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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Friday, May 22, 2015

Support Your Local Hardware Store: Study Shows Big Benefits for Your Community

By: Tara Mazzarella, Account Coordinator, Independent We Stand

Independent We Stand partnered with the North American Hardware Retailing Association (NRHA) to develop the “Home Sweet Home” study, which examined the economic impact of supporting independent hardware, outdoor power equipment, paint and lumber retailers as opposed to national home center chains. The results of this groundbreaking industry research were presented at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nev., on May 6, 2015. Our co-founder, Bill Brunelle, presented the findings, alongside Dan Trantensek, Vice President of NRHA, and Roger Phelps, Promotional Communications Manager at STIHL Inc.

The Home Sweet Home study; which was conducted by Civic Economics, found that purchasing home improvement products from locally-owned retailers generates twice as much local economic activity than purchases made at big box chain stores. These results prove that when a consumer spends their money on home improvement products, at an independent business more of their money will be re-circulated into their local economy; providing more funding for roads, schools, fire and rescue departments, and wages for their neighbors.

The study also found that purchasing STIHL products from an independent dealer results in a 71% increase in economic activity compare to purchasing comparable outdoor power equipment products at the major chains.
Brunelle says, “There’s no doubt that supporting local businesses is beneficial to a community. Previous research has shown that independently owned businesses provide substantial, quantifiable economic benefits. Our work with NRHA has produced some exciting results which illustrate the impact specifically within the hardware, outdoor power equipment, paint, and lumber industry. We are thrilled to share the findings of the Home Sweet Home Study and their potential impact on locally owned hardware stores.”
To demonstrate the results of the study, we also teamed up with STIHL Inc to create a “Home Sweet Home” economic impact calculator. How does it work? Just enter in your zip code to determine how much money you could re-circulate into your local economy if you trusted locally-owned retailers with your home-improvement product purchases.

Together, the two largest national home center chains sold more than $114 billion in goods in 2013 (excluding installation services). If just 10% of that business had gone instead to independents, hometowns around the country would enjoy the benefits of an additional $1.3 billion in economic activity.

This new research sheds light on the importance of independent locally-owned businesses and further illustrates the importance and economic benefits of supporting them. See for yourself and calculate your impact: http://www.independentwestand.org/home-sweet-home-economic-impact-calculator/
To see the full “Home Sweet Home” research study, click here.
For more information on Civic Economics, visit http://www.civiceconomics.com/
For more information on the North American Retail Hardware Association, visit http://nrha.org/