Construction News

Tue June 02 2020

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Even before the virus, merchants started year in decline

30 Mar Total builders’ merchant sales in January 2020 were down 2.6% compared with January 2019.

Sales of heavy building materials were down 2.7% year-on-year in January
Sales of heavy building materials were down 2.7% year-on-year in January

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%).

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