Forecasting Top Home Improvement Growth Categories

This is the twelfth installment of a special series, presented by the National Hardware Show, exploring key trends and developments driving the growth of housewares and home goods in the home improvement retail business.

The HomeWorld Forecast 2020 report reveals results of an extensive consumer survey measuring which home and housewares products consumers expect to buy; how much they expect to pay; where they expect to shop; and other factors that could influence their purchase decisions.

Here is a look at consumer purchase plans and preferences in the coming year in key categories for the home improvement and hardware channel— Home Environment Appliances, Home Storage & Organization and Stick Goods & Cleaning Tools.

Home Environment Appliances

Within the home environment category, respondents in the HomeWorld Forecast 2020 survey again demonstrated high demand for home comfort and wellness solutions. When asked to select which products they are most likely to purchase in the coming year, portable fans, water filters and air sanitizers/aroma diffusers ranked one, two and three respectively.

While demand for portable fans and water filters were down slightly from the 2019 Forecast survey, air sanitizers/aroma diffusers saw a 3.2% increase in demand year-over-year.

When asked how important it was for their new home environment product to be energy efficient, 45.9% of respondents said it was “extremely important” with 28.8% saying it was “very important.”

Growing throughout the home environment category is the issue of “smart” products. Several suppliers currently offer items such as air purifiers that have WiFi and/or Bluetooth connectivity, and growing consumer demand should lead to further product development.

If you were planning to make a home environment purchase in the next 12 months, which products would you be most likely to purchase? (choose two)
How important is it for home environment products to have “smart home” functions?

Storage & Organization

The percentage of consumers who plan to purchase home storage and organization products in the year ahead advanced in the Forecast survey year over year. Almost half of consumers had a home storage purchase in mind, which is a very positive consideration given that so much purchasing in the category is at need rather than planned. Those consumers extremely likely to purchase represented 12.3% of consumers in the study this year versus 10.4% last year.

Just over half of consumers planning to make a purchase in the category over the next year had a food storage, closet organization product or hamper in mind. Gains came in two segments only recently added to the Forecast survey, beauty product storage, up three points year over year, and single-service coffee storage, up just about two points from the survey conducted in 2018.

In terms of where consumers need storage, more respondents to the Forecast study pointed to the family room and garage, with a nod toward kitchen drawers, kids’ closets and entryways.

In the home improvement/hardware store channel, Home Depot advanced as retailer of choice for storage, taking more than half the nods and reaching 50.9% from 46.1% in the study a year earlier.

Which area of the home would you say is in the most need of improved storage and organization?
At which home improvement/hardware store would you most likely shop for home storage?

Stick Goods & Cleaning Tools

The 2020 Forecast survey showed that 49.6% of respondents said they were likely to make a stick goods/cleaning tool purchase in the next 12 months. That number is down only slightly from 51% last year.

About 67.7% of respondents said they are more likely to purchase mops, brooms, sponges and other cleaning tools made from eco-friendly materials, even if those items are slightly more expensive.

Cleaning tools that use disposable cloths/pads took the top spot for consumers looking to purchase cleaning tools in the next 12 months, increasing to 31.5%, while a preference for microfiber mops saw an increase to nearly 60.1% of respondents. Disposable mops were selected by 43.2% of consumers.

The HomeWorld Forecast survey revealed that consumers are willing to spend more for a quality cleaning tool: 42.6% of respondents named quality/performance as the number one most important factor in their stick good purchase.

In terms of where consumers are shopping for their stick goods, 58.8% of respondents named discount stores as their top channel. Home improvement/hardware stores and supermarkets kept their respective second and third spots with 8.9% and 6.9% of respondents.

Which of the following cleaning tools would you be most likely to purchase?
Which factors are most important to you when purchasing cleaning tools?

*Source: HomeWorld Forecast 2020— nationally projectable consumer survey of more than 2,000 respondents per category, conducted by NPD Group.

Discover the latest home environment appliances, storage products and cleaning tools when The National Hardware Show celebrates its 75th anniversary May 5-7, 2020 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. As the leading B2B marketplace serving the growing home improvement retail channel, the Show presents a comprehensive range of innovative new products in hardware, tools, building, homewares, paint, smart home, outdoor living, pet and more.