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Has the DIY Price War begun?

Dulux 8.47

In January, I presented at a BHETA Forum on the subject 'Avoiding the race to the bottom' and the risks to both retailers and suppliers in chasing down prices in an effort to boost  perception to home improvement consumers. If you'd like to read the presentation, you can access it here.

We made everyone aware last week of the widespread price reductions (up to 5,000 products) that Homebase were beginning to make across key categories and last weekend, we saw the first evidence of Bunnings taking on B&Q and Wickes head to head and coming out on top, with Dulux. Read more of what happened last weekend here.

Well today, the situation has escalated, with the benchmark being dropped to new levels, with both B&Q and Homebase reducing the price of a single can of Dulux 2.5L coloured emulsion to just £8.47, a price not seen in the market for many years.

To put this price into context, the B&Q own brand 2.5L coloured emulsion is £13.94, with a buy 2 for £18 promotion, the Homebase own brand equivalent is £11.97 per can and the Wickes own brand is £15.99 per can, on a Buy 2 for £22. I think it's fair to say that neither B&Q, Homebase or Wickes will be selling much of the own brand this weekend!

Our price scanning software immediately picked up that B&Q dropped the price from the normal £16.42 to the £8.47 price this morning, with an end date of next Monday 18th April. Homebase quickly followed, putting out temporary point of sale as you can see in the picture supporting this story. Homebase haven't even had time to change the individual prices of the products on their website, as it still states £11 a can and that 'the discount is applied when you pay'.

Wickes remains high and dry at £18.99 on a 3 for 2 deal (equivalent of £12.66 a can), Wilko sits uncomfortably at £16.40, The Range isn't much better at £12.00 per can, whilst Tesco is at £18.50. 

This competition is great for consumers, but leaves a lot of other retailers in a very difficult position, putting margins under massive pressure.

This type of activity is now being picked up across many brands and many categories as Bunnings takes a very aggressive approach to entering the UK market. If your business needs to stay on top of this rapidly changing situation, then contact me directly to discuss our DIY price monitoring services, you can email me now at

Source: Steve Collinge - MD Insight Retail Group Ltd.

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15 April 2016

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