Builders' Merchants News
Gardening drives retail DIY growth
Published:  15 February, 2011

LONDON: Sales of gardening products will drive DIY sector growth says a report by Verdict Research.

The DIY and gardening sector will be worth £12.9bn by 2014, an increase of 2.1% from last year but most of this increase will come from gardening products sales predicted to rise 5.6% against a 0.4% increase in DIY items.

Malcolm Pinkerton, senior analyst at Verdict, said: "Gardening continues to capture the imagination of consumers; at the same time consumers have lost interest in DIY, and are less willing to invest in their homes.

"Attention is increasingly being shifted from inside our homes to outside. This has been fuelled by the aging population as well as the rise in the popularity of 'grow your own'."

Verdict's research shows DIY specialists still holding over half of the overall market at present, with B&Q the largest DIY retailer in the UK with a market share of 25.9%.

B&Q owner Kingfisher were sales hardest hot in the UK and Ireland in its third quarter, and it will hope that its pre-Christmas discount sales period will have helped boost sales ahead of its fourth quarter results published later this week.

In the third quarter, domestic trading for B&Q and Wickes fell 3.7% year-on-year, reflecting increasingly cautious consumer's sentiment and people reluctant to spend on non-essentials.

Pinkerton believes that there is grow potential in the sector however and added: "It would be a mistake to think that a higher rate of VAT and a slow housing market means that sales of DIY items are inevitably going to be slow and there is nothing to be done.

"Pockets of growth are available to be exploited; catering for the demands of increasingly environmentally conscious consumer looking to reduce energy bills will provide huge growth in eco products over the next few years. Fully catering for this demand could prove lucrative," he said.