COVID-19’s Effect on the Home Improvement Market

As Expected, COVID-19 has drastically changed the Home Improvement Market sector. However, you will probably be surprised to learn the trends aren’t heading in the direction we are all accustomed to in these difficult times.

Retail sales figures compiled in July of this year by “Consumer Specialists” show a June 2020 growth of 6.6 percent for all retail compared to 22.6 percent for store types most associated with home improvement (building material, supplies dealers, etc.). The study included 603 nationally representative homeowners and for many questions there was data collected in 2019 for comparison purposes. Some of the studies’ findings include:
  • Due to more time working and relaxing at home, homeowners are planning to do more projects. Eleven specific projects tracked in both 2019 and 2020 all showed more homeowners planning DIY projects.There is also more urgency, with many respondents saying their next project will be in less than a year from now.
  • The most popular project areas are Bathrooms, Landscaping, Kitchens, and Gardens.State Electric has material to help with wiring, lighting, and other aspects of these projects.
  • The Internet increasingly has become a main source of information and where homeowners plan to get many of the products for their next project.

It’s an exciting trend that Director of Business Development and Marketing, Bill Wymer, only assumes will evolve and grow.

“I have noticed that many of the younger homeowners, who I know at least, watch YouTube videos and learn how to do things on their own. It is changing the DIY market specifically and has a direct effect on business for small contractors, and supply companies as a result.  In addition, the workforce has changed at many of State Electric’s competitors; where there were ‘experts’ and experienced staff, there are now less experienced customer service people to help guide the customer. Our extensive inventory and knowledgeable salespeople are the company’s strengths, and this has always been the case and will continue,” said Wymer.

Research from the Home Projects Council shows 57 percent of homeowners put an emphasis on home improvement during the first three months of COVID-19. More time spent at home allows homeowners to prioritize some of the most pressing projects.

The more than 600 homeowners polled said “Have more time” (66.9 percent) is the top reason they are doing more projects because of COVID-19. Nearly 50 percent of homeowners credit “time at home made me more aware of things that needed doing” as a reason for doing more projects. Jeff Clark, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, explained why the future is especially bright for State in the Home Improvement sector.

”We want to make sure that everyone is aware State Electric is open for business to the general public.  We have lighting showrooms in some of our locations that will assist in lighting suggestions for home improvement projects.  There are many other products in our offering for DIYers, such as hand tools, power tools and generators.  LED lamps are an area that can help with home efficiency and save money on utility cost.  If you are building a new home, renovating or adding an addition, we offer load centers, circuit breakers, wire, residential lighting control systems, and communications products for your cable TV and internet connections,” Clark said.

The Residential / Home-Improvement markets are a few business sectors that are not only retaining customers but growing even during these uncertain times. State Electric Supply has the expertise and material to play an important role in the majority of these Home Renovations.