Market Analysis Summary
The Market Analysis looks at potential customers and potential business. Hisarlik Hardware explored the market segments, their needs, and did a marketing analysis.
The need for this venture was looked at first. Does downtown need a hardware store? The answer was a resounding yes.
Once the need was established, Hisarlik needed to analyze the make up of its customers, who and how many. Who is the potential customer? How many potential customers are there?
Once it was determined that there was a need and who the customer is, the next step was to figure out how to make them Hisarlik Hardware customers. How to get the potential customer in the store?
4.1 Market Segmentation
There are six major market segments:
- Downtown Residents: Downtown Residents will make up as much as 40% of the potential business of the store. This is an ever growing and expanding group. Downtown Resident levels are at an all-time high. There are also major projects like the former Cressida Agora site and the Troilus Townhomes in downtown Wilusa that will increase the numbers of residents. Wilusa Downtown, Inc. estimates there are currently 615 new residential units currently in the pipeline. In addition, 91 renovation permits were issued last year on existing downtown residential structures.
- Property Managers: Every residential building and every commercial building downtown has a property manager that keep the properties in good repair. These property managers all need supplies and materials that are conveniently available. These managers will be able to rely on Hisarlik Hardware to stock what they need. Hisarlik feels the store will prove to be a quick, easy, and convenient way to fulfill the needs of these property managers. Hisarlik and Building Blocks both feel paint and paint supplies will be a big percentage of what these property managers will buy. The City of Wilusa estimated there was $18.0 million in paint and wallpaper Retail Sales in 2002 (within a three mile radius of the proposed location).
- Contractors: As stated earlier, there were 91 renovation permits and 615 new residential units under construction in the last year. The new residential units represented $261 million investment in downtown. Hisarlik Hardware will work to become a reliable supplier to these contractors working in the area. We will also open early in the morning to help supply and be a convenient source for the contractors who start work early each day.
- Downtown Business: Every downtown business will need supplies from time to time. The City of Wilusa states there are 2,861 businesses located within one mile of the proposed location. As of the time of opening the focus will be to sell this group traditional retail hardware supplies. As the business is established, Hisarlik will work to develop the Commercial Supply Network for these businesses.
- Suburban Commuters: Since the proposed location is on a major Eastbound thoroughfare (E. Anglia Street) out of the downtown, the potential is encouraging for Suburban Commuters to stop on their lunch hour or on their way home from work. Research tells us that these commuters will be in search of good service and convenient shopping, things they may not find in their suburban neighborhoods.
- Commercial Sales: This could be the largest growth area of business that Hisarlik Hardware will have. As Hisarlik develops a positive reputation, there will be a push to activate the MRO (Building Blocks' commercial and industrial supply network). Once again with so many businesses located downtown there is an infinite amount of business. There are also a large number of Federal, State and Local government entities located downtown. These is also one major university and several major hospitals within two miles of the proposed location.
4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
Each market segment is unique and requires different marketing to attract them.
- Downtown Residents: The proposed location really takes care of this segment by itself. Because the proposed location shares the parking lot with Scamander's (the only grocery store downtown) it will act as a magnet to bring people to Hisarlik Hardware. Scamander's estimates customers visit their store every 2-3 days, which is fantastic for traffic. Based on discussions with Scamander's they are willing to work with Hisarlik to develop co-op programs to work together to build both businesses. There will also be direct mail programs and circulars to downtown residents to convert old habits as the business is started. There will also be a Building Blocks loyalty program implemented called Building Blocks Rewards. This program not only gives valuable research data, but also helps the store learn buying habits of the regular customers.
- Property Managers: It is expected that this group also has a significant need for downtown hardware and will find the store by word of mouth. Hisarlik will not rely on that. There will be a sales program to set up accounts with property managers and let them know about great service that is available. A list will be developed to pursue and court in order to build this business. Keeping in mind this group is in search of convenience and ease of shopping, having a delivery option will also be important to this group.
- Contractors: Hisarlik Hardware will have to go out and pursue this group. Hisarlik will have to visit job sites and let contractors know that Hisarlik is an option and the most viable option available. Delivery and hours of operation will be very important to this group.
- Downtown Businesses: There will be a direct mail program set up to make these businesses aware of the store and that it is an option for their hardware needs. The key to this group is awareness. They will also be looking for an easy and convenient way to get hardware items.
- Suburban Commuters: The direct mail program to offer hardware convenience to businesses will also create awareness with the suburban commuters. However, it is thought that the biggest attraction will be the outdoor signage. There will be signs on E. Anglia St. and Mercia Blvd. Both streets are high traffic areas and should create a good deal of awareness. Awnings are also thought to be an option on the Anglia St. side of the building. The color will not only be a change to what traffic is used to seeing but also exposure for the business.
- Commercial Sales: This segment is going to come down to hard work. It will require a dedicated sales person calling on potential customers and developing relationships with Commercial customers to turn this segment into a strong revenue stream.
4.2.1 Market Needs
Downtown residents have already expressed the need for a local hardware store, as is documented in the April 2003 issue of Wilusa Magazine. Residents recognize the need and will be supportive of a retailer answering their concerns. The data that has been supplied to Hisarlik Hardware (by Yorikle, a market research firm used by Building Blocks ) shows there is a population of nearly 53,000 people and more than 20,000 households within two miles of the proposed location. The analysis provided by Yorikle states the area could support a 19,000 sq. ft. store. We are proposing a 9,500 sq. ft. store. In other words, there is enough business in this area to support a store twice the proposed size. The report has also found there is more than $2.5 million of potential sales revenue, based on the number of households alone (not including any of the other segments). The potential is expected to grow to more than $3.0 million by 2007.
