Following two bumper months of growth, DIY and gardening sales lost momentum in May, according to new figures from GfK.
After good weather in March and April boosted gardening business, the value of sales in the DIY/gardening sector overall fell back 2.9% to £1.4bn in May when compared to last May, as consumers began to turn their attention to upcoming sporting events.
Online DIY/gardening sales over the period grew strongly, however, by 20.5%, while offline sales declined by 3.7%.
Independents' sales of DIY/gardening products in May dropped back 7.9% year on year, and chain stores' sales by 3.4%.
The main losers within the sector were growing media, down 16%, and fertilisers, down 13%, says GfK, which tracks a range of retail durables sectors.
Nevertheless, DIY/gardening remains a strong performer when looking at the longer-term picture. In the year to date the value of the sector has grown 10.5% to £5.0bn. And in the year June 2013 to May 2014 it put on 7.4% to reach £11.0bn, second only to small domestic appliances, which grew 11.3% to £2.9bn.
Comparing this quarter with the same quarter last year, the DIY/gardening sector also chalked up the best growth of all retail durables covered in GfK's report, rising 15.1% to £2.4bn.
The total durables market grew for the seventh consecutive month in May, by 1.6% on May 2013.