Builders’ Merchants’ Q2 sales: A tale of resilience and recovery


The BMBI results for Quarter 2 show the phenomenal resilience of the sector in action. April, May and June couldn’t have been more different. April, in almost full lockdown, fell -76.5% year-on-year, May recovered to -39.9% as restrictions started to ease, and June grew +2.2%, helped by two more trading days this year, more relaxed restrictions and a booming Landscaping category.


Total Builders Merchants value sales in Q2 2020 (unadjusted for trading days) fell -38.6% compared with the same period in 2019.

Landscaping the strongest performer, was down -13.3% over the same period. The two largest product categories – Heavy Building Materials and Timber & Joinery Products – fell -38.4% and -39.8% respectively. Tools was weakest (-58.6%), followed by Kitchens & Bathrooms (-57.9%) and Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (-53.1%).


Total value sales dropped by -27.2% in Q2 2020 compared with the previous quarter. All categories declined except for Landscaping (+38.7%). Heavy Building Materials was down -26.7%.


The quarterly BMBI index for Total Builders Merchants was 76.4, with Heavy Building Materials at 75.1. Landscaping was ahead of all categories with an index of 138.8.

The BMBI, a brand of the BMF, uses GfK’s Builders Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data which analyses sales-out data from over 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales across Great Britain, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector. Monthly and quarterly reports are produced by MRA Marketing.

The latest Q2 2020 full report is available to download at The report includes in-depth analysis and trends from GfK data, and comments from 14 industry leading experts on their respective markets.

The latest Monthly Construction Update from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which uses BMBI as one its sources, is available to download here.