Is do-it-for-me the next big fad in the Home Improvement segment?

Bloomberg has reported how North American homeowners are abandoning do-it-yourself projects in record numbers to go with the pros, making “do-it-for-me” the largest and fastest growing sector of the market, according to Sherwin-Williams Co. The trend is a boon for contractor-focused paint shops owned by Sherwin, PPG Industries Inc. and Benjamin Moore, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The report quotes Bob Wells, a Sherwin Senior Vice President, as saying “Residential repaint activity, which is the largest segment in the pro market, has been very strong. DIY on the other hand has been lagging.”

Contractors accounted for 62 percent of North American home repaint jobs in 2017, with the remainder DIY, according to Sherwin-Williams. That’s a big reversal from 1980, when DIY dominated with 59 percent of the market. While the 2009 recession gave a brief boost to DIY, contractors have gained each year since. Paintmakers are hurrying to adapt to the change in their customers’ habits, in part by opening more branded stores that cater to contractors. Sherwin Williams, the world’s largest paintmaker, operates 4,696 such stores in the Americas, up 40 percent in a decade. PPG, the No. 2 coatings maker, has more than doubled its stores to about 900, though house paint makes up a smaller part of its industrial-focused portfolio.

The report mentions how similar trends are emerging throughout the economy. It cites Valvoline Inc. saying how Americans are increasingly abandoning DIY motor-oil changes for lube shops. Or how the rise of grocery deliveries and meal kits means many consumers spend less time in supermarkets.