Content about Research - Consumer Studies

July 29, 2014

Consumer confidence pushed ahead to a new post-recession high of 90.9 in July, its highest level since October 2007, The Conference Board reported this morning.

July's figure is also in comparison with an upwardly revised figure of 86.4 in June, where the previous post-recession high had stood.

July 24, 2014

Statistics from the American Pet Products Association estimate a 5% increase in total U.S. pet industry expenditures in 2014, bringing the figure to $58.5 billion. 

Compared with 10 years ago, pet expenditures are up 68%.

July 21, 2014

San Jose, California-based Realtor.com reports that 67% of visitors to the real estate web site plan home renovations within the next six months. 

That finding is the result of the web site's Home Improvement Survey, in which more than 1,500 consumers participated from May 19 to May 29. 

The survey results, released July 17, include the following.

Most popular reasons for planned home improvements:

July 10, 2014

Understanding shopping and buying behavior is the most common challenge facing retailers. According to a survey of nearly 200 retailers, executives, financial analysts, industry analysts and university academics at the recent ShopperTrak users group conference, 44% of attendees reported that understanding consumer behavior in-store is currently their biggest challenge.

July 2, 2014

The most recent Home Improvement Research Institute study shows 74.5% of homeowners are planning one or more projects around the home.

June 27, 2014

Nothing about this business is the same as it was just a few years ago, and nothing has changed more than the shopper. Customers today think differently, their expectations are unique, and they are highly engaged in the shopping process.

June 25, 2014

Shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in record numbers by U.S. retailers in 2013, according to a recent survey of theft. 

The "26th Annual Retail Theft Survey" by Jack L. Hayes International shed plenty of light on the dark practice of stealing. Perhaps most worrisome, according to the survey organizer, is that theft seems to be on the rise.

June 24, 2014

Continuing this week's trend of optimism in market fundamentals, consumer confidence pushed to a new post-recession high of 85.2 in June, up from a downwardly revised figure of 82.2 in May.

June 17, 2014

J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey released earlier this month showed Ace Hardware, Menards and Lowe’s ranked one, two and three on its proprietary customer satisfaction index rankings. 

June 4, 2014

While staff and service remains the most influential factor in satisfaction once customers are at a home improvement retail store, price is what drives customers to a retailer in the first place, underscoring the importance of competitive differentiation efforts via better price and value perception, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study released today.

The survey results also showed Ace Hardware at the top of the 2014 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study, followed by Menards and Lowe’s.

June 4, 2014

Following the gathering of “open carry” gun enthusiasts at a Texas Home Depot, most HCN readers indicated they would have no problem with a similar event at their locations.

In fact, in a recent survey, 58% said they would welcome gun owners with open arms, compared with 31% who said they would invite those carrying guns to disperse.

May 27, 2014

Consumer confidence hedged up a bit to near-March highs in May after dropping in April. The Index now reads 83.0, up from a downwardly revised estimate of 81.7 in April.

May 27, 2014

While the operational performance of cabinets is still critical, a smooth ordering and delivery process is essential to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power "2014 U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction Study."

May 21, 2014

A new survey from Houzz reveals that homeowners are more keen on remodeling than moving these days, and not always for purely financial reasons.

April 29, 2014

The Consumer Confidence backed down slightly from its recent peak in March, now standing at 82.3, according to The Conference Board.

April 25, 2014

A new Houzz study examines the many motivations behind landscaping projects in 2014, and they range from the purely practical to the pleasure-seeking.

Among the findings were that 56% are improving their yard for entertaining purposes, and 55% are seeking to problem-solve (that's 41% to protect against flooding, 25% to protect against sun exposure, and 23% to create more privacy). Additionally, 30% of homeowners in the West are attempting to find drought-related solutions.

April 10, 2014

Orlando, Fla. -- Here at the 2014 Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) Spring Conference, Sarah Catlett, VP of The Futures Company, took a high-level, continental look at consumer marketing.

Catlett kicked off the HIRI conference with a quick look at Target's disappointing venture into Canada. The Minnesota-based retailer's efforts to change the way Canadians shop has fallen short, she said, partly because the company missed consumer and cultural cues. 

April 7, 2014

To kick off National Painting Week, Sherwin-Williams is releasing the findings of its National Home Design and Color Survey, which found that painting tops the list of planned home improvement projects for U.S. homeowners.

The vast majority of those surveyed -- 70% -- plan to undertake some kind of house-related project in the next six months, according to Sherwin-Williams.

Of those planning projects, 42% plan to paint, 39% intend to landscape and 30% are simply thinking about redecorating.

March 27, 2014

Residential cleaning franchise Molly Maid surveyed over 2,000 homeowners to discover that "spring cleaning," in the widely understood sense of being a far-reaching phenomenon, is kind of a myth.

According to the company, fewer than half of the respondents said they participate in an annual spring cleaning. In fact, 93% of respondents said they would prefer to do anything but; 44% said they would rather speak in front of a large group, and 30% would rather go for a six-hour car ride with their in-laws.

March 19, 2014

According to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 2014 is looking to be a big year for new homes and do-it-yourself projects.

“All of the costs associated with moving can really add up, but more consumers are feeling confident that they can afford to put down new roots,” said David Rabkin, SVP of Consumer Lending Products for American Express. “With more people looking to purchase a home this year instead of rent, and with seller confidence on the rise, it will create an interesting push and pull as buyers and sellers negotiate.”

March 17, 2014

The Home Improvement Research Institute’s 2014 Spring Conference, slated for Orlando April 10, will include a full slate of research-oriented presentations. 

Among them will be a presentation from The Futures Company’s Sarah Catlett, VP and HIRI account director, and Christina Hioros, VP and associate head of Global Monitor. Their topic: Not just another United States: Distinguishing consumer attitudes in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

March 11, 2014

Kmart and Sears are among a group of companies identified as “the least engaging brands of 2014,” in a recently released index of customer loyalty.

"A brand can't do well in today's marketplace if it can't engage consumers, no matter how many ads are run, and no matter how much social networking one does," said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, a New York-based brand loyalty and emotional engagement research consultancy.

February 27, 2014

Trulia has issued its Winter 2014 Rent vs. Buy Report, finding that homeownership is still less expensive than renting in all of the nation's 100 largest housing markets, though roughly one-third of that 100 are at risk of tipping in the other direction.

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