Survey Reveals Consumer Buying Behavior: The Art Publisher's Association Recently Conducted a Consumer Survey of Poster and Home Decor Buyers. A Variety of Trends Emerged

Art Business News, January 2002 | Go to article overview

Survey Reveals Consumer Buying Behavior: The Art Publisher's Association Recently Conducted a Consumer Survey of Poster and Home Decor Buyers. A Variety of Trends Emerged


SPECIAL REPORT--The Art Publishers Association (APA) recently conducted its second quantitative research survey to understand the profile, spending levels, purchasing patterns, drives and motivations for consumers who buy home decor items such as a framed pictures, posters, art prints, mirrors, wall hangings and more. A total of 1,003 households were surveyed by telephone in August. A variety of trends emerged.

Major Finings

The survey found that the total number of households that bought an item designed to be hung on the wall for display was 529, or 53 percent of the total survey sample.

The survey also found that while households of all age ranges buy wall decor, the highest level of purchasing incidence is found among the 18-to 24-year-old set. Additionally, the survey found that slightly more women heads of households report buying wall decor in the past year than men, and that white households participate in purchasing more widely than do black households.

Perhaps not suprisingly, the highest purchasing incidence is found in households with incomes above the $50,000 level. Those who live in a multi-person household, especially those with children under the age of 18 years, are also more likely to buy wall decor-related items.

According to the survey, the top three most-purchased wall decor items are unframed pictures, art prints and/ or posters; pre-framed art prints and/or posters; and photographs.

The typical amount spent on these wall decor items over the past year is between $100 and $400. The households spending at the higher levels are those comprised of buyers aged 25 to 44 years living in metro areas of the country.

According to the findings, 44 percent of U. S. households have purchased art (pictures, art prints, posters, or original works of art) in the past 12 months. This number is consistent with previous research conducted in 2000, when the same percentage of households were buying art.

Among the 44 percent of households who bought art in the past 12 months, 29 percent bought unframed pieces; 25 percent bought pre-framed pieces; 12 percent bought custom-framed pieces; and 14 percent bought original works of art.

This year, discount stores overtook art galleries as the top source for decorative art. One-third of the households who bought pictures, art prints, posters, and/or original works of art turned to discount stores for their purchasing needs. According to the survey, the top motivators for buying a piece is to meet decorating needs and liking the picture.

As for the future, 42 percent of households report they are at least somewhat likely to purchase art work in the next year. Younger consumers, especially those in the 18-to-24-year age range, are the most likely to make a purchase. The 55 years and over buyers are the least likely to acquire any pieces of art in the coming year. These consumers report their houses are already decorated, and they've run out of wall space.

Characteristics of the Wall Decor Buyer

According to the survey, the typical wall decor-buying household is younger, Caucasian and tends to be female. The prime age range for households buying wall decor ranges from 18 to 64 years old, with the highest level of participation among the households ages 18 to 24. Just under two-thirds of total households in this age range are involved in buying wall decor.

Regionally, the South, Northeast and Western states have a higher concentration of buyers (57 percent, 52 percent and 52 percent respectively) than the North-Central states (48 percent).

The typical wall decor-buying household is in the mid- or upper-income range and is composed of three or more individuals who have children under 18 in the home. About two-thirds of the highest income households making $50,000 or more are involved in purchasing wall decor. This incidence is statistically significant when compared with those in the lowest income levels of less than $15,000 or $15,000 to $25,000, where purchasing incidence is 40 percent and 51 percent respectively. …

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