Tuesday, June 9, 2009

America Revs Up Its Do-It-Yourself Passion

While some marketers may be sick of hearing how the recession has changed the way consumers spend money, those selling do-it-yourself products have cause to rejoice: America's passion for DIY is fierce, with no sign of slowed growth.

Some 67 million Americans now change their own motor oil, 58 million are growing at least some of their food, and 36 million women are coloring their own hair, according to a new report from Packaged Facts, based on Experian Simmons National Consumer Study data. Overall, a whopping 56 percent of American shoppers are dabbling now in some level of DIY.

It's not all about the recession, and Packaged Facts predicts the trend will continue, even once the economy rediscovers its mojo. "The DIY movement is related to aspects of consumer psychology that extend beyond pure economics," it says -- adding that in some segments, demographic factors also play a major role.

For example, while 70 million people prepared their own tax refunds using software this year, it forecasts that through 2013, that number will grow 13 percent, fueled by the eldest Gen Y workers just entering the workforce. And it anticipates that the number of women using at-home hair coloring will increase 10 percent to total 40 million between 2008 and 2013, fueled by increases in multicultural women, who are more likely to experiment with home hair colors.

The number of automotive DIYers is expected to grow even faster, adding 16 percent by 2013. Drivers, eager to keep old cars on the road longer, say they are doing more and more repairs themselves, explaining sales increases at chains like AutoZone. "DIYers in the automotive sector make up 30 percent of the adult population but 40 percent of all adults planning to buy a car in the next six months and 37 percent of those planning to buy a domestic make," the report says.

Predicting growth in home DIY projects is still tricky, based on the weak real-estate market. But the vast majority of homeowners do at least some chores themselves -- only 18 percent rely exclusively on outside professionals to get the work done: The report finds that 101 million adults in 46 million households have been involved in some home improvement project during the past 12 months.

Some, however, are much more hands-on. Extreme DIYers are the single largest segment of the home-improver population-- 64 million people, or 52 percent of home improvers and 29 percent of the adult population; they also tend to be less affluent. Moderate DIYers, however, are more likely to make more than $100,000, and spend more time shopping for their DIY purchases.(Source: Marketing Daily, 06/01/09)

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