Women Shoppers Say Men Are Treated Better in Hardware Stores

Posted: June 14, 2024
Category: Spotlight on Business

Women are no strangers to shopping in hardware stores, yet a recent survey indicates they don’t necessarily enjoy the experience. In the past, home improvement operations were male domains. However, women now play an instrumental role in completing DIY projects and hiring contractors. The Nationwide Survey of American Women’s DIY Home Improvement Habits and Trends shared vital insights about female shoppers and their complex relationship with the home improvement industry.

Although women can purchase DIY products online, most (71 percent) prefer to visit a physical store. Women are instrumental to the profitability and growth of the home improvement industry since “93 percent of women have completed a DIY project in their home and spend an average of $2,300. “Yet, many women don’t feel accepted in these environments.

  • 1 in 10 don’t feel comfortable navigating large stores alone
  • 2 in 5 feel they are treated differently than men by employees
  • 1 in 5 feel judged when they ask for help
  • 16 percent were made to feel stupid for asking for help

Why Women Like Working on Projects
Women enjoy saving money and feel that completing their projects is a good financial decision. Nine in ten women surveyed mentioned the cost-cutting benefit of DIY projects. Others said it gives them a sense of accomplishment and an opportunity to have fun while improving their indoor or outdoor living spaces.

  • 72 percent feel confident completing a home improvement project
  • 78 percent find projects enjoyable
  • 54 percent enjoy working with their hands
  • 53 percent like learning practical skills

Building Relationships Between Partners
When it comes to figuring out home improvement projects, two heads can work better than one. Women with partners often defer to their partners to complete DIY tasks for them. Even so, one in five women determines which projects will be done. But when it comes to picking up supplies, couples prefer to shop together for the items they need.

  • 81 percent of women ask their partners to complete DIY projects
  • 69 percent visit home improvement stores as a couple
  • 69 percent of women say their partners are handy
  • 37 percent of women think their partners do more work than they do

Learning to be Handy
It pays for homeowners and apartment dwellers to be handy. Most women credit YouTube videos, TikTok, and their fathers for their DIY skills. Women are adept at finding a stud and patching walls (76 percent), replacing doorknobs (71 percent), resetting a blown fuse (69 percent), and relighting pilot light (51 percent). Overall, three in five women consider themselves handy.

However, before the work begins, women seek inspiration for their home improvement projects to ensure they turn out as planned. YouTube (50 percent) and Pinterest (46 percent) are primary sources of inspiration. Google (42 percent) is a close third. Women also look for inspiration by watching home improvement TV shows, talking to family and friends on TikTok and Instagram, and in magazines. Women want to understand what is required of them to transform the vision they have for their home into reality. Eighty-eight percent of them even come equipped with their tool kits.

  • 91 percent of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers own a toolkit
  • 87 percent of millennials and 80 percent of Gen Z own a toolkit
  • 73 percent of women don’t like “girly” tools
  • Nearly one in two Gen Zers prefer “girly” tools

Observations for Independents
The findings in the Nationwide Survey of American Women ‘s DIY Home Improvement Habits and Trends can help identify opportunities to improve the interactions and communications between store employees and female customers. Responding to women’s concerns in the survey and understanding their motivations benefit retailers and their customers.