Paul Roughan, Trade Merchants Sales Director Dulux Trade is BMBI’s Expert for Paint.
Q4 was dominated again by BREXIT, deal or no deal, COVID, and the ongoing demand surge for decorative finishes.
With BREXIT, quite rightly, many merchants were seeking clarity on anticipated supply challenges, comfort on continuity of supply, and the options to stockpile, the latter putting more pressure on an already squeezed supply chain.
Thankfully, we got a deal and our own BREXIT team had taken the appropriate steps to have processes in place to help us with classification, labelling, import and export declarations, and REACH regulations amongst other things.
For the Trade paint market, Q4 continued with the amazing recovery we saw in September. Lockdown measures as we know relaxed around construction sites and allowing trades into properties. This helped drive December year-on-year growth above 20%.
For the full year, Trade paint exited 2020 down 2% year-on-year, with Retail paint growing in excess of 20% year-on-year. Covid-19 has significantly shifted the dynamics of both trade and retail with data suggesting consumers purchased 29 million litres more in 2020 than 2019. For the first time in a number of years, the retail market was bigger in volume than Trade. That’s probably not a surprise as Trade Merchants were mostly shut in the early part of lockdown 1, and consumers wanted to freshen their homes and their new home working environments.
We conducted a small survey of appliers in December and asked them how far out their order book was. Fifty percent had an order book further out than two months, 23% had 1-2 months of work booked, but 27% had less than one month or no work at all. It really is an unknown as to how the market will perform in 2021. We do know that challenges on supply will continue at least in the short term. Packaging suppliers are facing their own challenges as their supply chain is squeezed, and we monitor closely raw material supply as Covid, and Brexit continue to pose challenges.
We all deserve a better 2021!