Timber Trades Journal Column – Builders’ Merchants see slower rate of recovery in August


The Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) report published in October shows builders’ merchants’ sales continuing to recover in August, but at a slower pace compared to the previous two months.


Total Builders Merchants value sales in August were 3.9% behind August 2019. However, daily sales were 0.9% above last year’s level when adjusted for the difference in trading days. Three categories did better, with Landscaping (+16.3%) the top performer, followed by Workwear & Safetywear (+1.8%) and Timber & Joinery Products (-2.0%). The remaining nine categories were weaker.


Total sales were up 73.8% in June to August compared with the previous three months (March to May), when many merchants had closed branches as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. Six categories did better over this period, led by Tools (+124.1%). Timber & Joinery Products was up 82.5%.


Total Merchants sales were 14.2% lower in August compared to July, which had three more trading days. All categories sold less, with Timber & Joinery Products at -14.1%.


August’s BMBI index was 113.3. Landscaping (157.2) was strongest, followed by Timber & Joinery Products (120.6).

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