                        • Campaign extends to social media
                                                                                                                        • Hardware/DIY Stores Shopped

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Home Depot and Lowe’s attract the most DIY shoppers
                                                                                                                              • Men shop more DIY stores, especially specialty retailers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Hardware/DIY stores shopped, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                              • Older DIYers shop more stores, especially hardware stores
                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Hardware/DIY stores shopped, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                              • Higher-income DIYers more likely to shop Home Depot and Lowe’s
                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Hardware/DIY stores shopped, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                              • Home Depot and Lowe’s especially likely to be shopped most often
                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Hardware/DIY stores shopped, shopped most often, December 2011
                                                                                                                              • Shopped-most-often demographics similar to past-six-month purchasers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Hardware/DIY stores shopped most often, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Hardware/DIY stores shopped most often, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                              • Among other retailers, mass merchants most likely to capture DIY sales
                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Other sources of DIY/Hardware-type supplies, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                            • Loyalty Card Ownership

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Relatively few consumers participate in loyalty card programs
                                                                                                                                  • Home Depot credit cards
                                                                                                                                    • Lowe’s launches card and online DIY recordkeeping program
                                                                                                                                      • Ace Rewards program
                                                                                                                                        • Men a little more likely to hold cards
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Hardware/DIY store loyalty cards held, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Rewards program appears to play an important role in driving Ace loyalty
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Hardware/DIY store loyalty cards held, by shop here most often, December 2011
                                                                                                                                      • How DIYers Use Hardware/DIY Store Websites

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Prices, products, and locations most common uses of retailer websites
                                                                                                                                            • Few DIYers look to retailer websites for instructional content
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Needs and use for DIY/Hardware store websites, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                            • DIYers aged 25-44 are a key online target for DIY retailers
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Needs and use for DIY/Hardware store websites, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Rating of Staff Knowledge in Key Product Areas

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Retailers get generally positive marks on staff product knowledge
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Rating of staff knowledge in key product areas, part I, by retailer shopped most often, December 2011
                                                                                                                                              • DIYers more likely to have broad experience at home centers
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Rating of staff knowledge in key product areas, part II, by retailer shopped most often, December 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Rating of Staff Performance in Key Areas of Service

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Basic retail service generally well-regarded
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Rating of staff performance at DIY/hardware store shopped most often in basic retail functions, by retailer shopped most often, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Advice on tools/materials rated positive, but still room for improvement
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Rating of staff performance at DIY/hardware store shopped most often in advice on supplies, tools, and materials, by retailer shopped most often, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Ratings for project advice and instructions leave room for improvement
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Rating of staff performance at DIY/hardware store shopped most often in providing project advice, by retailer shopped most often, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Performance on special services
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Rating of staff performance at DIY/hardware store shopped most often in providing special services, by retailer shopped most often, December 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Type and Number of DIY Projects Done in Past Year

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Incidence highest for painting and decorating
                                                                                                                                                    • Paint a traffic builder for DIY retailers
                                                                                                                                                      • Other individual projects less frequent
                                                                                                                                                        • Avid DIYers tend to be generalists
                                                                                                                                                          • Men a little more likely to do most types of project
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Type and number of DIY projects done in past 12 months, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Middle-aged adults are most active DIYers
                                                                                                                                                            • Younger DIYers an opportunity for furniture and storage projects
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Type and number of DIY projects done in past 12 months, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Higher-income DIYers tend to do more projects
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Type and number of DIY projects done in past 12 months, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Sources of Information on DIY projects

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Friends and family the most frequently cited source of DIY information
                                                                                                                                                                • TV shows offer DIY education and inspiration
                                                                                                                                                                  • Retailers offer how-to information in a variety of ways
                                                                                                                                                                    • Female DIYers more likely to consult friends or family, watch shows, read magazines
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Sources of information on DIY projects, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Younger DIYers more likely to go online, take retailer classes
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Sources of information on DIY projects, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Impact of Race/Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Hispanics, blacks, Asians a little less likely to shop big box home centers
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Hardware/DIY stores shopped, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Black and Asian DIYers modestly more active on DIY store websites
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Needs and use for DIY/Hardware store websites, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Friends/family top information source for all groups
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Sources of information on DIY projects, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                                      • Enthusiasm drives DIY activity
                                                                                                                                                                        • Heavy DIYers shop a wider variety of stores, including specialty retailers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Hardware/DIY stores shopped, by light, medium, and heavy DIYers, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Loyalty program participation relatively low even among frequent DIYers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Hardware/DIY store loyalty cards held, by light, medium, and heavy DIYers, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Heavy DIYer website use reveals greater interest in learning new skills…
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Needs and use for DIY/Hardware store websites, by light, medium, and heavy DIYers, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • …consult a wider array of sources of how-to information
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Sources of information on DIY projects, by light, medium, and heavy DIYers, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix: Other Useful Tables

                                                                                                                                                                        • Rating of Home Depot Staff
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Rating of Home Depot staff knowledge in key product areas, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Rating of Home Depot staff knowledge in key product areas, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Rating of Home Depot staff knowledge in key product areas, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Rating of Lowe’s Staff
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Rating of Lowe’s staff knowledge in key product areas, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Rating of Lowe’s staff knowledge in key product areas, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Rating of Lowe’s staff knowledge in key product areas, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                        • Ace Hardware Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                        • Akzo Nobel Decorative Coatings Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • American Hardware Manufacturers Association
                                                                                                                                                                        • Benjamin Moore & Co.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Bureau of Economic Analysis
                                                                                                                                                                        • Citibank
                                                                                                                                                                        • Costco Wholesale Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                        • Do It Best Corp
                                                                                                                                                                        • ESPN, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Home & Garden Television
                                                                                                                                                                        • Home Depot (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                        • Home Improvement Research Institute
                                                                                                                                                                        • ICI Paints in North America
                                                                                                                                                                        • IKEA USA
                                                                                                                                                                        • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                                                                        • Lowe's Companies
                                                                                                                                                                        • Lumber Liquidators, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                        • National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)
                                                                                                                                                                        • National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
                                                                                                                                                                        • National Retail Hardware Association and Home Center Institute
                                                                                                                                                                        • PayPal Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Power Tools Institute (PTI)
                                                                                                                                                                        • SAM's Club
                                                                                                                                                                        • Sears Holdings Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                        • Sherwin Williams - Paint Stores
                                                                                                                                                                        • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                        • True Value Company
                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
                                                                                                                                                                        • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                                        • US Department of Commerce
                                                                                                                                                                        • Visa U.S.A. Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                                        DIY Retailing - US - April 2012

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