The Canadian hardware industry had a particularly good year in 2017. Building material and garden equipment/supplies dealers had year-to-date sales up to 13.2% in 2017, Retail Insider reports. At a time when other retailers were struggling, the Canadian hardware industry appears to be thriving.
With that in mind, what retail trends will help Canadian hardware retailers stay on top in 2018? We’re exploring the themes you might expect to see.
- Store rebranding and expansion
Already in 2018, we’ve seen some hardware retailers changing up their brand. At the end of 2017, RONA unveiled a new store prototype. Lowe’s Canada has also announced their plans to make RONA the number one banner in the building-centre market in the country. Marcil stores in Quebec will also be rebranded as part of the RONA chain.
- Less compartmentalization
One feature of the new RONA prototype that could be extending across the hardware industry is less in-store segregation. Open floor plans, brighter rooms, and outside spaces as extensions of the interior are all new trends in the Canadian housing market, according to Lowe’s Canada, and as such is something the new stores will try to incorporate. Shorter racking, seasonal products near the front of the store, and household appliances near the kitchen project section are all changes RONA plans to make.
- Changing Canadian mortgage rules
As of January 1, 2018, new Canadian mortgage rules are in effect that will make it harder for Canadians to afford their homes. And paired with higher-interest rates, Canadians will have less home equity to access to fund home renovation projects. It’s not quite clear how this will affect the Canadian hardware industry, but we’ll likely see a trickle effect.
According to a survey by CGI, becoming a digital organization is the number one trend for the retail and consumer services industry. Thus, we think improving the customer experience with digital technologies will be a big retail trend for 2018. Using retail analytics, digital signage, and e-commerce websites will all become more important as time passes, and the Canadian hardware industry will likely be no different.
- Fibreglass insulation, smart home appliances, and other technological advances
Just as digitization is important for retailers, it’s also important for consumers. Technological advances will likely play more of a role in residential homes. According to the Freedonia Group, demand for fiberglass insulation is forecasted to advance to $4.4 billion pounds in 2021. The popularity of smart home appliances is also on the rise, and in 2018 Canadian hardware retailers may find technology driving sales.
With any luck, 2018 will be just as successful a year for Canadian hardware as 2017. It will be well worth it for retailers to keep an eye on retail trends across industries as the year advances. Retail Insider reports 2018 is a year of transformation, so it’s best to stay ahead of the curve.
Storesupport Canada can help. Our experienced retail team has solutions for in-store merchandising, people support, retail audits, and much more. Find out all that we offer at www.storesupport.ca or call 1-877-421-5081.