Homeowners are Time-Starved and Heavily Stressed, Studies Find
The single most important trend that will drive consumers over the next several years is the lack of time a fact of life that spells important news for kitchen and bath retailers.
According to a pair of a recent studies by the Riedel Marketing Group, a leading consumer research firm, most American families today have less "free time" than ever.
- The work week has increased by 15% in the last 25 years, while
leisure time has decreased 37%.
- Some 22% of women worked more than 40 hours a week in 1998,
compared with 14% in 1979. As for men, 40% work more than 40 hours
a week an increase of 5% over the two decades.
- Today's average married couple labor a cumulative 717
more each year than a working couple in 1969.
Two different research studies cited by Riedel arrived at the same conclusion: In one study, 65% of respondents strongly agreed with the statement "there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done." In another study, 76% of respondents strongly agreed with the statement "I do not have enough time in the day to get everything done."
Americans also report that they're willing to pay, trade future income and sacrifice career advancement in order to create more time for their personal life.
Many kitchen and bath retailers already offer solutions to this time crunch in the form of more efficient and user-friendly rooms that mean less time needed on maintenance. Kitchen/great rooms give busy families a place to make the most of this scarce leisure time, while luxurious master baths give couples a soothing haven to relax and unwind from the day. At the same time, specialized storage increases efficiency in every room, and saves time.
However, are you sending the right message? If you offer one-stop design, product and installation service, does your literature, signage and advertising reflect that benefit? Too many design firms that offer turnkey service do not stress its advantages.
Furthermore, many kitchen/bath retailers fail to recognize the value of time to today's consumers. Your customers are in their offices during ordinary business hours, and even beyond. You must make your store hours and availability match their needs, not yours.
Kitchen and bath retailers are selling what consumers need most today. But it's the fault of retailers if they fail to let consumers know that.