Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Election is major concern for DIY independents

Published: 5 May 2015
Thursday's general election is currently at the forefront of independents' minds, reveals new research from the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA).
Election is major concern for DIY independents
The association's latest report also shows an almost 50/50 split between indies whose first-quarter turnover was above that for the same period in 2014 and those who rang up less in the till.

However, BIRA's figures also reveal an overall turnover increase of 1.4% year-on-year - above inflation - so it looks as though the happy half of the independent high street has logged a little bit of real growth, BIRA says.

DIY and hardware indies clocked up a sixth quarter of good news, although at a more subdued sales growth rate of 1.3%, but were once again outdone by garden and garden machinery retailers, which stretched a growth spurt to a full two years and a turnover uplift to nearly 10%.

BIRA says that "among the ever-enlightening comments provided by those taking part the most frequent keyword was 'election', usually in the context of uncertainty".

"2015 hasn`t really got started yet," wrote one DIY retailer in the south west, "a mild winter, and a cold spring has led to flat sales. Hardware retailers like extreme weather: very cold equals coal, logs, heaters, and sledges; hot weather equals fans, hosepipes and gardening. Mild weather isn`t very good, and doesn`t help sales. Plus uncertainty with the election is a distraction to consumer confidence."

Another added that they will "be glad when the election is over, as there is definitely a bit of uncertainty out there at the moment."

Read more in the May 8 issue of DIY Week.


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