Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Weekly economic update from BHETA

Published: 22 April 2020 - Alex Fordham

According to The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA)’s latest weekly Covid-19 financial update for members, forecast growth in DIY and garden expenditure for 2020 has now dropped to minus 12.1% - from £11.4 bn to £10 bn compared to 2019.  

The predictions also reveal an increase in the sector growth for the online channel to 16.2%, £0.1 bn more than suggested prior to Covid-19. The update is based on GlobalData’s latest analysis from 15 April, which supersedes the April 6th data. 

BHETA’s marketing manager, Steve Richardson explained the trade association’s decision to produce the figures on a weekly basis:

“BHETA is working with GlobalData to provide financial updates for its DIY, garden, housewares and small electricals members to keep them abreast of the economic impact of Covid-19.  The implications of the pandemic from a commercial perspective are now moving so fast as events unfold that forecasts are changing weekly, and it’s vital that BHETA members have the latest information.

“These figures show DIY and garden in a stronger position than some other areas of home enhancement retail such as flooring, furniture and housewares, as consumers focus on DIY and garden projects instead of holidays and leisure activities.  The warmer spring weather is also helping as householders spend more time in their gardens.”

The BHETA Covid-19 update also details the impact of the pandemic on retail as a whole, as well as sector by sector.  Latest figures here show coronavirus taking £15.0bn out of UK retail spend in 2020, a fall of 4.4%.  Both April and May will show non-food spend decimated as the lockdown extends with online sales offsetting, but not compensating for reduced footfall in store.

All the figures in the update show a gloomier picture for non-food offline sales versus a week previously, owing to the lockdown extension, and increasing evidence of the damage done to the macro economic situation and growth in unemployment forecast, affecting consumer spend post-lockdown.  The impact also represents the first decline in the nominal value of retail for many years – including the financial crisis – although current forecasts suggest a quicker recovery compared to 2008/09.

BHETA’s weekly Covid-19 updates follow on from its commitment to producing a quarterly economic report pulling together multiple sources of data on all the home enhancement sectors.  The BHETA quarterly report, which is a comprehensive document running to around 30 pages is available free to BHETA members.  The next issue will be available in June. 



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What do you think?

With a mixed bag of reports on consumer confidence due to Covid-19 and figures at odds with actual sales, what are you seeing in terms of customer sentiment?

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