The BMBI

BMBI reveals strong builders’ merchant November sales

The latest Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report reveals that builders’ merchants’ value sales in November 2021 were 17.4% up on the same month in 2020, with record-breaking and year-best performances recorded across a number of categories.

Timber & Joinery Products (+30.2%) recorded its 15th consecutive month of year-on-year growth. Renewables & Water Saving (+18.0%) and Landscaping (+17.1%) also put in a strong performance, and Services (+17.1%) had its best-ever monthly sales since the BMBI started in July 2014. Kitchens & Bathrooms (14.5%) had its highest-ever monthly BMBI turnover. Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (13.8%) had its best month of 2021, and Heavy Building Materials, the largest category, also performed strongly (+13.5%).

Like-for-like sales, which take trading day differences into account, were up 12.1% year-on-year.

Compared to November 2019, a pre-pandemic year, total merchant value sales were up 28.0% in November 2021, with one more trading day in 2021. Eleven of the 12 categories sold more with Landscaping (+51.4%) and Timber & Joinery Products (+51.3%) still leading the pack.

Heavy Building Materials (+23.4%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+12.1%) were among the eight categories also growing strongly. Only Workwear & Safetywear (-2.9%) sold less. Total like-for-like value sales were 22.2% higher.

Month-on-month total merchant sales were 3.2% up on October 2021, helped by one more trading day in November. Renewables & Water Saving (+15.9%) performed best, followed by Workwear & Safetywear (+13.4%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+12.5%).

Mike Rigby, CEO of MRA Research who produce this report, said: “After signs that the market had started to slow in October, along comes November with record-breaking and annual best performances across several categories including the largest!

“While Timber & Joinery and Landscaping continue to enjoy a bumper year, November has also seen a resurgence for Kitchens & Bathrooms, which had been held back by lockdowns. We’ll wait to see December’s sales, but it looks like we could be wrapping up 2021 with a strong year for merchants, and a good number of reasons to be optimistic about 2022.”

Developed and run by MRA Research, the BMBI – a brand of the Builders Merchants Federation – is a monthly index of builders’ merchant sales, and the most reliable, up-to-date measure of Repair, Maintenance, and Improvement (RMI) activity in the UK.

The index is based on actual sales from GfK’s Builders’ Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data, which captures value sales out to builders from generalist builders’ merchants, accounting for over 80% of total sales from builders’ merchants throughout Great Britain. An in-depth review, which includes commentary by sector experts, is provided each quarter.

November’s BMBI report, published in December, is available to download at www.bmbi.co.uk.

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