Latest figures from builders’ merchants across the UK show sales of landscaping products soared.
According to the Builders Merchants Federation’s Builders’ Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report, sales grew by more than 50 per cent during June this year, compared with the same month in 2019.
The trade body says DIY customers are behind much of the increase, with people being at home on furlough, good weather and uncertainty about holidays all leading to more investment in gardens during the Covid-19 restrictions.
Products including decorative aggregates, paving, decking and fencing are among the top items on the nation’s shopping list.
John Newcomb, chief executive of the BMF, said: “We saw unprecedented demand for landscaping products in June.
“A lot of this increase has come from furloughed workers, wanting to carry out jobs around the home.
“Uncertainty about holidays has also had a part to play, with many people deciding to invest in their home this year rather than travel, and the good weather has also been significant too.”
The BMF represents 397 merchant members operating from over 5,709 branches across the UK and Ireland.
Figures on landscaping sales have been taken from the BMBI report.
The BMBI uses GfK’s point of sale tracking data drawn from over 80 per cent of builders’ merchants’ sales throughout the country, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector.
The BMF has developed Branch Operating Guidelines, covering safety measures for builders’ merchant staff to follow in the pandemic.
Mr Newcomb added: “We started to see DIY customer sales increase in May, with numbers doubling in some areas, and that trend has continued into June.
“The safety measures have been well-received and many customers feel reassured they are able to purchase goods safely from merchants in their community, and at the same time support local jobs and the economy.”