Amid a cooling housing market, a shift in buying behaviors has the potential to move market share in the building products industry. During Zonda’s most recent Building Products webinar, Todd Tomalak and Matt Samson shared research highlighting how pro contractor behavior shifted in 2022 and the potential ramifications these behaviors could have in the industry.

Over the past two years due to supply chain issues, Tomalak said many contractors sourced from retail channels they had not previously used. Zonda research indicates that contractors who switched channels in 2022 saw their project volume decrease by 8% and experienced a decline in pricing power as well.

“There is a pretty significant difference among these contractors based on where they have shifted. Contractors that had shifted to buying more from lumberyards gained pricing power,” Tomalak, principal of building products advisory at Zonda, said on the webinar. “Contrast that with what we’ve seen [from] large big box retailers. These big box retailers are exceptionally run businesses; however, a lot of the pro contractors that they’ve captured in the last 18 months have been smaller contractors with a smaller book of business. If we look at Lowe’s as a case study, the contractors that switched to Lowe’s that didn’t shop there before, that’s exactly whose book of business has been drying up by 10% or more and their pricing power was eroding really rapidly.”

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