Three of the nation’s leading home improvement retailers reported large gains in sales for the second quarter of 2020 – reporting growth that would have been unfathomable at the beginning of the quarter, when the US was buffeted by reports of closures, shutdowns, and stay-in-place orders:
- Home Depot reported a 25% increase in sales, with 13 of 14 product categories showing double-digit growth in the quarter
- Lowe’s reported that its second quarter sales rose over 35%, spurred by improvements in its online sales platforms
- Ace Hardware also posted a 35% increase in sales for the second quarter of 2020, with sales of outdoor power equipment, power tools, and grilling products seeing the fastest growth
These strong sales were largely supported by the do-it-yourself (DIY) customer and smaller contractor/handyman groups, as major construction activity was curtailed – if not almost completed halted – by state and local governments across the US. Homeowners with abundant time on their hands were able to complete long-desired home improvement projects (such as painting rooms, completing decks, installing patios) or even begin new projects, such as converting little-used spaces into home offices and gyms, and starting gardens.
As noted repeatedly by TFG analysts, this surge in DIY activity has driven demand for a wide range of building materials, tools, and various elements of outdoor gardening and landscaping projects, boosting prices as demand for these items has often outstripped supply. Consumers will continue to see shortages of some of these items as construction activity is expected to pick up over the rest of the year. Indeed, these shortages and price hikes may be the only factor that can slow down the power of the DIY consumers as homeowners may consider other projects or make other investments if they cannot complete home improvement projects within their budgets.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Construction and Building Products area and with reports such as Power Tools, Hand Tools, Outdoor Kitchens, Outdoor Furniture & Grills, Sheds & Other Outdoor Storage, Lawn & Garden Consumables, Lawn & Garden Watering Products, Global Power Lawn & Garden Equipment, and Lawn & Garden Consumer Insights: The Home Gardener. Freedonia also offers an expanding catalog of COVID-19 Economic Impact reports, which highlight how various industries are responding to the current crisis with a comparison to recent recessions. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.