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DIY and Gardening Records "Healthy Performance" in 2012, says GfK

The DIY and gardening retail sector, the largest tracked by GfK, remained stable throughout 2012 despite bad weather and total consumer durable spending dropping by 2.8%. The sector declined by 3.9% compared with 2011, which GfK put down to the poor performance of gardening products due to harsh weather conditions throughout the year. DIY goods, on the other hand, dropped by only 0.7% for the year. 

Price increases and mix softened the blow of volume drops, for example while power tools fell by 10.5% in terms of unit numbers, the shortfall was only 2.3% for value. GfK also reported "an encouraging trend towards internet purchasing", adding that online sales for total consumer durables had reached their highest level of 19% in two years. Online sales of power tools grew to 7%, with the average price of a power tool bought online revealed to be 19% higher than one bought offline.

GfK's account director Simon Foy said: "Despite the appalling weather conditions negatively affecting the garden markets in 2012, the DIY sectors have remained relatively robust in value terms. This is in part due to the increasing average prices across many sectors and range mix.

"In some areas we are seeing an overall increase in pricing due to feature developments in a category. For example, key to growth within power tools are cordless hammer drills, a product which is more expensive than the average drill and could be due to a perceived benefit consumers are willing to pay for.

"In addition we see the internet as a growing sector of the market which is seemingly encouraging consumers to trade up. In the example of power tools, consumers are spending almost 20% more on an average purchase online than in store."

Source: DIY Week - DIY and Gardening Records "Healthy Performance" in 2012, says GfK