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Eureka! Research Investigates Shift In Leisure Time Plans

Interior painting

Unprecedented changes to how households go about their lives in the light of the COVID-19 crisis could lead to some unlikely winners in the home improvement market, according to rapid insight collected by Eureka! Research.

The Public Health recommendations and obvious impact of following social distancing measures is quickly hitting home – over 9 in 10 of UK households we interviewed in the past few days acknowledge that these guidelines will significantly disrupt normal behaviour and change the way they use their leisure time.

From a list of possible activities, over half of consumers stated that they intend to use this additional time to undertake a DIY or Gardening project. Specifically, 34% might see themselves undertaking more DIY activities and 39% out in the garden completing tasks.

The lucrative higher earning homeowner segment appear to be most likely to undertake DIY and gardening during this time (54%).

If true, this could result in 14 million households being activated to look for the products and materials they will need to carry out these DIY and gardening projects in coming weeks and months. 

Eureka! estimate that this may actually be an understatement of potential demand, as we are still at an early stage of the pandemic and the realities of prolonged social isolation are yet to be realised.

What remains to be seen is whether the DIY and home improvement sector can rapidly innovate to meet this extra demand in the light of probable store closures. The key challenge for retailers however is obviously not knowing how the crisis will impact consumer economic confidence and spending behaviour.

We’ve seen marketing messages this weekend for instance promoting space-saving home office solutions from retailers such as Dunelm.

Subject to stores remaining open or online fulfilments continuing, our data suggests that the biggest retail winners are set to be:

· B&Q (54% would use this brand to purchase products or supplies over this period)

· Wilko (48%)

· B&M (39%)

More in-depth research is needed to understand the trade-offs that households will be making in the coming months with regards to “making ends meet” and “getting on with everyday life” against the backdrop of social distancing rules being made ever more stringent in most likelihood.

Dave Ruston, Director at Eureka! Research observes “Consumers told us that they plan to spend new-found time on a large range of activities including media consumption and cleaning. With 52% saying they might undertake DIY and Gardening projects, this is also an unprecedented trigger for householders to get around to those jobs they may have been putting off for years” 

/live/news/wysiwyg/Eureka 23-03-2020.JPGEureka! Research are a niche market research agency specialising in providing insight for suppliers in the DIY, bathroom and heating sector as well as building and plumbing merchants. 

Source : Eureka!

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24 March 2020

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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