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October Builders Merchant sales fall -4.0% year-on-year

The latest Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report shows builders’ merchants’ value sales were down -4.0% in October 2023 compared to the same month in 2022, with volume sales dropping -11.5% and prices rising +8.4%. With one more trading day in October 2023, like-for-like sales were -8.4% lower.


Eight of the twelve categories sold more in October 2023 compared to the previous year, with Miscellaneous (+16.5%) topping the list. Decorating (+10.8%), Workwear & Safetywear (+10.4%), Ironmongery (+7.0%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+4.7%) also did better than the merchants overall. Landscaping (-6.4%) and Timber & Joinery Products (-9.7%) were the weakest categories. 


BMBI Report October Highlights

Month-on-month, total merchant sales were up +2.2% in October compared to September 2023. Volume sales were flat, and prices registered a moderate increase (+2.3%). With one additional trading day in October, like-for-like sales were -2.4% lower. Ten of the twelve categories sold more with Workwear & Safetywear (+19.3%) considerably ahead of the rest. Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+11.6%) also performed well month-on-month. Landscaping (-6.5%) was weakest.


Total merchant sales in the year to date were -4.8% down on the same period (January to October) the year before. Volume sales were -13.9% lower, and prices rose +10.6%. With two more trading days this period, like-for-like sales were -5.7% lower. Nine of the twelve categories sold more with Renewables & Water Saving (+35.5%) growing the most, followed by Decorating (+9.7%), Workwear & Safetywear and Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+6.0%). The three largest categories - Heavy Building Materials (-2.4%), Landscaping (-12.5%) and Timber & Joinery Products (-15.0%) – all sold less.


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