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Affluents are investing more on outdoor living


July 17, 2009
By Greenhouse Canada

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patioNEWS HIGHLIGHT

Affluents are investing more on outdoor living
Affluents
are spending more on their outdoor living spaces, giving a much needed
boost to category retailers and marketers this year.

July 16, 2009 – Affluents
are spending more on their outdoor living spaces, giving a much needed
boost to category retailers and marketers this year. Spending by
affluents on outdoor living 'luxuries' rose 22.6 per cent from 2007 to
2008.  Continued strong demand for home improvements to outdoor living
areas in the first quarter 2009 boosted affluent's spending by 33
per cent from first quarter 2008. This makes outdoor living a
particularly strong category in an otherwise dismal consumer market.

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As
the summer season heats up, prospects are good for continued growth in
the outdoor living market, says Pam Danziger president of Unity
Marketing and author of a new trend report on the outdoor living
market, entitled Reaping the Fruits of the Recession — A Trend Report on the Market for Outdoor Living Products,
and based upon quarterly surveys among 1,000-1,200 affluent consumers
(incomes $100,000 and above) conducted throughout 2007, 2008 and
1Q2009. 

Home improvement stores lead the market in sales of outdoor living products to affluent shoppers

Benefitting
most from increased spending in outdoor living goods are big-box home
improvement stores, notably Lowes and Home Depot. The average amount
spent by affluent shoppers in these types of stores surged 24 per cent
in the first quarter 2009 as compared with the same period previous
year.  Dow Jones Newswire reports that seasonal living products at
Lowe's generated $2.1 billion, or about 5 per cent of 2008 sales. Home Depot
lumps seasonal living products in with its hardware sales, and together
those categories generated $20.5 billion, or nearly 29 per cent of sales.

Further
affluents are turning more frequently to internet and other
direct-to-consumer retailers like TV and mail order for outdoor
products. Spending by affluents on outdoor living goods through the
internet and other direct channels more than doubled from first quarter
2008 to same period 2009. 

Best Buy joins the fray for a share of affluent's outdoor living spending

Not
content to let Lowes and Home Deport be the primary beneficiary from
affluent's growing interest in enhancing their outdoor living spaces,
consumer electronics giant Best Buy began testing several lines of
products dedicated to outdoor living, such as grills, fire pits,
outdoor lights, and outdoor furniture.  Some of the items — like
home-theater projectors and speakers disguised as rocks are
consistent with Best Buy's high-tech brand image, but others like
grills, pergolas and outdoor furniture extend the company's offerings
into new territory.

"In
the current recession affluent consumers are investing more in luxuries
for their homes and less on experiences, such as dining and travel,"
says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, commenting on the
company's latest survey of luxury consumers. 

"Opportunities
abound for marketers and retailers that tap into the product categories
where affluents are still willing to indulge, like the outdoor living
areas of their homes. This new trend report summarizes the most
important findings from Unity Marketing's research into the spending
habits of the affluent consumer to provide guidance to marketers and
retailers that want more insight into this promising marketplace."


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