The Builders Merchant Building Index

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VALUE EX VAT Index May 20 Jun 20 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
Total Builders Merchants 100 78.7 121.4 131.9 113.3 128.7 126.4 123.5 83.5 100.7 109.4 151.9 150.6 141.4 157.1 151.1 139.3 147.9
Timber & Joinery Products 100 80.5 126.7 140.3 120.6 139.3 141.1 139.9 95.2 120.0 128.8 175.7 176.3 173.2 199.6 199.8 182.6 193.3
Heavy Building Materials 100 78.5 116.4 125.6 108.6 125.4 122.8 119.4 78.1 95.9 102.0 141.3 137.4 128.6 142.8 136.8 127.0 136.2
Decorating 100 54.8 94.4 112.4 100.1 113.1 111.7 110.5 76.2 85.8 95.7 121.7 113.2 106.5 116.7 115.0 108.7 114.8
Tools 100 35.1 79.3 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
Workwear & Safetywear 100 66.6 98.2 131.7 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
Ironmongery 100 58.9 108.8 128.7 113.6 127.3 127.3 122.9 87.8 103.1 111.5 143.1 137.4 127.0 137.0 129.2 120.2 129.2
Landscaping 100 152.5 223.7 208.2 157.2 161.0 135.6 122.8 78.0 90.1 111.9 222.5 257.0 220.5 235.1 204.8 175.3 171.9
Plumbing, Heating & Electrical 100 51.8 84.4 103.1 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
Renewables & Water Saving 100 26.7 55.1 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
Kitchens & Bathrooms 100 43.7 87.3 111.1 106.3 117.3 119.3 122.7 87.4 94.4 107.4 120.7 113.5 111.5 125.1 126.5 118.3 131.2
Miscellaneous 100 55.1 98.0 112.4 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
Services 100 70.2 105.9 119.4 109.2 119.2 117.5 115.4 89.0 93.5 103.3 134.5 128.8 123.5 131.4 132.8 130.2 133.4

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

Latest Monthly Overview

Total Builders Merchants August 2021 value sales were up 23.0% compared with the same month last year, with one more trading day this year. Eleven of the twelve categories sold more. Timber & Joinery Products (+51.5%) did best, recording its third-highest ever monthly BMBI sales. Other categories saw good but slower growth, including Heavy Building Materials (+16.9%), Landscaping (+11.5%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+11.3%). Only Workwear & Safetywear (-2.7%) sold less this year. Overall average sales a day, which take trading day differences into account and provide a like-for-like comparison, were 17.1% higher than in August 2020.

August 2021 v August 2019

Compared with two years ago, Total Merchants sales were up 18.2% in August 2021, with no difference in trading days. As in July, this growth was mainly driven by two categories: Timber & Joinery Products (+48.4%) and Landscaping (+29.7%). Only three other categories achieved higher 2-year sales: largest category, Heavy Building Materials (+10.1%), Services (+9.7%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+2.9%). The other seven categories sold less, including Plumbing Heating & Electrical (-0.6%), Tools (-1.5%) and Decorating (-3.1%).

Month-on-Month

Total Merchants sales were 7.9% lower in August than in July, with no difference in trading days. Only Workwear & Safetywear (+3.1%) sold more. Categories selling less included Plumbing Heating & Electrical (-3.6%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (-6.5%), Heavy Building Materials (-7.2%) and Timber & Joinery Products (-8.6%). Landscaping (-14.4%) was weakest.

Last three months, year on year

Total sales in the three months June to August 2021 were 22.1% up on the same period last year, with one less trading day this year. Eleven of the twelve categories sold more. Timber & Joinery Products (+50.2%) was especially strong, followed by Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+22.8%). Kitchens & Bathrooms (21.4%), Heavy Building Materials (+16.0%), Decorating (+10.9%) also grew strongly. Landscaping increased +4.4%. Only Workwear & Safetywear (-8.5%) sold less. Overall like-for-like sales increased by 24.0%.

Last 3 months v 2019

Compared with two years ago, total sales in the latest three months were 20.9% higher than in June to August 2019, with no difference in trading days. Two categories did particularly well: Timber & Joinery Products (+50.7%) and Landscaping (+36.7%). Five categories grew more slowly, including Heavy Building Materials (+12.2%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+3.9%). The remaining five product channels all sold slightly less, with Miscellaneous (-3.3%) weakest.

Last 3 months v previous 3 months

Total sales in June to August were 0.8% higher than in March to May, with two more trading days in the most recent period. Three categories sold more, led by Timber & Joinery Products (+10.8%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+7.0%). The remaining nine categories sold less, including Heavy Building Materials (-0.2%), Plumbing Heating & Electrical (-6.0%) and Tools (-11.6%). Landscaping (-12.1%) was weakest. Like-for-like sales across all merchants were 2.4% lower than in March to May.

Year to date, year on year

Total Merchants January to August 2021 sales were up 39.6% compared with Covid-affected January to August 2020 and all categories sold more. There were two less trading days this year. Timber & Joinery (+65.3) was the top-performer, followed by Tools (+41.3%) and Landscaping (+40.2%). Other categories also grew strongly: Kitchens & Bathrooms (+32.8), Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+32.5%), Heavy Building Materials (+31.9%) and Ironmongery (+30.0%). Only Workwear & Safetywear (+4.1%) failed to achieve double-digit growth. Total like-for-like sales were 41.3% higher.

Year to date v 2019

Total sales in the eight months to August 2021 were up 14.0% on January to August 2019, with two less trading days this year. Seven of the twelve categories sold more. Landscaping (+37.6%) and Timber & Joinery Products (+33.4%) did best. Heavy Building Materials (+6.9%) and Workwear & Safetywear (+5.4%) grew more slowly. Of five categories selling less, Decorating (-2.6%) was weakest. Overall like-for-like sales were 15.4% higher this year.

MAT

Total Merchants sales in September 2020 to August 2021 were 27.8% higher than in the same 12 months a year earlier, with no difference in trading days. All categories sold more. Timber & Joinery Products (+46.3%) and Landscaping (+36.2%) dominated. But Tools (+24.6%) and Heavy Building Materials (+22.4%) were also strong. Workwear & Safetywear (+1.7%) had the lowest growth.

Index

August’s overall BMBI index was 139.3, helped by strong performances from Timber & Joinery Products (182.6) and Landscaping (175.3). Seven other categories recorded indices exceeding 100, including Heavy Building Materials (127.0), Ironmongery (120.2) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (118.3). Weakest were Workwear & Safetywear (95.7), Tools (93.6) and Renewables (70.6).

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