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2021: Q2 Quarterly Index
The Home Improvement sector was one of the major retail winners of the pandemic, as Americans sheltering in place took the opportunity to fix up their living space – and the sector shows no sign of slowing down. Visits continue to be strong at DIY and hardware stores, and the return of contractors along with the reopening of home furnishing stores are setting up the home improvement sector for another exceptional year.
Analyzing dozens of brands including:
Visits Still Surging
The wider home improvement space saw an impressive jump over the pandemic, but the continuation of this trend once the shelter-in-place orders have lifted has been truly remarkable. Visits in Q2 were up in comparison to Q1 and in comparison to the past two Q2s, indicating that the increased interest in home improvement brands is no passing fad while showing that the sector has maintained its traditional seasonality.
Impact of Contractors
The Home Improvement sector continues to exhibit impressive visit increases, and the rise in weekday and loyal visits indicates that the sector’s strength is here to stay. As the wider economy reopens, contractors – a critical market for this segment – are returning to work and likely driving a significant part of the late Q2 rise.
Home Goods Recovery
While stores focusing on building supplies saw a dramatic increase in visits, stores selling “non-essential” furnishings took a hit in the early months of the pandemic. Now, many home furnishings brands have made a more than full recovery, with some – such as Floor & Decor and Bob’s Discount Furniture – even posting impressive visit gains compared to Q2 in pre-pandemic 2019. Other brands such as Cost Plus World Market and Williams-Sonoma are still working on closing the visit gap, with QoQ increase in visits indicating that they are on the right track.
Home Improvement Still Strong
The DIY Home Improvement category shows no sign of slowing down. While visits at some brands decreased compared to Q2 2020 – when visits spiked dramatically – all brands are still showing double-digits visit gains compared to 2019. Context here is key – relative declines from 2020 peaks need to be seen along growth compared to 2019. While the heights of the pandemic surge may not be reachable again in 2021, the sector clearly saw a long term boost.
Although some brands that did exceptionally well during the early days of COVID are showing a decrease in visits compared to Q2 2020, all DIY brands and many home furnishing brands registered a significant increase in visits compared to Q2 2019. The gradual return of contractors and reopening of home furnishing stores might mean that despite the impressive visit numbers over Q2, the best is yet to come for this noteworthy sector.
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