Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

DIY and furniture sales down but outperforming other sectors

Published: 9 January 2009
In a year of tough trading DIY products may have faired poorly but still better than many other sectors, according to the British Retail Consortium.
DIY and furniture sales down but outperforming other sectors
Figures for December showed DIY, gardening and hardware sales were down 1.4% on last year, while furniture and floorcovering sales were down 2%.

This doesn't make good reading but when compared against sales drops of 4.2% for clothing and footwear and a fall of 5.1% for electrical it's not so bad.

While DIY, gardening and hardware sales showed deflation of 1.4% as customers held back from the big-ticket items.

In furniture and floorcare, a second consecutive month of deflation, led to a many high profile retailers going into administration and according to the BRC the sector is experiencing a record low in consumer confidence.

BRC director general, Stephen Robertson, said: "Huge discounting together with the VAT reduction, brought non food prices down dramatically.

"It's clear retailers are holding down shop prices at a time when many of their own costs are increasing.

"The government shouldn't be adding cost burdens, such as record high business rate increases, at a time when margins are being so tightly squeezed."

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