Best sales month despite predictions of a tighter market
Builders’ merchants’ October sales were the highest of any month since the start of BMBI data in July 2014, helped by October having 22 trading days (most months have 20-22 trading days). Six categories notched up record monthly sales, four of which also had their highest average daily sales (which takes account of the number of trading days).
Year on year
Total Builders Merchant value sales were up 6.8% in October compared with October 2017. Timber & Joinery Products (+10.3%) did best, with record sales, and all but one category sold more. Although growing more slowly, Heavy Building Materials (+5.3%), Tools (+3.4%) and Ironmongery (+2.3%) also had their best-ever months.
Month on month
Overall October sales were 11.4% higher than September, helped by two additional trading days. Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+17.2%), Workwear & Safetywear (14.9%) and Heavy Building Materials (12.4%) were among eight categories that did better and all categories sold more.
Average sales a day for October were 1.3% higher than September. Ten of the twelve categories sold more but seasonal category Landscaping (-6.7%) was one of only two that sold less.
The ten months January to October 2018 were 4.3% ahead of the same period in 2017. Plumbing Heating & Electrical was strongest (+8.3%) with Timber & Joinery Products (+7.6%) close behind.
The rolling 12 months November 2017 to October 2018 were 4.3% above the same 12 months a year earlier, with one less trading day. Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+7.9%) was strongest. Average sales a day in the period were 4.7% higher.
October’s BMBI index was 131.8, with one additional trading day. Plumbing Heating & Electrical was top (141.1). The average sales a day index for October was 124.3.