Although total builders’ merchant value sales were 3.9% lower in August 2020 than in August 2019, there were three fewer trading days this year; daily sales were actually 0.9% up. Some categories continued to perform strongly, with landscaping the top performer year-on-year (+16.3%).
Month-on-month, average sales a day were 1.3% lower in August than July. Total merchant sales were 14.2% lower than in July.
Over the three months June to August, sales were up 73.8% compared with the previous three months (March to May), when many merchants had closed branches for the Covid-19 lockdown.
In the first eight months of 2020, total sales were down 18.4% compared with January to August 2019. Workwear & Safetywear (+1.3%) was the only product category that sold more. Tools (-29.4%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (-26.0%) and Plumbing Heating & Electrical (-25.8%) were weakest and still have much ground to make up in recovering sales lost during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
The numbers come from point-of-sale data collated on behalf of the Builders Merchant Federation.