Early reports from the high street suggest that hardware and garden independents for the most part enjoyed good sales over the Christmas 2013 trading period.
In fact, for the Devon-based Axminster Tools & Machinery chain festive sales were "excellent", according to managing director Ian Styles.
"To compare like against like we finished some 16.9% up," he told diyweek.net. "Last year we had a major clearance sale starting on December 24, which we didn't have need for this year. The biggest thing we noticed was an enormous rise in our website visitation."
Of the increase in sales, he said 10% had come from ecommerce and the remaining 7% from the retail stores, with quality hand tools being amongst the top performers.
Home Hardware Southwest members have also had a "very positive" Christmas. Chief executive Martin Elliott told diyweek.net: "Our Christmas promotion went very well and that'll be well up on previous years," he said. "The only sector that was down was fireside and heating due to the much milder weather."
He said not many of his members trade online. "But those who do did say the internet sales were up quite a bit more than their store sales."
One Home Hardware member, Brundall in Norwich, which runs both a hardware shop and a garden centre, expects sales to be 5% down on 2012. But, said joint owner Andrew Bevan, that year had been particularly good. And there had been some stand-out sellers. "The Toolbank promotion went well: batteries were astonishing this year and padlocks went very well off the promotion."
Read the full story on p1 of this Friday's DIY Week