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Market Insights

The Home Improvement Industry

Annual sales in the home improvement industry reached $407 billion in 2019 and independent retailers are the largest contributors, accounting for more sales than the top three big-box chains combined.

The Independent Channel

Independent retailers account for more sales than their big-box competitors because of their size and ability to make quick decisions. They are trusted curators of products and pick products based on their customers’ specific needs. Independents also pride themselves on being knowledgeable about the items they stock, which means they can talk about your products’ benefits.

5 Ways Independent Retailers Stay Competitive


Independent retailers rely on high-touch service, such as product and project knowledge and special store services.


They tailor their product assortments to meet the needs of their particular markets and based on customer request.

Buying Power

They utilize the buying strength of their distributors to offer competitive pricing on products.

Distributor Programs

They use distributor retail programs for assistance in advertising and merchandising.

Variable Pricing

They implement variable pricing practices and they watch prices in their markets to remain competitive.

Source: NHPA Research

The Impact of COVID-19

Retailers are reporting record growth in 2020 and they are using it to invest in new products, categories and other business improvement projects.


Independent retailers that are reporting sales increases as of September 2020 over the same period in 2019.


Retailers that reported an increase in sales in 2020 tell us they are up an average of 24%.

Sources: NRHA 2021 Budgeting and Election Survey—Sept 2020