The Builders Merchant Building Index

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VALUE EX VAT Index Jul 20 Aug 20 Sept 20 Oct 20 Nov 20 Dec 20 Jan 21 Feb 21 Mar 21 Apr 21 May 21 Jun 21 Jul 21 Aug 21 Sept 21 Oct 21 Nov 21
Total Builders Merchants 100 131.9 113.3 128.7 126.4 123.5 83.5 100.7 109.4 151.9 150.6 141.4 157.1 151.1 139.3 147.9 140.4 145.0
Timber & Joinery Products 100 140.3 120.6 139.3 141.1 139.9 95.2 120.0 128.8 175.7 176.3 173.2 199.6 199.8 182.6 193.3 181.0 182.1
Heavy Building Materials 100 125.6 108.6 125.4 122.8 119.4 78.1 95.9 102.0 141.3 137.4 128.6 142.8 136.8 127.0 136.2 130.8 135.6
Decorating 100 112.4 100.1 113.1 111.7 110.5 76.2 85.8 95.7 121.7 113.2 106.5 116.7 115.0 108.7 114.8 113.5 118.5
Tools 100 99.0 85.8 98.5 101.0 100.0 70.9 84.4 93.7 120.8 110.7 98.2 100.2 97.6 93.6 101.8 100.9 109.8
Workwear & Safetywear 100 131.7 98.4 111.1 125.2 126.7 87.9 122.3 111.3 118.2 104.0 95.8 111.8 92.8 95.7 106.5 115.4 130.8
Ironmongery 100 128.7 113.6 127.3 127.3 122.9 87.8 103.1 111.5 143.1 137.4 127.0 137.0 129.2 120.2 129.2 124.6 132.8
Landscaping 100 208.2 157.2 161.0 135.6 122.8 78.0 90.1 111.9 222.5 257.0 220.5 235.1 204.8 175.3 171.9 148.5 143.7
Plumbing, Heating & Electrical 100 103.1 95.3 115.4 126.0 125.9 96.1 111.3 120.3 137.1 119.2 112.9 123.7 113.7 109.7 126.7 131.0 143.3
Renewables & Water Saving 100 69.3 58.2 71.9 67.2 70.3 50.4 62.6 62.3 85.9 78.8 72.7 80.1 72.1 70.6 70.9 71.5 82.9
Kitchens & Bathrooms 100 111.1 106.3 117.3 119.3 122.7 87.4 94.4 107.4 120.7 113.5 111.5 125.1 126.5 118.3 131.2 124.9 140.6
Miscellaneous 100 112.4 98.2 122.3 120.8 118.9 86.1 109.4 107.1 131.2 126.2 111.2 120.3 121.6 116.2 128.4 120.4 130.2
Services 100 119.4 109.2 119.2 117.5 115.4 89.0 93.5 103.3 134.5 128.8 123.5 131.4 132.8 130.2 133.4 127.7 135.1

Source: GfK's Builders Merchants Total Category Report - July 2015 to November 2021

Latest Monthly Overview

Total Builders Merchants November 2021 value sales were up 17.4% compared with the same month last year, with one more trading day this year. All categories sold more. Two categories had their best-ever month and a further two had their highest 2021 monthly turnover. Timber & Joinery Products (+30.2%) did best in November, with its 15th consecutive month of year-on-year growth. Next-strongest were Renewables & Water Saving  (+18.0%) and Landscaping (+17.1%). Services was also up 17.1% and recorded its best-ever sales since BMBI started in July 2014. Other categories growing strongly included Kitchens & Bathrooms (+14.5%), which also had its highest-ever monthly BMBI turnover, Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+13.8%) which had its best month of 2021 and Heavy Building Materials (+13.5%). Workwear & Safetywear (+3.3%) had the lowest growth but still recorded its highest monthly sales of the year. Overall like-for-like sales were 12.1% higher than in November 2020.

