Home improvement has come back from the last half-decade, which started with the subprime mortgage crisis and subsequent recession. Growth has resumed in most developed markets, and pent-up demand in the US is boosting global sales. China’s property market has lost some of its shine but the environment remains positive thanks to supportive government policies. Yet new challenges arise as millennials replace boomers, and with them new spending patterns that will force marketers to adapt quickly.
2014 was the year when global home improvement sales returned to pre-crisis levels on the back of sustained growth in China and an early stage of recovery in the US.
After years of tightening their belts, consumers in recession-hit countries are catching up on delayed home improvement projects. The categories to benefit the most are wall and floor coverings and home paint, which give consumers great opportunities to upgrade their interior design styles.
A significant proportion of home improvement shoppers require help to install and fit their products at home. So far bricks-and-mortar outlets have been their number one choice for service, but now pure players are establishing their own home service marketplaces.
The years of double-digit growth may be over in China, yet the country continues to drive global sales of home improvement. It is even expected to outperform the US by market value by 2016.
Through a mixture of social media, thrift and need for empowerment, the sharing or collaborative economy is gaining traction globally. From fab labs to how-to digital content, consumers are feeling more confident about home improvement projects, which is prompting specialist retailers to offer new services in their stores.
Manufacturers in home paint and floor covering are putting forward new production methods to improve the carbon footprint of their products and alleviate consumers’ safety fears. Green credentials will thus become an essential aspect within the industry.
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