Accelerated Analytics’ CEO, Chad Symens, and Director of Sales and Marketing, Jen Freyer, attended and sponsored the Home Improvement Research Institute event in Chicago this week. HIRI saw a record turnout of attendees at this 2-day event. Home and hardware vendors and retailers joined industry leaders to share insights into the current and future market of retail and the economy in this sector. The speakers brought many common themes to their topics. Home improvement projects are on the rise as millennials start to purchase their first homes and are buying older homes that need renovations. Generation X and Baby Boomers are staying in their current homes longer, adding projects from basement restorations to bath and kitchen remodels. The experts agreed that repair and remodeling spending will continue to go up in the next year. The biggest areas of home improvement projects also include adding technology to make homes “smart”, energy efficiencies, exterior landscaping and outdoor living, and retrofitting older homes. Estimates are that there will be a 57% increase in DIY spending, as many homeowners are trending towards doing multiple and bigger projects all at once. Consumers are indicating they want to invest in their homes and their family circle. Consumer confidence is high and unemployment is low, both great indicators of continuing the upward trend. The Home Depot and Lowe’s both produced very high same-sales in Q2 of this year. Accelerated Analytics’ vendor customers saw even higher gains than that, by tracking stock levels and making informed choices with regard to their product mix in those stores.