Saturday, May 16, 2009

What consumers are still doing

Despite the recession, there are still some activities consumers are willing to spend their money on. Sageworks, Inc., a firm that tracks private-company financial performance, has compiled a list of seven. Number 2 signals opportunity for the landscape service sector.

  • 1) Repairing their cars instead of buying new autos. Auto repair shops grew their sales by an average of 2.4% over the last 12 months. In contrast, car dealerships saw their sales decline by 9.7% in the same period.
  • 2) Remodeling and repairing their homes instead of moving. Building equipment contractors (such as electricians, plumbing and heating contractors) saw their sales increase by 4.6% in the last 12 months.
  • 3) Shopping at grocery stores more than eating out. Grocery stores experienced average sales growth of 6.7% over the last 12 months. Sit-down restaurants saw growth of 3.9% in the same period.
  • 4) Attending technical and trade school. Trade and technical schools saw their top-line sales grow by 7.8% in the last 23 months, compared to growth of 5.9% in 2007.
  • 5) Going to the dentist. The average dentists’ office experienced sales growth of 6.9% in the last 12 months, up from 4.9% in 2007.
  • 6) Getting personal care services such as haircuts and manicures. Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, and skin care providers experienced an average of 4.5% sales growth in the last 12 months.
  • 7) Visiting an accountant. Accounting firms saw average top-line revenues grow by 10.2% over the last 12 months, putting the accounting industry in the top 20 industries in the country by sales growth.

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