Builders merchant sales tumble despite safety gear boost

The results of the first quarter sales from builders merchant sales show the initial dip response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Figures come from the Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) and they show a 6.7 per cent year-on-year decline in the value of sales to builders and contractors in the first quarter of 2020.

This is a much steeper 15.1 per cent year-on-year decline.

Sadly the upcoming figures for April are expected to show an even bigger collapse.

Many builders merchants have closed their outlets in the initial response to the government shutdown.

An unsure future

“Projections for the remainder of 2020 are difficult to make, but we know there will be a significant drop in April sales,” commented Emile van der Ryst, senior client insight manager at market research firm GfK, which gathers the BMBI data.

More data

Sales of heavy building materials including bricks, blocks and insulation fell by 6.5 per cent in the quarter; plumbing, heating and electrical sales fell by 7.4 per cent; sales of timber and joinery supplies fell 11.1 per cent; and tools dropped by 12.7 per cent.