NuGen Properties

Merchant tills ringing more slowly

Builders’ merchants sold 8% less stuff in 2022 than in 2021

Latest data form the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), which collates point of sale data form stores across the country, reveals a 13.9% drop in takings in the fourth quarter of 2022 (Q4) compared to the previous three months (Q3).

With prices going up by 5.4% over the quarter, volume sales – merchandise moving from stores to building sites – dropped by 18.3%.

Part of the decline can be accounted for by the fact that there were five fewer trading days in Q4 – like-for-like sales values were down by 6.6% .

Only three smaller product categories recorded an increase in sales value: plumbing, heating & electrical, which grew by 13.2% by value; renewables & water saving (up 7.1%) and workwear & safetywear (also 7.1%).

The largest two product categories both recorded double digit falls, with heavy building materials down 13.7% and timber & joinery down 16.6%. Landscaping saw the largest fall, at 33.6%, but this is in line with normal seasonal trends – more landscaping tends to get done in July, August and September than in October, November and December.

Comparing the last three months of 2022 with the same quarter in 2021 shows takings up by 2.9%, but only because of inflation. Prices were up 16.4% year-on-year.  Volume sales were down 11.6%.

Comparing the full year 2022 to 2021 reveals sales volumes fell by 8.0%. But with prices up by  16.2%, builders’ merchants takings were 6.9% higher in 2022 than in 2021.  With three less trading days in 2022, overall like-for-like takings were 8.2% higher.

All categories saw value growth in 2022 apart from timber & joinery (down 2.2%) and landscaping (down 0.6%). The biggest growing category was renewables and water management (up 31.5%), followed by kitchens & bathrooms (up 18.9%) and plumbing, heating & electrical (up 14.8%).

Builders Merchants Federation chief executive John Newcomb said: “With so much volatility in the UK economy in 2022, it comes as no surprise to see the slowdown in some areas of construction reflected in merchant sales.  Slowing demand throughout the final quarter, however, has helped to ease pressures on product supply.  With forecasts for 2023 predicting further slowdown in the first half of the year, general product availability should have an opportunity to recover before the market begins to recover in the second half.”

 Emile van der Ryst, senior client insight manager at GfK, which collates the data, added: “During 2021 we widely believed that things were on their way up, with various market predictions at the beginning of 2022 indicating some form of growth – but the year turned out completely different. A quarterly review against 2021’s applicable quarter shows the increased difficulty the sector experienced as the year went on. The first quarter saw value growth of 17.7%, followed by 4.1%, 4.3% and 2.9% in quarters two to four. Price growth was consistently high each quarter, sitting between 15.0% and 17.7%, while volume started at +1.5% in quarter one and dropped to -11.6% in the fourth quarter.”

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Dan Morten 18/01/22

Easy to work with, Jordan and the team were professional and were easy to communicate with.
Would highly recommend.

Di Hayes 20/08/22

NuGen Properties built an extension to the rear of my property, replacing the old conservatory. I am so pleased I chose this company. From the initial quotation, through the build and after they were professional, polite & well mannered. They kept the site tidy throughout the build and kept me informed of each stage as it happened. The work was finished to a good standard and I have had nothing but compliments on their work. I am already planning for them to come back and do some more work for me in a few months. I would 100% recommend them.

Bradley Eyles 20/06/23

Nugen were fantastic throughout the works they carried out on my property, Jordan provided constant updates and ensure any questions I had were always answered. All works were completed in a timely fashion, on budget and exceptional customer service. Highly recommend!

Sonny Carter-heyward 29/02/22

Brilliant service, renovated my house to make a dream a reality. Thanks guys

sitemanager 22/01/23

Great firm to communicate with fast and good quality work.