Stop Singing the “Big Box Store Blues”
Don’t get bummed by the boxes.
If there is one thing that design professionals love to hate, it’s the home improvement center.
Whenever and where ever I speak, I hear designers, floor covering specialists, decorators, retailers and others bellyache about big box stores.
No question that box stores are, well, big. Over 22 million people each week visit Home Depot stores, whose collective annual sales total over $50 billion.
You want to talk big? Home Depot claims to sell enough carpeting in a year to pave a two-lane road from Atlanta to Los Angeles to New York City, and back to Atlanta.
But a survey of consumer buying habits a while back by Springs Window Fashions LP suggests that design professionals need not worry about the Home Depots of the world.
Its poll of more than 3000 consumers found that only about a third of them buy window treatments at home improvement centers.
In contrast, 46 per cent of the buyers shop at outlets offering “expert help with styles and fit,” and/or “quality, variety, and unique types.”
Price is only one of several “market drivers” identified by the report. Among the others: “desire for a ‘specific’ look, personalization, a need for expert help, convenience,
The survey concludes that the more than $58 billion retail window treatment market holds outstanding potential for independent professionals.
“Your competition is not the big box,” the survey advises designers, decorators, and retailers. “Your primary customers don’t shop there.”