2010 Home Improvement Retail Store Study
Assummer approaches and the weather in most parts of the countryimproves, many consumers are turning their attention to homeimprovement projects. Fifty years ago, home projects usually began athe corner hardware store. After all, these small, locally owned storeswere likely the only game in town. Despite their sometimes limitedselection, these stores did offer high levels of personalized service.Today, in the age of big box retailers and the Internet, consumers havemany choices from which to purchase home improvement items, and thecompetition among retailers is fierce. Although the home improvementretail landscape has changed over the years, one constant remains:customers still want personal service.
To gauge consumer attitudes and perceptions on home improvementretailers across the U.S., J.D. Power and Associates recently conducteda survey of more than 6,400 consumers that had purchased a homeimprovement product or service within the previous 12 months from astore that sells home improvement products. Consumers were asked toevaluate their primary home improvement retailer in the following fivecategories:
- staff and service;
- sales and promotions;
- store facility.
Resultsof the survey, as reported in the J.D.Power andAssociates 2010 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study,SMshow that overall, slightly more than one-third of home improvementretail store customers select a particular store because of itslocation. However, Ace Hardware and True Value have been able todifferentiate themselves and draw larger proportions of customers dueto perceptions of good customer service, compared with other major homeimprovement retailers.
"Customers who may not be as experienced or knowledgeable about thespecific home improvement project they are undertaking may want toconsider seeking out a home improvement retailer with a reputation forgood customer service-even if that means driving to a store that isless conveniently located," said Christina Cooley, senior manager ofthe real estate and construction industries practice at J.D.Powerand Associates. "Traveling the extra distance may be worth savingyourself the aggravation of receiving inadequate advice or insufficientlevels of customer service."
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