Best ever month for builders merchants

Builders merchants' best monthly sales since BMBI began.

Sales by builders merchants have reached their highest value since BMBI data started to be collected in July 2014.

Helped by two extra trading days in October (22 days), six categories notched up record monthly sales. In total, builders merchant sales were up 6.8% by value compared with October 2017.

The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) is a particularly accurate record of sales because it collects data at the point of sale using GfK’s Builders Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data and represents more than 80% of the value of the builders merchant market.

Year on year, Timber & Joinery Products (+10.3%) did best, with record sales, and all but one category sold more. Although growing more slowly, Heavy Building Materials (+5.3%), Tools (+3.4%) and Ironmongery (+2.3%) also had their best-ever months.

Compared with September, October sales were 11.4% higher, helped by those two additional trading days. Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+17.2%), Workwear & Safetywear (14.9%) and Heavy Building Materials (12.4%) were among eight categories that did better and all categories sold more. But even averaged out on a daily basis sales were 1.3% higher than in September with 10 of the 12 categories selling more. Exceptionally, the seasonal category of Landscaping was one of the two that saw sales fall (-6.7%).

The 10 months January to October 2018 were 4.3% ahead of the same period in 2017. Plumbing Heating & Electrical was strongest (+8.3%) with Timber & Joinery Products (+7.6%) close behind.

The rolling 12 months November 2017 to October 2018 were 4.3% above the same 12 months a year earlier, with one less trading day. Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+7.9%) was strongest. Average sales a day in the period were 4.7% higher.

Visit to see the full October report.