Paul Roughan, Trade Merchants Sales Director Dulux Trade, is BMBI’s Expert for Paint.
After severe weather heavily impacted site activity and decorative paint performance in Q1 2018, the spell of record-breaking warm weather has boosted Q2 sales in retail and trade channels.
Major changes in the retail sector continue with the announcement of B&Q’s £100m investment in price reduction and Hilco Capital’s plans for a CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) and the closure of 42 Homebase stores after its purchase of the DIY chain. The Bunnings brand will be withdrawn, with some stores converting back to Homebase. Travis Perkins is also reviewing its Wickes chain and predicts lower than expected profits.
Sales performance varies between product lines – again often weather related. While retail emulsion sales are still down, woodcare has seen excellent performance over May and June with volume up 6.7% year to date (YTD). Trade paint sales show a similar pattern with emulsion down 1.2% YTD and woodcare up 7.2% due to the good weather.
Volume and value trends differ too, with volume down 3.1% YTD and value up 3.9%. This is a common issue as material cost inflation driven by sterling’s exchange rate changes feeds through to manufacturer price increases.
Heavy side builders’ merchants’ volumes are up despite pressure from light side merchants.
There is a need to protect the UK’s ageing housing stock from the intense changeable weather we’re seeing – particularly when heavy rains and storms return later this summer or during another wet winter. To improve the efficiency of hard-to-upgrade older properties with solid wall construction, sprayable innovative coatings are now available to give a waterproof yet breathable exterior surface.
Such products, which Dulux launched recently, give the trade an opportunity to help consumers save energy in their existing homes, at a time where consumer confidence in housing and other areas has been softening.