This report looks at the retailing of DIY and associated homewares products in the UK. The sector has experienced very tough trading conditions in the last few years, a downturn that started well before the onset of recession in 2008 and which shows no sign of coming to an end.
- The number of people claiming to do DIY has been falling steadily. Over the last five years there has been a fall of 4 percentage points to about 56% of the adult population, that's 2 million fewer people undertaking DIY projects.
- That is not to say that the market has disappeared, Some 20 million people plan to do some DIY this year, while 4.5 million plan to undertake a major project. That figure would be 3 million higher had some people not abandoned projects to save money.
- Some 18% of consumers, 9 million people, say that they are doing DIY themselves in order to save money. Some of these people would otherwise have employed tradesmen. There has certainly been a small drift back to doing DIY because of the recession.
- In the longer term, the ageing population is bad news for DIY retailers because older people are less able to or willing to take on such jobs. But over the next five years the number of people in the 25-55 age band - the most important for doing DIY- will actually grow by some 3% and that is marginally faster than over the last five years.
- All the leaders are introducing eco-friendly and energy saving products, in part in response to pressure from the government which is keen to meet targets. Yet only 8% of people would like to see more in store.
- B&Q is rated highly by customers for the quality of advice from its staff and there is clearly demand for advice. There is generally a lack of expertise and many are keen to improve.