The Builders Merchant Building Index

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VALUE EX VAT Index Mar 20 Apr 20 May 20 Jun 20 Aug 20 Jul 20 Sept 20 Oct 20 Nov 20 Dec 20 Jan 21 Feb 21 Mar 21 Apr 21 May 21 Jun 21 Jul 21
Total Builders Merchants 100 103.1 29.0 78.7 121.4 113.3 131.9 128.7 126.4 123.5 83.5 100.7 109.4 151.9 150.6 141.4 157.1 151.1
Timber & Joinery Products 100 105.0 26.9 80.5 126.7 120.6 140.3 139.3 141.1 139.9 95.2 120.0 128.8 175.7 176.3 173.2 199.6 199.8
Heavy Building Materials 100 102.0 30.5 78.5 116.4 108.6 125.6 125.4 122.8 119.4 78.1 95.9 102.0 141.3 137.4 128.6 142.8 136.8
Decorating 100 95.2 19.8 54.8 94.4 100.1 112.4 113.1 111.7 110.5 76.2 85.8 95.7 121.7 113.2 106.5 116.7 115.0
Tools 100 74.2 8.6 35.1 79.3 85.8 99.0 98.5 101.0 100.0 70.9 84.4 93.7 120.8 110.7 98.2 100.2 97.6
Workwear & Safetywear 100 139.1 37.7 66.6 98.2 98.4 131.7 111.1 125.2 126.7 87.9 122.3 111.3 118.2 104.0 95.8 111.8 92.8
Ironmongery 100 104.0 27.3 58.9 108.8 113.6 128.7 127.3 127.3 122.9 87.8 103.1 111.5 143.1 137.4 127.0 137.0 129.2
Landscaping 100 110.4 40.3 152.5 223.7 157.2 208.2 161.0 135.6 122.8 78.0 90.1 111.9 222.5 257.0 220.5 235.1 204.8
Plumbing, Heating & Electrical 100 104.3 25.4 51.8 84.4 95.3 103.1 115.4 126.0 125.9 96.1 111.3 120.3 137.1 119.2 112.9 123.7 113.7
Renewables & Water Saving 100 68.6 12.7 26.7 55.1 58.2 69.3 71.9 67.2 70.3 50.4 62.6 62.3 85.9 78.8 72.7 80.1 72.1
Kitchens & Bathrooms 100 101.7 14.1 43.7 87.3 106.3 111.1 117.3 119.3 122.7 87.4 94.4 107.4 120.7 113.5 111.5 125.1 126.5
Miscellaneous 100 152.6 36.7 55.1 98.0 98.2 112.4 122.3 120.8 118.9 86.1 109.4 107.1 131.2 126.2 111.2 120.3 121.6
Services 100 105.3 42.3 70.2 105.9 109.2 119.4 119.2 117.5 115.4 89.0 93.5 103.3 134.5 128.8 123.5 131.4 132.8

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

Latest Monthly Overview

Total Builders Merchants July 2021 value sales were up 14.5% compared with the same month last year, with two less trading days this year. Timber & Joinery Products (+42.4%) did best and the category achieved its highest-ever monthly BMBI sales. Other categories grew more slowly than merchants overall. Kitchens & Bathrooms (+13.9%) was the next-strongest performer, achieving its highest sales in the last 12 months. Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+10.4%), Heavy Building Materials (+8.9%) and Decorating (+2.3%) also sold more. Three categories sold less this year: Tools (-1.5%), Landscaping (-1.6%) and Workwear & Safetywear (-29.5%) –the latter two having seen significant Covid-related growth this time last year. Overall average sales a day were 25.5% higher than in July 2020.

July 2021 v July 2019

Compared with two years ago, Total Merchants sales were up 13.1% in July 2021, with two less trading days this year. However this growth was primarily driven by the strength of two categories: Timber & Joinery Products (+44.6%) and Landscaping (+23.4%). Heavy Building Materials (+4.5%) grew more slowly. Most of the remaining categories sold less this year, including Kitchens & Bathrooms (-1.6%), Decorating (-6.8%), Plumbing Heating and Electrical (-7.1%) and Workwear & Safetywear (-14.5%) the weakest category. Average sales a day were 23.8% higher in July 2021.

