It’s Not Just a Trend — Why Home Improvement Franchises Are Hot Now… And Will Continue to Thrive
One of the biggest reasons for the longest-running economic expansion in modern American history has been what’s happened in the housing business. Since a collapse in the U.S. housing market significantly contributed to the Great Recession a decade ago, a real, gradual and steady recovery in Americans’ home-buying ambitions has been a major factor in the overall growth of the economy. As this new wave of home buyers realized their dreams, they contributed to the highest level of U.S. consumer confidence in many years.
And while the housing market has softened somewhat over the last year, there was bound to be a leveling out in sales of both new and existing homes of some sort after a decade of such robust growth. More important: The tremendous turnover in the U.S. housing stock over the past ten years has created virtually unlimited opportunities for the home-improvement business, as Americans seek to remain in their homes, choosing to update or remodel instead of sell. This long-term opportunity is certain to remain — even through ups and downs in the sale of new and used houses per se.
Aging in Place
Another contributor to our optimism about the long-term trend is that the American population of homeowners continues to age. While the millennial generation has faced some difficulties finding the desire and acquiring the financial wherewithal to get traction in the housing market, the good news is that their parents, the baby boomer generation, have been staying in their houses longer than expected. And yet while wanting to age in place, boomers are less and less able to physically perform many of the home-improvement tasks that they may have done before. So they need more help from home-improvement franchises — including ShelfGenie.
Yet another factor underlying our optimism about the home-improvement business is the growing number of Americans who have the means to afford a ShelfGenie-type upgrade but simply don’t have the time or the abilities to do something like that in a culture that finds many individuals increasingly starved for time — and where there are a dwindling number of homeowners who can make their own enhancements and perform their own repairs.
Kitchens: The Heart of the Home
Specifically, there’s good news for ShelfGenie when it comes to another trend: Americans’ growing focus on making their kitchens just right. Credit a number of trends — an increasing interest in preparing healthy meals in the home instead of dining out, the boom in the meal-home-delivery business, the number of popular cooking shows on television, and others — but it’s clear that, more than ever, U.S. homeowners center their lives in and around kitchen activities, so they’re willing to spend significant amounts on that crucial space.
All of this is good news, of course, for ShelfGenie and for our franchise partners. Entrepreneurs invest in our brand and capabilities, often in multiple territories, partly based on their confidence that home improvement overall will remain one of the fastest-growing areas of the U.S. economy and an especially golden field for solid franchise brands like ShelfGenie.
The Right Place at the Right Time
Make no mistake about it: ShelfGenie franchise partners also are placing their confidence particularly in ShelfGenie. We began franchising in 2008, and made it onto Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 500 fastest-growing companies for three years running, beginning in 2009. We grew strongly right through the recession as the U.S. housing market regained its footing.
And nowadays, when it comes to home improvement in general and specifically to kitchen improvements, ShelfGenie makes a great investment for homeowners. We can come in and dramatically transform the storage capabilities and convenience factor of a key area of the home for an average price of just $3,500 — which contrasts nicely with the cost of $20,000 to $40,000 for complete replacement of kitchen cabinets