Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Sims, Clarence A.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Management


Interior decoration; Hardware


This paper provides an in-depth analysis of the process through which the decision was reached whether or not to introduce a totally new product line to the hardware industry and buying public. Manufacturers in the hardware industry are providing to the consumer decorative hardware items for various parts of the home, but no one manufacturer has provided what can be termed a complete selection of decorative hardware accents, coordinated by design and finish, for use throughout the residential dwelling. The hypothesis underlying this paper is that there is an opportunity to introduce such a product line, called in the paper the Total Residential Design Concept, based upon a need existing in the contemporary marketplace. The writer developed and personally conducted three research programs in search for information needed to ascertain the validity of the hypothesis. A survey was conducted among homebuilders to gain knowledge regarding the types of homes being built today. Also, published material concerned with the future of the housing industry in America was analyzed. In conjunction with the research into the housing industry, the trends of the remodeling market were pinpointed and studied. Secondly, a questionnaire was designed and sent to all retail outlets which had purchased another product line and merchandising program from the writer's employer. The purpose of the questionnaire was to provide infor­mation about the internal operating techniques and philosophies of retail stores serving the buying public today. Last, a nation-wide series of presentations was conducted among wholesale organization and retail store executives in which the product line, merchandising techniques, and support programs for the Total Residential Design Concept were explained. The writer conducted individual interviews whenever possible to obtain detailed first-hand reactions from the men most knowledgeable with the buying habits in their areas of selling activity. The research conducted by the writer thus made available information regarding the potentials for the Total Residential Design Concept within the housing and remodeling markets. Knowledge was gained in forecasting how the product would fit into the operations of existing retail outlets, and data was collected regarding the specific reactions received by the product line as expressed by executive personnel from wholesale and retail organizations. Ultimately, the hypothesis that the Total Resi­dential Design Concept was a needed product was affirmed and the program has been introduced to the market. The significance of this paper is that it represents the innovative attitude of managements in American industry which continually strive to serve the needs of the consumer.


Includes bibliographical references.


112 pages




Northern Illinois University

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