In April, BigResearch, an online marketing research company, conducted a survey of 8,000 consumers. It reports, in its Executive Briefing on this Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey, that 26 percent of consumers indicated they now are “confident/very confident” in the chances for a strong economy. Even more encouraging, that figure is up from the previous month, which is definitely moving in the right direction.
It also noted, in its 90-day outlook, that more respondents said they plan to spend more on home improvement over the next three months than those who said they would spend less. Another move in the right direction.
While none of this necessarily translates into more consumers spending on window coverings, the signs certainly are positive.
In this month’s Managing For Money column (page 42), Steve Bursten is ready to announce—if trends continue—“the worst is over!” In a column late last year he had expected window coverings sales to begin a slow rebound in May or June, but now thinks it may already be starting—particularly in the Midwest! Undaunted by the difficulty of predicting our economic futures, Bursten gives us road signs to watch for in coming months that will support his conclusion. Better yet, he offers ideas of how best to proceed if your company still is not quite stabilized and if you’ve been holding your own and are ready to grow, he has some ideas for you, too.
Elsewhere in this month’s issue (Case History, page 52), we learn about one West Fargo, ND, business—Jan’s Draperies—that created its own stimulus package with motorization. Jan Patterson landed a large job—large both in the number of windows and in the size of the windows. Through working with her fabricator, Patterson motorized 27 of 80 honeycomb shades for this project, which had the benefit of nearly doubling the profit on the sale.
Finally, an interesting note on consumer color choices (Trends Tracking, page 50) and how they are affected by the economy. Color Marketing Group executive director, Jaime Stephens, says consumers are looking for comfort in familiar colors and embracing colors that make them happy—especially as an accent color. Think: purple!
As spring moves into summer, there seems always to be hope. If these are all signs of lingering Spring Fever, let’s hope there’s no cure!
Draperies & Window Coverings