A recent episode of HBO's cult hit "Sex in the City" showed Sarah Jessica Parker's character Carrie Bradshaw, the heroine of New York chic, attempting to assist her boyfriend with a home improvement project at his country house. While Carrie was comically unsuccessful in her quest to be "handy," a study released today from Sears Craftsman and Roper-Starch Worldwide, Inc. blows away common myths about women and tools, uncovering surprising facts about who is really fixing up America's homes.
Independent Women Shatter Old Stereotypes
These days, men aren't the only ones prowling the tool aisle with a happy gleam in their eye. According to the Sears Craftsman-Roper Starch study, the majority of women consider themselves to be fairly experienced "do-it-yourselfers," and three out of four use their own tools to get the job done.
Women aren't taking on home improvement projects because they think their husbands or significant others aren't up to the task. And, while Carrie Bradshaw was only handy to impress the man in her life, the majority of women tackle their own pet projects because they are capable of doing so, can save money and get a kick out of getting it done themselves. Reflecting a new confidence in their abilities, 37 percent of women say they are more likely to take on home improvement projects today than five years ago. Many point to media role models, such as Martha Stewart and Bob Vila, as a useful source of inspiration and instruction.
"This study shows that more and more women are jumping into home improvement projects because they want to, not out of necessity," said Yvette Santana, brand manager for Sears Craftsman. "As this trend continues to grow, we're excited to help a new generation of female DIYers buy the right tools to build their dreams."
Is That a Sandal or a Hammer? . . . Why Her Perfect Holiday Gift May Not Have Heels!
While most women do own some tools, they often find themselves lacking exactly the right tool at the right time. Reflecting their resourceful nature and need to "get the job done," most women have been forced to make a creative substitute when they don't have the perfect tool on hand. For example, 56 percent of women have used a coin in place of a screwdriver while nearly 3 out of 10 women have been optimistic enough to try to use a kitchen knife in place of a saw, or tweezers in place of pliers.
The majority of woman surveyed have buckled under at least once and rummaged through closets, cupboards and drawers in desperate search of a shoe, can or sturdy kitchen utensil that could double as a hammer. Based on this feedback, parents, friends and boyfriends who are shopping for their favorite females should remember that the perfect gift to save her sanity (and shoes) just might be a shiny new red tool box stocked with all the do-it-yourself essentials.
This Roper Starch Worldwide study was conducted via telephone among a nationally-representative sample of 1,025 women 18 or older. The sample was collected June 21 through June 25, 2001 using Random Digit Dialing. The sample was weighted by demographic factors including age, sex, geographic region, and race to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the United States adult population of women. Results based on the entire sample of 1,025 are projectable to the entire adult population of women in the United States, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Results based on subgroups have a larger sampling error.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) is a leading retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of more than $40 billion. The company serves families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 860 full-line stores. Sears also offers a wide variety of merchandise and services through its Web site, www.sears.com .
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Contact: Amy McKnight of Citigate Cunningham, +1-617-494-8202,
firstname.lastname@example.org , or Melissa Winchester of Sears PR,