DIY and home improvement market in the UK - Statistics & Facts

One of the leading retailers in the United Kingdom (UK), coming right after the country’s biggest grocery retailers, is in the DIY and home improvement sector: Kingfisher plc. The company owns two of the UK’s most popular DIY retail stores, B&Q and Screwfix. While B&Q focuses more on home improvement, gardening, and home furnishing products, Screwfix is a retailer of hardware tools and building material. The UK DIY and home improvement retail landscape is in fact host to many more retail brands. Homebase, Argos and B&M are among some of the household names, to name but a few.

Over the past years, turnover generated from retail sales in the DIY market has decreased on an annual basis. The most recent figures provided by the Office of National Statistics (UK) demonstrate that in 2017, the DIY and decorating supplies retail turnover fell by more than half a billion British pounds on the year prior. In contrast, the turnover of stores specializing in hardware, paints and glass retail saw increasingly better results, with 2018 delivering the highest of the past decade. In the UK, there are over six thousand retail stores specializing in this sub-sector. Among large DIY and home improvement retail brands, Screwfix and B&M have two of the largest store counts, with over 600 stores across Great Britain.

Since 2008, consumer prices associated with tools and equipment for house and garden increased gradually, more dramatically first between 2010 and 2011, and then in the past three years since 2016. With this, consumer spending skyrocketed on an annual basis, reaching over seven billion British pounds in 2019. The weekly expenditure was especially high for those in upper income groups. A survey conducted on the DIY spending patterns of UK consumers also revealed that London had the highest annual spend per household among other UK cities.

The United Kingdom is among the top three countries in Europe where individuals are most keen on undertaking more DIY tasks. A YouGov consumer tracker found out that it was mostly individuals themselves who took care of the DIY tasks in their household. Generally, painting and decoration work was the most popular, slightly more so for women. Carpentry and basic woodwork was one of the DIY tasks that male respondents said they did more than their female counterparts.

One very topical development in DIY retail is the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and the following lockdown and social restriction measures governments took around the world. In the United Kingdom, in the first half of March 2020, online sales of building materials, paints and plants saw demand at record levels, leading to a year-on-year growth rate of up to 48 percent. The impact of store closures and limited social contact on online DIY sales was even more visible in the week that followed the national lockdown announced by the British government on March 23, 2020. That week, online revenues of home and leisure retailers, including pet care, home and garden spiked to its highest growth rate of over 100 percent.

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DIY and home improvement market in the United Kingdom (UK)

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DIY retail and retail brands

Consumer expenditure

DIY habits

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