A new report predicts a fragile recovery for the UK’s DIY & gardening sector after two years of falling sales.
But industry analysts Verdict says that despite growing by 3.1% to £16.6bn during 2007, the sector remains one of the weakest in UK retail.
It’s also unlikely ever to return to the boom days around the turn of the millennium, according to the report.
Verdict says it’s crucial that DIY chains ensure that home decoration products remain up-to-date and on trend.
The report also says the major retailers have invested heavily in improving customer service.
This has seen them provide better in-store product information, tool hire services, take away guides/manuals and in-store workshops.
However, Verdict says that companies must ensure their stores are easy to shop and provide customers with a pleasurable and rewarding experience, something that ‘big box DIY sheds of old did not do’.
Verdict’s Lead Retail Analyst Nick Gladding said: ‘Even with this year’s upturn in sales, the UK DIY and gardening market will still be worth less than in 2004.
‘And while demand was strong through the first half of the year, helped by a buoyant housing market and warm April weather, more recently the combination of a disappointing summer and the succession of interest rate rises slowed sales once more.’