Month-on-Month

Total July sales were 3.8% lower than June, with one less trading day this month. Kitchens & Bathrooms (+1.1%) was strongest, along with minor categories Miscellaneous and Services, also up 1.1%. Timber & Joinery Products (+0.1%) was flat. All remaining categories sold less, including Heavy Building Materials (-4.2%), Plumbing Heating & Electrical (-8.1%) and Landscaping (-12.9%). Workwear & Safetywear (-17.0%) was weakest. Average sales a day were up 0.8%.

Last three months, year on year

Total sales in May to July 2021 were 35.4% up on a Covid-affected period last year, with two less trading days this year. All categories sold more. Timber & Joinery Products (+64.8%) led the field, followed by Kitchens & Bathrooms (+50.0%). Renewables (+48.8%), Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+46.5%) and Tools (+38.7%) also out-performed merchants generally. Ironmongery (+32.7%), Decorating (+29.3%) and Heavy Building Materials (+27.4%) grew more slowly. Workwear & Safetywear (+1.4%) did least well. Average sales a day increased by 39.8%.

Last 3 months v 2019

Total Builders Merchants sales in May to July 2021 were 17.3% higher than in May to July 2019, with two less trading days this year. Two categories did particularly well: Timber & Joinery Products (+43.7%) and Landscaping (+35.0%). Five categories grew more slowly, including Heavy Building Materials (+8.6%), Ironmongery (+2.8%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+1.3%). The remaining categories sold less, with Miscellaneous the weakest (-5.8%). Average sales a day were 21.0% higher.

Last 3 months v previous 3 months

With one less trading day, Total sales in May to July were 9.1% higher than in February to April. Timber & Joinery Products (+19.1%) and Landscaping (+11.7%) out-performed merchants overall. Heavy Building Materials (+7.2%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (+6.3%) and three more categories grew more slowly. Five categories sold less in May to July, including Plumbing Heating & Electrical (-6.9%). Workwear & Safetywear (-9.9%) was weakest. Overall average sales a day were 10.9% higher than in February to April.

Year to date

Total Merchants sales January to July 2021, with three less trading days, were up 42.4% compared with Covid-affected January to July 2020. Timber & Joinery Products (+67.7) was the top-performer, followed by Tools (+47.0%) and Landscaping (+45.1%). Other categories grew more slowly, including Kitchens & Bathrooms (+36.7%) and Heavy Building Materials (+34.4%. Workwear & Safetywear (+5.0%) was the weakest. Average sales a day were 45.4% higher.

Year to date v 2019

Looking back two years, sales in the seven months to July 2021 were up 13.4% on January to July 2019, with two less trading days this year. Landscaping (+38.7%) did best, with Timber & Joinery Products (+31.4%) close behind. Heavy Building Materials(+6.4%) and Workwear & Safetywear (+6.3%) were among five categories growing more slowly. Four categories sold less than two years ago, with Decorating (-2.6%) weakest. Overall average sales a day were 15.0% higher this year.

MAT

Total Builders Merchants sales in the 12 months August 2020 to July 2021 were 25.2% higher than in the same 12 months a year earlier, with two less trading days in the most recent period. Again Timber & Joinery Products (+41.1%) and Landscaping (+37.1%) dominated. All other categories sold more than in 2019, with Tools (+22.6%), Heavy Building Materials (+20.2%) and Ironmongery (+17.6%) the next-strongest. Workwear & Safetywear (+2.0%) had the lowest growth. Average sales a day were 26.2% higher.

Index

July’s BMBI index was 151.1, helped by strong performances from Landscaping (204.8) and Timber & Joinery Products (199.8). Seven other categories recorded indices exceeding 100, including Heavy Building Materials (136.8), Ironmongery (129.2

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