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5 Studies and Reports to Help Your Business

All smart decisions are based on research, be it product development, marketing strategies or financial decisions. It’s important to look for trends, industry best practices and any other data that supports those decisions. At the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and Hardware Retailing magazine, we understand the value of industry research, and we strive to provide our readers with new and relevant data.

Below are five recent studies and research reports we’ve developed in the past year. Other data-driven resources can be found under Research & Guides.

Also, in the year ahead, we have some exciting research initiatives planned, such as looking at retailers’ adoption of chip card readers and what they’re doing to put together succession plans. We’ll also be revisiting NRHA’s extremely popular Merchandising for Profit Study.


Home Sweet Home: NRHA sponsored a study with Independent We Stand and found that a purchase made at a local home improvement store keeps twice as much money in a community compared to the same purchase made at a big box. View the full study here. To use these findings in your store, download the free, shop-local toolkit.


Cost of Doing Business Study: For almost 100 years, NRHA has gathered financial data from independent home improvement stores to create the industry’s only benchmarking report, which helps you identify areas of opportunity for your store. Download the 2015 Cost of Doing Business Study, and watch for the 2016 Cost of Doing Business Study that will be released this fall.


2016 Social Media Study: In 2016, more than 280 independent home improvement retailers completed an online survey about their usage of social media for their businesses. Download the full study here. Also available is a free, downloadable toolkit that can help you improve your store’s social media use.


Market Measure Report: At the end of each year, Hardware Retailing magazine and NRHA release the Market Measure Report that reviews home improvement growth, store count, financial metrics, housing statistics and an outlook of the years to come. To download the 2015 Market Measure Report, click here.


2016 Retailers’ Website Usage: To get an idea of how many independent home improvement stores have websites and the different informational or e-commerce capabilities their websites provide, we surveyed more than 100 retailers. Use this questionnaire to see how your business’s website compares to others, and find ways to improve.

About Hilary Welter

As marketing and research coordinator, it’s Hilary’s duty to keep retailers informed about NRHA products and services and to help coordinate industry research projects. Additionally, Hilary is the voice behind NRHA’s and Hardware Retailing’s social media accounts. She appreciates a good book, spicy food, well-made horror films, craft beer and exploring new places near and far.

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