Upfront: Trending

By Steve Noe

In an effort to help you identify precisely which products you should be offering to commercial customers, we bring you “Equipment Trends 2015” in this issue of Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) (see pages 10-23). We thank our sister publication Landscape and Irrigation for allowing us to share this special section, which consists of Q&A survey responses from 20 manufacturers and an article about the rising popularity of propane-powered products.

Rather than steal the thunder of the commercial customer equipment trends, I figured that the best use of this remaining space would be to share with you some consumer trends from the recently released Lawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S., 11th Edition, which is published by Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com. Packaged Facts publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, consumer packaged goods, and pet products and services. The 156-page report presents a detailed analysis of the U.S. consumer market for do-it-yourself (DIY) lawn and garden (L&G) equipment. It concluded that sales of L&G equipment peaked at the height of the housing boom in 2005, but have been declining and trying to recover since, despite the fact that Americans love to care for their lawns and gardens.

In a press release announcing the release of Lawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S., 11th Edition, Packaged Facts shared the following findings: “The mature market is highly dependent on the economy, housing, household formation, weather and seasonality. Continued economic challenges have made market recovery uneven, and weather has also created fluctuations in sales year-to-year. The market stabilized somewhat between 2010 and 2014, with sales declining by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.2 percent. This is an improvement over 2008 to 2012, when sales declined by a CAGR of more than 1 percent.

“Packaged Facts estimates total retail sales of the L&G equipment market, consisting of outdoor power equipment (OPE), tools and implements (T/I), and watering/spraying equipment (W/S), at $10.2 billion in 2014. Overall growth has been driven by segments of OPE, which accounted for 68 percent or $7 billion of total sales. Riding/tractor lawn mowers and zero-turn models in particular have become increasingly popular with consumers. So have electric products, particularly lithium-ion battery-powered models that have been expanding from handheld tools like trimmers and leaf blowers to bigger machines such as lawn mowers and snow throwers. The battery-powered segment is expected to continue growing as battery technology is improving rapidly to deliver power and performance equal to gas-powered products. Lawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S., 11th Edition discusses why some consumers love these products and the new technologies and marketers that are challenging leading players in this arena.

Packaged Facts concluded, “Retailing is even more concentrated than marketing in this market. Home Depot and Lowe’s, plus Walmart and Sears/Kmart (both owned by Sears Holdings), dominate sales of L&G equipment in the U.S. They, along with other mass retailers, control 75 percent of total market sales and at least 80 percent of OPE sales. Consumers also shop the Internet aggressively, mainly for information and pricing on OPE. It’s estimated that more than one-third of OPE consumers shop online, seeking price comparisons and information on product features. Both retailers and marketers have embraced omni-channel retailing, which integrates the Internet (computers and mobile devices) with bricks-and-mortar stores, direct mail, and catalogs to provide consumers with a convenient, seamless shopping experience, allowing them to buy wherever, however, and whenever they want.”

For additional information, visit www.PackagedFacts.com.

SteveNoe1_01-02-14-web
OPE Editor Steve Noe
snoe@specialtyim.com

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