Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Lifestyle focus a new fashion in diy market

Published: 23 November 2007
Paint, tile and wallcoverings categories lead home improvement renaissance, new GfK survey finds.
Lifestyle focus a new fashion in diy market
A change in focus by consumers from diy jobs to lifestyle projects - both in the home and the garden - has helped drive an upturn in sales, the latest analysis from GfK has found.

"With the exception of June, the market has enjoyed strong growth each month, and this looks set to continue," GfK said.

Month on month, the market's value has increased (September 2006 compared to September 2007) from -3.7% to +2.6%.

Three categories emerged as key drivers: wallcoverings, paint, and tiles.

Wallcoverings' year-on-year sales decline (for the calendar year 2006 compared to 2005, total wallcoverings sales stood at -7.48%) has recently reversed, with the category showing absolute sales growth compared with a year ago, GfK said.

In September 2007 compared to September 2006 total wallcoverings sales were up 1.7%.

GfK found that the strongest growth has come from paper-type coverings rather than from vinyl - and specifically from the highest price points.

In the second of the home improvement's market drivers - tiles - sales have been strong in flooring category, while in the market for wall tiles there is a move to larger sizes and higher-grade materials, GfK found.

Meanwhile in paint, the market has enjoyed a revival in 2007, with total emulsion paint value sales up 3.3% year-to-date (January-September).

Growth has come from both white and coloured emulsion, with sales of white emulsion +4.4%, off-white +7.8% and coloured (excluding off-white) +1.7%.

GfK explained: "This turnaround has been partially influenced by manufacturers' marketing campaigns, where the emphasis has been on fashion and colour co-ordination.

"Stylish promotional material suggests blending bright colours with more neutral tones, and media is geared towards women, who are often seen as the decision makers in issues of interior design."

Future growth will see a focus on more fashion-led lifestyle promotion, product development, and outdoor projects

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