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Where Kiwi tradies go hardware shopping

Where Kiwi tradies go hardware shopping

In news that is unlikely to surprise anyone, Mitre 10 remains the country’s most popular hardware store, with 1.08 million New Zealanders 14+ shopping there in an average four weeks. So far, so predictable. But which hardware chain is most likely to attract tradespeople? And where are these tradies most likely to be located? Roy Morgan Research investigates…

In the year to October 2014, Carters had the highest proportion of customers in an average four weeks working in trades and technical jobs (23.3%). In other words, nearly one in four people at a Carters checkout are professional handy-people, ahead of around 1 in 5 at ITM (20.2%), 1 in 6 at PlaceMakers (16.4%), 1 in 7 at Bunnings (14.1%), and 1 in 9 at Mitre 10 (11.4%).

However you’d have better odds randomly picking a tradie off the street than inside a Hammer Hardware store, where 8.8% of all customers during an average four weeks were tradies, compared with 9.3% of the general NZ population.

Proportion of hardware store customers who are Tradespeople/Technicians:


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), November 2013 – October 2014 (n=11,665). Base: New Zealanders 14+.

But even though Carters, ITM and PlaceMakers have the highest ratio of tradies per customer, the two dominant players still attract the highest number of tradies overall: 36.7% of all tradespeople or technicians shop at Mitre 10 in an average four weeks, and 31.4% shop at Bunnings—it’s just that a lot of non-tradies shop at these big boys too.

Using Roy Morgan’s consumer psychographic segmentation tool Helix Personas, we have profiled and mapped the personas that are most likely to have a greater number of tradies.

There are six Helix Personas with more than 1 in 8 members working as tradies or technicians. Kiwis classified as Older Set for Life (608) or Areas in Transition (704) are around twice as likely to be tradies, followed by Penny Wise (701), Life Strivers (703), Country Comforts (502), Making the Rent (507) and Big Future (206).

Plotting these six Personas on the map reveals one example of how a well-located Carters gets a high rate of tradies among its customer base: its inner Christchurch location is practically surrounded by the types of Kiwis who are most likely to be tradespeople.

Where over 1 in 8 residents are tradies in Christchurch:


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), November 2013 – October 2014 (n=11,665). Base: New Zealanders 14+.

John La Rosa, Client Services Manager New Zealand, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Carters’ Christchurch store is smack bang in the middle of an area densely population by Kiwis working in trades and technical jobs—just the type of person likely to shop at a hardware store.

“With Mitre 10 and Bunnings dominating the market, it’s vital for smaller hardware chains to understand their current customers and pinpoint niche targeting opportunities. The unhandy among us may often ask a tradie friend where to go for supplies, so having a solid customer base of professionals is also an important word-of-mouth tool for stores.

“By mapping exactly where different types of people live, retailers can pinpoint the best locations for future stores and determine the best way to advertise to people living around existing stores.

It is vital for hardware chains to have a detailed understanding of their consumers in order to fully understand and thrive in this competitive and ever-changing market.”


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