Builders merchants value sales in January 2021 were 3.7% lower than in January 2020, as the third lockdown affected indoor trades, reports the Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI).
The latest BMBI report reveals Kitchens & Bathrooms sales were also lower year-on-year, although there were two fewer trading days in January 2021.
Indoor trades including Plumbing, Heating & Electrical, Kitchens & Bathrooms and Decorating were all down 11.9%, 13.5% and 17.2%, respectively
In fact only three categories had higher sales in January 2020; Timber & Joinery Products (+7.7%), Landscaping (+3.7%) and Workwear & Safetywear (+2.4%).
In the latest three months to January 2021, sales were 4.4% higher than in the same period a year previously.
Landscaping and Timber & Joinery Products were the top performing categories but Kitchens & Bathrooms sales fell by 4.8%.
However, taking a month-on-view, total merchants’ sales in January 2021 were 20.6% higher than in December 2020, helped by three more trading days, with Workwear & Safetywear (+39.1%) ahead of all other categories. Sales of Kitchens & Bathrooms were 8% up on December.
January’s BMBI index was 100.7, with Kitchens & Bathrooms at 94.4.
Kitchen and bathroom sales through merchants were reported to have been slow to recover from the pandemic, according to the BMBI.
The BMBI is a brand of the Builders Merchants Federation and uses data from GfK’s General Builders’ Merchants Panel, which analyses sales-out from over 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales throughout Great Britain.