Merchant sales stay strong through third lockdown

Man Making Marks on a Piece of Wood

According to the latest Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) report, builders merchants’ sales remained strong even through the third lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Timber and Joinery sales were up 7.7% on January 2020; Landscaping increased by 3.7%; Workwear and Safetywear sales were up 2.4% on the same time a year ago. However, areas that have not fared so well include indoor trades, with Plumbing, Heating and Electrical as well as Kitchens and Bathrooms categories seeing double-digit falls; but it was Decorating that saw the biggest fall, at 17.2% below last year’s level.

Compared with the previous month, total January 2021 sales were 20.6% higher. Workwear and Safetywear were up 39.1%, with Timber and Joinery Products as well as Heavy Building Materials performing well. Sales in the three months to January 2021 were 4.4% higher than the same period to January 2020, with Timber and Joinery Products as well as Landscaping being the top performing categories.

The full report is available to download at