Builders’ merchants experience seasonal sales slump

Builders’ merchants experienced a fallow period in sales at the tail-end of 2014.

26th March 2015

New figures from the Builders’ Merchants Federation show that UK builders’ merchants experienced a significant fall in sales in the fourth quarter of 2014. In terms of total sales value, Q4 sales were down 13.5% on the previous quarter.

The BMF also tweaked the data to account for a reduced number of trading days in December (only 17, compared with 20 in November), with average daily sales used to determine that without the difference in trading days, the fall in sales would have been a more modest 5.2%.

Total sales from UK builders’ merchants in Q4 of 2014 amounted to £1.17 billion, or £19.8 million per trading day – compared with £1.34 billion in Q3 (£20.7 million per day). Significant monthly declines were noted in November and December.

Heavy building materials sales fell by nearly 15% in Q4 relative to Q3, with landscaping product sales falling by nearly a third in the same period. These significant sales decreases were offset by increases in plumbing, heating and electrical sales (8.6%).

John Newcomb, managing director of the BMF, commented on the figures:  ‘The effect of seasonal trading is evident in these figures, and is to be expected. It is particularly interesting to note the shift in sales from external sectors, heavy building materials and landscaping to internal sectors from Q3 to Q4.’

Builders’ merchants will no doubt have been prepared for a quiet period in the winter months. Stock control software is equally valuable during busy and quiet periods, and the accounting elements of retail software can help you keep a close eye on your cash flow. Find out more about Trader software for builder’s merchants.


Tagged under: Builders’ merchants, software for builders’ merchants

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