November 2021 v November 2019

Total sales in November 2021 were 28.0% higher than the same month two years ago, with one more trading day this year. Eleven of the twelve categories sold more. Landscaping (+51.4%) and Timber & Joinery Products (+51.3%) were especially strong, continuing the trend seen across most of 2021. Heavy Building Materials (+23.4%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (+12.1%), Ironmongery (+10.6%) and Tools (+8.8%) were among eight categories growing more slowly. Only Workwear & Safetywear (-2.9%) sold less compared with November 2019. Overall like-for-like sales were 22.2% higher than November 2019.

Month-on-Month

Total Merchant sales were 3.2% higher in November than in October, helped by one more trading day in November. Eleven of the twelve categories sold more. Renewables & Water Saving (+15.9%) did best, followed by Workwear & Safetywear (+13.4%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+12.5%). Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+9.4%), Decorating (+4.4%) and Heavy Building Materials (+3.7%) also out-performed merchants overall. Only Landscaping (-3.2%) sold less. Total like-for-like sales were down 1.4%.

Last 3 months, year on year

Total sales in September to November were up 14.5% on the same period last year. Eleven of the twelve categories sold more.

Timber & Joinery Products (+32.4%) continued to strongly out-perform the total market. Growth in other categories varied, from Landscaping (+10.7%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (+10.4%) and Heavy Building Materials (+9.5%), to Ironmongery (+2.4%). Workwear & Safetywear (-2.8%) was the only category that sold less.

Last 3 months v 2019

Compared with two years ago, overall sales in the latest three months were 20.9% higher than in September-November 2019. Ten of the twelve categories sold more. Timber & Joinery Products (+46.4%) and Landscaping (+39.0%) were outstanding in comparison with 2019, as has been the case throughout 2021.

Heavy Building Materials (+14.9%) also did well, with Kitchens & Bathrooms (+7.2%) Ironmongery (+3.0%) and Decorating (+0.4%) growing more slowly. Workwear & Safetywear (-7.3%) sold less.

Last 3 months v previous 3 months

Total sales in the latest three months were 3.2% lower than in the previous three months, with one more trading day in the most recent period. Eight categories sold more, led by Workwear & Safetywear (+17.4%) and Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+15.5%), with Tools and Kitchens & Bathrooms both 7.4% higher. Ironmongery (+0.0%) was flat. The remaining three categories sold less, with seasonal category Landscaping (-24.6%) weakest. Overall like-for-like sales were 4.6% lower than in June to September.

Year to date, year on year

Total Merchants sales in January to November 2021 were up 31.5% compared with Covid-affected January to November 2020. All categories sold more. There were two less trading days this year. Timber & Joinery Products (+54.1%) was the top-performer by some margin, followed by Landscaping (+32.0%). Most other categories also had double-digit growth, including Tools (+28.5%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (+25.1%), Heavy Building Materials (+24.7%) and Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+24.6%). Only Workwear & Safetywear (+1.9%) failed to achieve double-digit growth. Total like-for-like sales were 32.6% higher.

Year to date v 2019

Total sales in the eleven months to November 2021 were up 15.9% on January to November 2019, with two less trading days this year. Nine of the twelve categories sold more. Landscaping (+37.9%) did best, closely followed by Timber & Joinery Products (+36.9%). Categories growing more slowly included Heavy Building Materials (+9.0%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+0.8%). Of three categories selling less, Decorating (-1.8%) was weakest. Total like-for-like sales were 16.9% higher this year.

MAT

Total Merchants sales in the 12 months December 2020 to November 2021 were 30.1% higher than in the same 12 months a year earlier. All categories sold more. Standout category Timber & Joinery Products (+52.1%) continued to perform strongly. Landscaping (+31.7%), Tools (+26.9%), Heavy Building Materials (+23.5%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+23.4%) were next-strongest. Workwear & Safetywear (+2.2%) had the lowest growth.

Index

November’s overall BMBI index was 145.0, particularly helped by Timber & Joinery Products (182.1). Almost all categories recorded indices over a 100, including Landscaping (143.7), Plumbing Heating & Electrical (143.3) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (140.6). Only Renewables (82.9) was below 100.

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