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DIY Spending drops to 12 year low

Consumer spending on DIY products has fallen 13 per cent year-on-year, according to new research published today.

Banking group Lloyds TSB estimates that household expenditure of home improvements consumer items totalled £9.5 billion in 2010, an average of £352 per family, compared to £10.9 billion the previous year.

The recent Retail Eyes & Retail Gazette Salary Survey 2011. showed that only 38 per cent Home & DIY employees have received pay rises since January 2010, as margins and budgets in the sector become increasingly squeezed.

Although DIY spending was at a 12 year-low last year, down 0.2 per cent since 2000, the decline in demand for this sector is nothing compared to the depression in spending on tradesmen services which has plummeted 34 per cent since the turn of the millennium.

Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, commented: “Spending on DIY has fallen significantly over the past year.

“The current squeeze on household finances from high inflation and weak earnings growth has made it difficult for many households to spend as much as they used to on discretionary items such as home maintenance.”

A sales tracker published by research company BDO earlier this month showed sales for homewares fell seven per cent in May, and Focus DIY highlighted the tough trading environment when it fell into administration this spring.

Despite this the biggest retail player in the DIY market, Kingfisher-owned B&Q, reported a sales increase of 1.5 per cent year-on-year for its first quarter, and Thiru argues that well positioned company’s can still profit in the sector.

“The benefits associated with maintaining or improving your property is likely to ensure that over the long term the popularity of DIY will remain enduring,” Thiru added.

Source : John Whiteaker/Retail Gazette

27 June 2011
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