Survey: Ace Hardware tops among home improvement retailers

Ace Hardware is tops when it comes to customer satisfaction in the home improvement industry, according to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study, a news release said.

The retailer took the highest rank for the fourteenth time in 15 years, according to a press release on the findings.

The report also revealed that home improvement is one retail category that has maintained a consistent level of in-store shopping.

“The home improvement category is booming right now as part of the pandemic-related silver lining from people being home more and finally getting the time to tackle those home projects,” Christina Cooley, director of the Home Intelligence Practice at J.D. Power, said in the release. “What’s interesting is that unlike many other retail categories, when it comes to home improvement, customers are heading out to the stores to touch and feel products before buying — and wanting to engage with store staff along the way.”

Additional key findings include:

  • Nearly one-third (30{28ab41d673507bfe0daf970418d2e81f9476b3e139564442359ad7402c370b16}) of U.S. consumers are either planning or actively working on a home improvement project.
  • Just 13{28ab41d673507bfe0daf970418d2e81f9476b3e139564442359ad7402c370b16} of home improvement retailer customers purchased products via a retailer’s website, while 87{28ab41d673507bfe0daf970418d2e81f9476b3e139564442359ad7402c370b16} shopped in a brick-and-mortar location. Of the 87{28ab41d673507bfe0daf970418d2e81f9476b3e139564442359ad7402c370b16} who shopped in a store, 98{28ab41d673507bfe0daf970418d2e81f9476b3e139564442359ad7402c370b16} felt safe and comfortable while shopping during the height of the pandemic.
  • Customers don’t want to have to spend more than five minutes finding an item or aisle and 66{28ab41d673507bfe0daf970418d2e81f9476b3e139564442359ad7402c370b16} of customers said their home improvement retailer met this threshold. One differentiator is customers’ ability to receive assistance without having to search or ask for it. More than half (55{28ab41d673507bfe0daf970418d2e81f9476b3e139564442359ad7402c370b16}) give their primary retailer credit for doing so, but there is a definite range in performance, from the best-in-class retailer achieving this criteria 72{28ab41d673507bfe0daf970418d2e81f9476b3e139564442359ad7402c370b16} of the time to the lowest average of 49{28ab41d673507bfe0daf970418d2e81f9476b3e139564442359ad7402c370b16}.

Ace Hardware ranked highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 863. Menards (836) ranked second.

The study is based on responses from 2,172 customers who purchased home improvement-related products from a home improvement retailer within the previous 12 months.