Hisarlik Hardware believes the key to the need analysis is that all of the research and potential was measured by households, and households only. The households only make up one segment of the potential business the store expects to generate.
4.2.2 Market Trends
When Hector Priamson initially looked at the hardware business, one of the most important factors was the fact this industry seems to be immune to significant fluctuations in the economy. Based on information from the US Department of Commerce, the home improvement retailing industry has consistently grown at a rate of 7% for the past decade and similar growth is expected for the foreseeable future.
In the 1990's the growth in the industry was attributable to strong home sales, economic prosperity, and significant amounts of home renovation. Since 2000, growth has stayed at the same levels even though some of these factors have changed. Growth since the year 2000 was attributable to low interest rates and refinancing. According to the Federal Reserve Board, 35% of all refinancing goes to home improvement.
What does the future hold? 93% of all Americans plan to stay in their current homes and 78% of homeowners plan to undertake home improvement projects in the next year. How much will they spend? 69% of homeowners plan to spend as much or more in the coming year than they did last year. Home improvement budgets have grown 31% since the year 2000.
4.3 Service Business Analysis
Hisarlik Hardware is being encouraged by Building Blocks to enter the equipment and party rental business upon opening the store. Based on conversations with other members, the rental component has been an overwhelming success adding to cash flow of the business as well as increasing traffic to the store. Reports of success unanimously talk about the fact that "renters" need tools and accessories to go with the rental equipment adding to the overall profitability of the store.
In the downtown market, the make-up of the rental inventory will vary a bit from what a suburban store might have. Hisarlik Hardware will work with the Building Blocks Rental people to determine the inventory. Hisarlik will rely on the knowledge and expertise of Building Blocks.
An investmentm is required upon opening for the initial purchase of the equipment to rent. Building Blocks has the necessary training and computer support to make this a very logical addition to the traditional hardware store.
4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns
The "Big Boxes", such as Lowe's, Menard's, and Home Depot have had a significant effect on the Home Improvement industry. According to the National Retail Hardware Association, based in Wilusa, the Big Boxes have expanded the market, increasing consumer participation in home improvement. However, the National Retail Hardware Association feels that the Big Boxes are nearing a saturation point, and in the future, they cannot open many more stores without it affecting and threatening other current Big Box locations.
"This competition has not kept independent hardware stores, home centers, and lumberyards from prospering. These stores are much more professionally operated than they were just a decade ago, and most posted strong profits last year."
---NRHA, 2004 Market Measure
Independent Hardware stores need to focus on their strengths.
Service. 88% of consumers have a favorable opinion of small business vs. 61% for big business (the lowest since 1993).
Convenience. Consumers want to get everything they need in one trip to the store. The Independent hardware stores are able to do this, because they work with their customers.
"There are four ways to compete
- Assortment & Variety
- Service & Experience
But price is only one of them."
---M. Chandler, a retail industry consultant
4.3.2 Main Competitors
There is no immediate local competition. The nearest hardware store is 1.8 miles away on South Hasan Dag Avenue. The store is a small, 4,000 sq. ft., and isn't current in its products or presentation.
Because of the lack of product and poor shopping presentation, residents do not consider this an option for hardware. The next closest hardware store is 2.7 miles away. There are several stores that are 3 to 4 miles from the proposed site. Studies say customers do not want to travel more than 3-7 minutes to a location. While these stores could serve the need, their location does not make them a viable option to downtown residents because of distance and neighborhoods.
The "Big Box" stores such as Lowe's, Home Depot, and Menard's are built to serve suburban Wilusa. The closest Lowe's is 12.5 miles and 17 minutes west of Hisarlik Hardware's proposed location. The nearest Home Depot is 10.5 miles or 16 minutes west of Hisarlik. Menard's is 9.3 miles and 14 minutes east of the location. There are no stores that are convenient to the downtown market. To get to any of these, customers must plan on spending 30-40 minutes of driving roundtrip at a minimum before even walking into the store. Hisarlik Hardware will be a 2-3 mile drive or 5-10 minutes maximum travel to the store. This convenience will be a major selling point for the business.
From discussions between Hisarlik Hardware and the parent company of Building Blocks, regarding the possibility of a "Big Box" store opening in the downtown area, it seems unlikely due to the size of the potential market, cost, and lack of real estate, to build such a structure in Arazawa Township.
An analysis of competitors in the equipment and party rental field is similar to that of the hardware industry. There is one competitor that is southeast of downtown, 1.5 miles from the proposed location. The company, Best Rentals, Inc., handles equipment and party rentals.
Tent rental has one competitor that is downtown. An factor in tent rental may be the clean new equipment and, once again, great service available from Hisarlik. American Tent and Awning is located 1.8 miles from the proposed location. One advantage for Hisarlik in tent/party rental is that a customer can cover more bases with the variety of equipment and supplies from a rental and hardware store versus a company that focuses solely on tent rental.
The closest tool rental company is 2.3 miles from the proposed location. Hisarlik Hardware feels that significant progress can be made into the tool rental business because of convenience. Hisarlik expects to be a fantastic solution for contractors working downtown who need equipment for the day or for the project. Residents downtown have smaller homes and condominiums, consequently they do not have room to own bulky or large quantities of equipment. This is expected to be a benefit for the rental business.