Sales of goods and materials through UK builders’ merchants increased month-on-month in January 2020, as they do every January, because there is always a big dip in December, on account of the national holidays.
The decline in sales year-on-year at the start of the year follows a slowing end to 2019. As previously reported, average sales per day in Q4 2019 were 5.2% below Q3 2019, which total sales in Q4 were 13.9% down on Q3.
In January 2020 seven product categories sold less than they had in January 2019, with Timber & Joinery Products (-7.0%) weakest, followed by Tools (-6.1%), which had its lowest average sales a day since the Builders Merchant Federation began collecting data in July 2014.
Heavy Building Materials (the largest category) was down -2.7%. But five categories sold more in January 2020 than in January 2019, including Workwear & Safetywear (+7.3%) and Landscaping (+3.9%).