US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

Home Depot Looks to Bring Same-Day Delivery to Home Improvement Market

For many homeowners considering a DIY home improvement project, a trip to the local big-box retailer was traditionally an integral part of the job – whether it was to window shop, visualize the new kitchen or bathroom, or to select and buy the materials needed for the project.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered many of these traditional patterns:

  • Consumers were leery of entering retail stores and thus began shopping online (as of the August-September 2021 edition of The Freedonia Group National Online Consumer Survey, 51% of respondents indicated that they decreased their frequency of browsing in stores and 31% indicated they were still limiting time spent in physical stores because of the coronavirus pandemic).
  • Homeowners increasingly undertook non-traditional projects – such as converting a spare room into a home office – and thus needed a wider range of materials to complete a project.
  • Ongoing shortages of building materials (such as lumber, fasteners, and plastic building products) meant that even if consumers did enter a store, they were frustrated by an inability to purchase the products they needed.

The home improvement industry has looked for ways to continue to reach customers, with firms adding lockers for storing purchased goods for future pickup by a consumer or expanding delivery options (so that products are unloaded when fewer people are at a job site). However, most of these services were directed to construction professionals and not the DIY consumer.

Recently, though, Home Depot announced a new program to enhance shopping for the DIYer. The company will partner with Wal-Mart’s Walmart GoLocal delivery business to provide same- and next-day shipping to both DIYers and construction professionals. Consumers can order the full range of Home Depot’s product line – from lumber to lighting, paint to plumbing products – from the comfort of their homes and offices and have them delivered – at a desired time – to a place of their choosing. Indeed, for many DIYers, this is a godsend, as the delays caused by the return trip to the store will be eliminated (hopefully!)

As e-commerce becomes more entrenched in the US economy, it is not surprising that companies will expand their delivery offerings to maintain – if not expand – sales.

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  Consumer Goods      Industry Studies