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Part 1: Engaging With A New Generation Of Home Improvers

Woman home furnishings interiors shutterstock_1410785345.jpg

For over ten years, we’ve been following the trends in the Home Improvement and Gardening industry. Day by day, week by week, at Insight DIY, we’ve reported on the changes that have impacted on the retailers, suppliers and the individuals who work in an industry whose entire focus is on improving and updating the homes and gardens of our nation.

The increase in online penetration, the decline in big-box retailing, the transition from Do It Yourself to Do It For Me and the lack of DIY skills being passed down from generation to generation. These trends seemed unstoppable, they were in my view and those of many other commentators and industry watchers an inevitable feature of an industry that was in transition and key decisions were being made every day based on the assumption that these trends were here to stay.

And then COVID-19 and lockdown happened and changed everything.

We probably don’t realise it, but we’re still reeling from the impact of this once in a lifetime event, the fall-out from which personally, economically and probably politically we will be witnessing for many years to come.

As an event, the seven weeks of lockdown and the gradual easing since, has forced us to fundamentally re-evaluate our living spaces. For the first time we were faced day after day with the inadequacies of our homes and gardens, as they rapidly became central to every aspect of our lives. For many of us they were now the work-place, the switch off from workplace, the restaurant, the place of safety and security from a scary, new world, an outdoor space and the only place where we could socialise with our family and friends.

Forced to look at the rooms that needed decorating, the bathrooms that needed updating and the overgrown gardens and with spare cash in our pockets not being spent on travel, eating out or new clothes, our attention quickly turned to how we could improve our homes and our gardens. 

Encouraged by some of the best Easter weather for a generation, inspired by Instagram and Pinterest, we began actioning a multitude of home improvements that didn’t seem like a priority before. Whether 18 or 80, ensuring our homes are now fit and ready for 24/7 occupation is a need that many of us are still trying to satisfy. 

Discovering a Passion for DIY

When travelling and speaking about the Home Improvement Industry, I’ve often included a section on Millennials, quoting from the Goldman Sachs ‘Coming of age’ report. /live/news/wysiwyg/Goldman Sachs Millenials Coming Of Age.jpg

Source : Courtesy of Goldman Sachs.

The largest generation in human history is reaching prime spending age and yet I’d talk about how Generation Y and Z had little interest in Home Improvement, they were renting and probably would be for years to come. How they’d rather be socialising than thinking about DIY and how retailers and brands needed to find new ways to engage with an audience which was growing in numbers day by day.

However, cut-off from their usual distractions, whether home-owners, renters or living with parents, this generation too was forced to look closely at where they were now spending so much of their time. Home was no longer just a place to sleep, but a living space that was falling short of their Instagram fuelled, high expectations.

Click here to read part two of this article.

Source : Steve Collinge

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28 July 2020

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