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Merchants’ sales remain subdued in October, says BMBI

By December 23, 2019 No Comments

After a strong start to the year, the uncertain economic climate has continued to impact negatively on merchants’ sales into October 2019, according to BMBI figures.

Year-on-Year
Total Builders Merchants’ sales in October were down 4.4% compared with the same period in 2018, on an equal number of trading days. The best performing sectors in October were Workwear & Safetywear (+9.0%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+4.1%), with Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+0.3%) also showing marginal growth.

Among categories with a weaker performance were Tools (-9.2%) and Timber & Joinery (-7.2%). Landscaping (-5.4%) and Heavy Building Materials (-4.9%) also performed less well year-on-year.

Month-on-Month
The picture was more positive month-on-month, as total October 2019 sales were up by 6.0% compared with September. However, when adjusted for the two-day trading difference, sales were down 3.2%.

Most product categories saw relatively strong growth month-on-month, including Workwear & Safetywear (+21.4%), Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+13.5%) and Tools (11.8%) and Ironmongery (9.3%). Timber & Joinery (+6.8%) and Heavy Building Materials (+5.7%), the largest categories, also saw sales increase on an unadjusted basis, but not in terms of average sales a day.

Other periods
Sales in the rolling 12 months November 2018 to October 2019 were up 0.5% on the same period last year. Year-to-date sales also remained positive but was down to 0.5% compared with the same time last year.

Index
October’s BMBI index was 126.0, with Plumbing, Heating & Electrical the highest at 141.5.

The report can be downloaded online at: https://www.bmbi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/BMBI-October-2019-Report-MASTER.pdf

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