The home improvement multiples market is at a critical point in its development. Within the last year, sales have come under intense pressure, partly due to the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit and the resulting fact that more people are deferring large-scale home improvement projects. This in turn has adversely affected demand for DIY and home improvement products.
Sales growth has also been hampered by a decline in home ownership levels, especially amongst consumers aged under 35. With more people at this end of the age spectrum living in privately rented accommodation (usually for financial reasons), there is less desire to upgrade and renovate properties.
Another factor which has had a negative impact upon the market is the growing tendency of many consumers to employ professional tradesmen to carry out DIY and home improvement tasks round the house, many of whom source products from alternative channels. Worryingly for the sector, there appears to be evidence of a lack of some of the more basic DIY skills amongst many of today’s younger age groups.
The market remains heavily dependent upon factors such as climate and the weather. Sales activity suffered a downturn due to the cold spring weather in March 2018 which is usually a busy period for retailers, although the heatwave which followed a few months later is thought to have boosted sales within certain sectors, e.g. garden and outdoor products.