Thompson Lightstone

Thompson Lightstone is a full-service primary research supplier which designs and implements research programs.To address the question of which major markets present the greatest potential for Home Store, we would recommend a two-pronged approach, gathered from primary and secondary research sources.Secondary...

Thompson Lightstone is a full-service primary research supplier which designs and implements research programs.

To address the question of which major markets present the greatest potential for Home Store, we would recommend a two-pronged approach, gathered from primary and secondary research sources.

Secondary information, available at minimal cost, will narrow the market possibilities which can be subsequently explored through primary consumer research.

Recommended secondary sources include: electronic data searches, published material and shared-cost research.

Electronic Data Searches

Info-Globe offers on-line access to more than 7,300 publication and information services. Costs are based upon the amount of time connected to the database and the amount of information which is printed out.

The Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library offers a search service similar to InfoGlobe’s, but with no associated costs. The library’s two databases (ABI/Inform and Canadian Business and Current Affairs) cover articles from more than 800 international business journals, publications, periodicals and magazines.

Published material

Statistics Canada publications, available at minimal cost, supply information on annual expenditure on household facilities and equipment, home repairs and renovations and other home-related expenses.

The numbers of building permits issued for renovations can also be obtained from Statistics Canada and The Financial Post’s annual publication, Canadian Markets.

The latter includes the number of permits issued and homes built on a market-by-market basis, as well as information by cma and ca on projected total retail and hardware store sales.

The biannual financial survey of the Canadian Retail Hardware Association provides in-depth financial information for hardware and building supply stores including: total sales, gross and net profit, net income and inventory turnover on a provincial and market size by province basis.

Shared-cost research

The final secondary source is the PMB: Print Measurement Bureau shared-cost study.

The pmb provides information on frequency of home improvement activities, the number of homeowners and vacation homeowners, specific home improvements which have been completed recently by self and contractor, value of home improvements completed and recent purchase of major appliances, small appliances and tools.

The cost of access to pmb is dependent on a variety of factors.

Once the secondary sources have been consulted, custom-designed research of a variety of different types can be conducted to fill in any existing gaps in the market information.

The associated costs are dependent upon the size and depth of the project and cannot be estimated until the project is completely designed.

One option would be to conduct a random survey to obtain a profile of the existing market to determine incidence of home improvements, and to profile the consumer and their awareness, purchase behavior and attitudes.

Another option would be to solicit consumer reaction to the store concept, advertising and signage through face-to-face interviewing.

One method allows a consumer to ‘walk’ through a store via a slide presentation, during which respondents can choose closeups of store shelves and can make purchase selections.

Another method would be to present the store concept via videotape to obtain overall reaction and response to store layout and signage.

For more information, contact Sharon Dixon, senior research associate, Thompson Lightstone, 1027 Yonge St., Suite 100, Toronto, Ont., M4W 2K9. Tel: (416) 922-1140, fax (416) 926-8014.