Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Prices remain stable in DIY, garden and hardware markets

Published: 6 March 2014
Like-for-like prices in the DIY, gardening and hardware markets remained stable in February.
According to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index (SPI) prices remained in deflationary territory, but the DIY, garden and hardware industry managed to hold fast and companies did not have to drop prices to encourage sales.

There was a 0.5% fall in prices in February 2014 when compared with February 2013, but comparing February to the previous month there was a 0.5% increase.

The furniture and floorcoverings market has also done well, coming into February with a 3.1% rise in prices when compared with January.

However, one sector that had to drop prices significantly was the clothing and footwear market. Like-for-like prices for February 2014 dropped 12%.

Food prices decreased by 0.2% from January. enabling consumers to have more discretionary income to spend in other retail sectors, which also helped the DIY, gardening and hardware market.

The latest Asda Income Tracker revealed that in January 2014 the average UK household had £160 a week of discretionary income, up £3 on last year.

The company stated factors such as falling petrol and diesel costs and low food price inflation both helped boost discretionary income.

Speaking about the SPI Helen Dickinson, BRC director general, said: "It is the longest sustained period of price decreases we have witnessed, now 10 months in a row. There are especially good deals available at the moment in clothing, electricals, books and stationery.

"Many of the larger food retailers have been looking closely at their investment in promotions and price cuts, suggesting competition could intensify further. This should mean consumer price inflation remains at low levels in the coming months. It is clear that retailers' hard work to keep prices low for UK consumers is having considerable success."

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