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Sat January 22 2022

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Record month for builders' merchants

19 Dec 18 October 2018 was the best sales month that UK builders’ merchants have seen for years, according to data collected for the Builders Merchant Federation.

The Builders Merchant Building Index began tracking monthly sales data in July 2014, using GfK’s point of sale tracking data to capture more than 80% of the market. October 2018 sales were the highest of any month since the tracking began.

October’s numbers were helped by the month having 22 trading days, which is the top end of what is possible. Six of the 12 categories notched up record monthly sales, four of which also had their highest average daily sales.

Year-on-year, total builders merchant value sales were up 6.8% by value in October 2018 compared with October 2017. Timber & joinery products were up by 10.3%. Although growing more slowly, heavy building materials (+5.3%), tools (+3.4%) and ironmongery (+2.3%) also had their best months on record.

Month-on-month, October sales were 11.4% higher than September 2018, helped by two additional trading days. Plumbing heating & electrical (+17.2%), workwear & safetywear (14.9%) and heavy building materials (12.4%) were among the best performing categories.

Average sales per day in October were 1.3% higher than in September.

The 10 months January to October 2018 were 4.3% ahead of the same period in 2017, with plumbing heating & electrical up 8.3% and timber & joinery products up 7.6%.

October’s BMBI index was 131.8, with one additional trading day. Plumbing heating & electrical was top (141.1). The average sales a day index for October was 124.3.

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