Brick and mortar shops are not losing the battle for home improvement products

Rotterdam, 08-07-2015- The fear of brick and mortar shops that sell home improvement products for online channels looks undue. Consumers in Europe still turn to �offline� shops for information on home improvement products and feel that this information is important. Price comparisons with online channels (showrooming) seem to pose only a limited threat to the brick and mortar shops. The majority of consumers who buy products at a brick and mortar shop have not compared prices with online channels.

Information from another person is more important than information sought onlineInformation is searched for online, but personal contact is still the go-to channel to get advice about products: on average, more than half of the consumers who spend over �500,- on home improvement products feel that information from a sales person in a shop, professional advice or information from a visit to a shop or a showroom important when looking for information about products for home improvement jobs. Also, more than half qualifies information from Google as being important in their orientation. Other information sources (online or offline) are less important to consumers. The difference between importance of offline and online channels is the largest in Belgium, Austria and Germany. Consumers in these countries think offline sources are a lot more important than online sources. In Switzerland, on average online sources are almost as important as offline sources, though.

Price comparison is done by less than half of the European consumersMore than half of the European consumers who buy home improvement products for more than �500,- at a brick and mortar shop have not compared prices between online stores and brick and mortar shops. In Belgium and Sweden, only one third of the consumers compares prices of home improvement products between brick and mortar shops and online channels.
However, in Poland, Italy, Spain and Austria more than half of the consumers who eventually bought their products offline has compared prices with an online channel. It indicates that, for these consumers who have compared prices but bought their products at a brick and mortar shop, either the brick and mortar shops have more favourable prices than online stores or that brick and mortar shops have other added values that persuade the consumer to buy there (for example, more professional advice). This keeps the brick and mortar shops in the race for home improvement products.

About the European Home Improvement MonitorThe European residential new build market currently has limited growth potential. Due to the economic recession the new build volumes have dropped dramatically. The renovation and refurbishment sector on the other hand has become important and it is expected its importance will grow even further. There is a lot of information available about the DIY market and the renovation market in the professional segment. However, there�s no� source that provides insight in the size of the total home improvement market, both jobs done by consumers and professionals, and the main trends in this market. The European Home Improvement Monitor is the first research that monitors the market size and main trends in the European home improvement market on a continuous basis.
Each month 2,000 successful interviews are conducted across Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This means that 26,400 interviews are conducted among European consumers on a yearly basis. The results from this research are reported on a quarterly basis and show the development of the market in terms of purchase volume and purchase channels. Furthermore, each quarter in-depth insight is given in topics which are up to date�in the market.

For more information, please contact:

USP Marketing Consultancy, Business Unit DIY Reinier Zuydgeest� Consultant DIY & Living E: zuydgeest@usp-mc.nlT: +31 10-2066900