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Consumers are taking on more projects. (Do-It-Yourself).

Although The Wall Street Journal published a sensationalized story in 2001 that proclaimed "The Death of Do-It-Yourself," industry research does not support that theory. Scott Wright, editor and associate publisher of Do-It-Yourself Retailing, cites research from Home Improvement DATA that shows more than 90% of Americans are continuing to make do-it-yourself purchases and 65% of homeowners are still personally tackling DIY projects.

Investigating both of these numbers is important because the real issues facing the home improvement industry are its viability and long-term health, Wright maintains. For example, a non-project-oriented homeowner could purchase dozens of DIY products throughout the year and never complete even a minor maintenance project. According to Wright, nearly 80% of consumers plan to do as many or more DIY projects this year. He said there also is no evidence that sales begin to stagnate as baby boomers age, noting that homeowners over the age of 55 complete 75% of home improvement projects themselves, with DIY spending not dropping until they are in their late 60s. In fact, the typical 55-67-year-old spends approximately $1,100 annually on such products.

As the population ages, more homeowners tend to view their home as a sanctuary and family gathering place. Consequently, they are changing their dwelling to accommodate shifting priorities. Moreover, the number of consumers in their prime DIY years (35 to 55) will continue to grow until about 2005. Then, by 2020, the large echo-boom generation will be entering its prime DIY years. "When a generation of Americans reaches any given age, it tends to adopt the DIY habits that previous generations displayed when they were that same age," Wright notes.
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Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2002
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