Posted by Abe Sauer on December 9, 2009 04:45 PM
There is no doubt that these are difficult times for many brands, especially luxury brands. Yet for every hulking, ominous, soul-crushing grey economic cloud there is a silver lining. In the current financial storm, that silver lining is being nailed down, sanded, and painted by do-it-yourself (DIY) brands. Not only are DIY brands standing strong in this turbulent economy, but they are growing.
Take AutoZone, for instance. It just posted a year-over-year fiscal quarter sales increase of 7.5 percent.
A recent Castrol brand study on DIY auto maintenance found 53 percent of owners now do some of their own auto work, compared to just 23 percent in 2008. AutoZone only sells parts and accessories and does not offer services such as repairs or installation. Pep Boys, an AutoZone competitor, also posted a 2 percent revenue increase (after a loss a year earlier.)
Though brands such as Home Depot and Lowe's have reported overall sales drops (due to the housing industry slump), some stores are reporting continued strong sales of items and accessories that fit the do-it-yourself category.
And to exemplify just how strong the do-it-yourself mindset is becoming, Regis, the operator of popular salon brands including Supercuts and Vidal Sassoon, just reported the first-ever, same-store sales slide in 87 years. The reason given for the historic downturn?
People cutting their own hair.