How COVID-19 Is Sparking DIY Home Renovation

How might COVID-19 impact the home renovation industry, according to social mentions and sentiment? Industry COVID-19 Impacts
3 min read
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Key Takeaways

  • Understand how social sentiment tracked by LikeFolio seeks to measure shifts in consumer behavior and sentiment for the home renovation industry 
  • There’s been a significant increase in DIY home renovation projects social mentions during the coronavirus outbreak, according to LikeFolio data
  • Learn how a few companies are experiencing an increased demand in sales because of the shift in consumer demand for DIY projects

You’re stuck at home, social distancing and quarantining yourself like a model citizen. After a few days go by, you realize the dreadful truth:  You’re only capable of binge-watching so much Netflix. And that’s when it hits you. You’re going to have to do something (gulp) productive.

Twitter home painting tweet for COVID-19

There’s no denying it any longer. It’s home renovation time. And you’re not alone.  

Home Renovations Surge

Take a look at Figure 1 below from LikeFolio that tracks the number of people talking about their home renovation ideas on social media.

FIGURE 1: HOME RENOVATION IDEA MENTIONS. Consumers mentioning home renovation ideas on social media spiked significantly in early March 2020. Source: LikeFolio. 

That’s a doubling of normal levels, in just two weeks. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the companies set to benefit from this massive shift in consumer behavior. After all, these “essential businesses” are delivering when many consumers find their regular activities are not an option.

Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW) see a surge in consumer demand, as noted in Figure 2 below.

FIGURE 2: HD CONSUMER PURCHASE INTENT SOCIAL MENTIONS. Consumer social mentions of HD surges, even while the HD stock falls in early 2020.
  • Home Depot purchase intent mentions are up 75% year-over-year.     
  • Lowe’s isn’t surging as strongly, but is still seeing a 55% year-over-year increase in purchase intent mentions.  
  • Quarantine-behavior shifts could boost consumer market share if Home Depot can properly capture customer information and deliver a positive experience.
  • LikeFolio data does not include contractor demand, which can be assumed to be significantly lower given current economic and social conditions.                                                                             

Whirlpool (WHR) Brands Are Creating A Wave

One of the most popular focal points of home renovations is the kitchen. This current trend isn’t surprising considering people are spending so much time eating and snacking that the “Quarantine 15” has already become a threat to waistlines.

Just look at the trajectory in Figure 3 below, demonstrating the number of consumers mentioning (on social media) their plans to do a kitchen renovation.

FIGURE 3: KITCHEN RENOVATION SOCIAL MENTIONS. In early March, social mentions of home renovations spikes significantly. Souce: LikeFolio.

Kitchen renovations usually entail appliance updates, and quarantine home renovation is no exception.

There are lots of appliance manufacturers showing solid demand gains from consumers. One of the most surprising we've tracked so far is Whirlpool’s Maytag brand appliances. Figure 4 below displays consumer purchase intent mentions by quarter.

FIGURE 4: WHIRLPOOL CONSUMER PURCHASE INTENT MENTIONS PER QUARTER. There is a 68% year-over-year increase in consumer demand for Maytag brand products according to the data provided by LikeFolio. Source: LikeFolio.  

  • Whirlpool Q1 purchase intent mentions are pacing to come in at a 33% increase year-over-year, with Maytag brand leading the way.
  • In its Q4 2019 earnings call, Whirlpool projected fairly flat retail sales in the U.S., and market share gains in major appliances via product innovations and pricing.
  • LikeFolio data suggests that Whirlpool’s major appliances and retail sales will potentially be positively impacted by the COVID-inspired home renovation surge. LikeFolio does not have insight into sales through home and multi-family builders.
  • Whirlpool stock fell from $155.25 at the end of January 2020 to under $65 in March 2020.                                                                                                                                                        

Grab a Brush: Paint Companies Benefit from Accessible DIY Projects

Painting the interior of a home is one of the easiest ways to renovate the look of a home, without letting a bunch of strangers inside during a quarantine.

LikeFolio data suggests that people are picking up the brush at an incredible pace while they’re stuck at home.

FIGURE 5: HOME RENOVATION PAINTING SOCIAL MENTIONS. During the early months of 2020, the social painting mentions surged significantly due to many people being quarantined at home. Source: LikeFolio.

That’s an unprecedented increase, and as of the publish date of this article, it’s only headed higher.

One company receiving a high number of social mentions coming out of this surge in DIY painting projects is Sherwin Williams, who has seen LikeFolio purchase intent mentions reach record levels in the first quarter.

FIGURE 6: SHERWIN WILLIAMS CONSUMER PURCHASE INTENT MENTIONS. In Q1 of 2020, Sherwin Williams experienced a record consumer purchase intent mentions. Source: LikeFolio.
  • Purchase intent mentions for Sherwin Williams increased by over 50% year-over-year.
  • Sherwin Williams consumer happiness levels dropped over the past month as consumers have grown frustrated with a lack of product availability.
  • Sherwin Williams stock fell by over 72 points in March of 2020.

The Home Renovation Boom is Real – Will Stocks Follow Suit?

Obviously, a two-week shift in consumer behavior does not necessarily translate into a great investment. Here are three key metrics to keep in mind over the coming weeks and months that can potentially help investors navigate the DIY trend surge during the COVID pandemic:

1. Does DIY home renovation enthusiasm return to normal levels once the quarantines are lifted, or are consumers simply front-loading their renovation budget due to stay at home constraints?

2. Which companies are successful at turning quarantine-inspired rookie renovators into long-term customers? Consumer happiness levels will tell the story here, and LikeFolio will be watching the trends closely.

3. How do these companies match up over time compared to the huge opportunities we are seeing in other quarantine-related consumer shifts like work from home, food delivery, and many others?

Bottom line

The data from the past few weeks indicates that consumers are in fact making the most of a difficult quarantine situation by tackling some needed DIY projects at home, and some companies are doing better than others at taking advantage of this unique opportunity.  

Andy Swan is not a representative of TD Ameritrade. TD Ameritrade and LikeFolio are separate and unaffiliated companies. The views and opinions expressed in this article are are solely those of the author.

Research provided by unaffiliated third-party sources. TD Ameritrade and any third parties mentioned are separate and unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s opinions, services, or policies. TD Ameritrade does not guarantee nor is it responsible for the completeness or accuracy of the data provided by third-party firms and makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy and completeness of the information, opinions, or views provided.


Key Takeaways

  • Understand how social sentiment tracked by LikeFolio seeks to measure shifts in consumer behavior and sentiment for the home renovation industry 
  • There’s been a significant increase in DIY home renovation projects social mentions during the coronavirus outbreak, according to LikeFolio data
  • Learn how a few companies are experiencing an increased demand in sales because of the shift in consumer demand for DIY projects

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