Brits plan to spend £5 billion on DIY before Christmas

As restrictions tighten, 34% of us intend to complete home or garden improvement jobs before 25 December.
03 November 2020
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Joanna Parman

Strategic Insights Director, Worldpanel Division

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Brits could spend £4.94 billion on improving their homes and gardens before Christmas, according to our latest analysis. DIYers say they still have work to do despite many households already sprucing up their properties between March and early September, including 60% of respondents painting in their home and 37% fixing or building furniture.

The DIY season normally runs from spring until October half term to coincide with warmer weather and longer days. But this is no normal year and, as restrictions tighten again, 25% of respondents are planning additional tasks before the end of October. A larger 34% intend to complete jobs before Christmas.

If shoppers follow through with their plans, it will mean an additional £552 million is spent on DIY between September and December compared with last year – including an extra £124 million on garden work and £119 million on homeware items. This represents a huge opportunity for DIY retailers and a real bright spot amid a challenging landscape.

People have reconnected with their homes during the past six months like never before and their motivations for doing DIY reflect this. Half of those taking on a DIY project this year have done so to refresh their surroundings and 16% because they needed more space to relax. Meanwhile, 40% of people said they have had more time on their hands (likely people who don’t have children) and 16% needed to adapt their spaces for home working. It’s not all work and no play though – a significant 32% of people have done DIY because they simply enjoy it.

DIY vs DIFM (do it for me)

For some, lockdown was the push they needed to take on jobs themselves and get around to tasks they had been putting off. Many shoppers have realised they can do household jobs themselves, and that it’s less expensive than hiring a tradesperson. Looking ahead, 40% of respondents say they are going to continue to do home improvements for themselves, while 49% say they will do a mixture in future and continue to take on some of the work. This varies slightly across age groups. Younger people, who are typically less experienced in DIY, are more likely to rely solely on tradespeople in the future at 7%.

However, retailers shouldn’t disregard people who intend to use tradespeople in the next six months. This group has significant spending power, buying £46 million worth of DIY supplies during this period, but they are more likely to have picked up their tools and materials in supermarkets than the average DIY shopper – suggesting they find specialist DIY stores overwhelming or not worth travelling to. DIY retailers should consider ways to make themselves more accessible to these reluctant DIYers if they are going to capture some of their spend in the coming months and entice them away from the high street and supermarkets.

Notes to editors

This paper’s insights are based on findings from Kantar’s Worldpanel Plus, a new service unlocking the power of people’s smartphones. Using a custommade app, Shoppix, Worldpanel Plus allows panellists to record their purchases by submitting receipts, and the motivations behind them, in any store, whenever and wherever.

This supplements the information generated by our main grocery shopper panel, which continually measures the purchases of 30,000 demographically representative households in Great Britain [England, Scotland and Wales]. The potential level of detail on all our panels goes far beyond that used in this report to help manufacturers and retailers really understand consumers at a granular level.

For all publicly-quoted data, users of our research (including media) must ensure that data is sourced to ‘Kantar’.

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