What the lockdown DIY boom meant for retailers

While many DIY stores were closed in March as the country went into lockdown, business was kept afloat by cost-saving measures such as the government’s furlough scheme and implementing online sales and delivery ahead of stores being allowed to re-open later in the year. Lockdown seemed like a perfect time to tackle some DIY projects at home for many people who found themselves with time on their hands.

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DIY Online

Weather in the Spring was sunny and dry, which prompted many people to improve their gardens. Sales of compost and plants soared, with those of wallpaper and paint not far behind. Some retailers were also offering virtual appointments for kitchen design, meaning even some of the larger projects did not have to be put on hold for long. In addition to having time to fill, many people turned their hand to something new, like laying new engineered wood flooring such as these engineered wood flooring offerings. Learning a new skill made them feel accomplished and was a boost to their wellbeing.

DIY In Stores

The boom continued when stores reopened. Many stores had queues to enter for their first few weeks of resumed trading, showing that many people still preferred to see and choose their materials in person rather than shopping online. This eased the pressure on delivery firms who had been working hard to get everyone their items. There was some criticism of purchases of what were seen by many as non-essential items, but the mental health issues caused by the lockdown could not be ignored and it was important for those who suddenly found themselves not working to be able to keep busy.

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Why DIY?

Apart from having time to do these jobs themselves, it was difficult to get a professional to carry out the work due to social distancing guidelines stating that one should not enter someone else’s home. As a result, many businesses furloughed employees and temporarily shut down operations until restrictions eased. This did not apply to essential repairs required to make a home safe, but home improvements such as gardening and decorating had to be undertaken privately.

Many DIY retailers are reporting increased profits this year, and the sector is one of only a few to have employed more people during lockdown rather than cutting jobs. These extra profits will certainly help during uncertain times ahead for the economy.

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