With so many different product categories on offer, it can be difficult for merchants to know what to focus on. Here are my top reasons why the home improvement sector should be a key priority for branches looking to maximise sales throughout 2015.
The market is growing
According to a recent survey, 79%* of UK homeowners plan to spend at least the same or more on home improvements over the next year, compared with last year, offering a lucrative growth opportunity for merchants and their customers.
Generally, the biggest factor influencing improvements is led by people wanting to spruce up their homes before a sale or after a purchase. When it comes to improvements, there is one feature that can add significant value and appeal to a property, the staircase.
There’s a common misconception that changing a staircase is a time consuming, difficult task for installers, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In some cases, a new balustrade can be installed in a day, making it an easy win for trade professionals, thus placing merchants in a strong position to benefit.
‘Do it for me’ vs ‘DIY’
Despite the home improvement market growing, statistics show the appetite for DIY is falling. During the last housing boom nearly a decade ago, DIY was all over primetime TV, with Changing Rooms, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Linda Barker dispensing home makeover advice to inspire ‘DIYers’ across the country.
Although Britain’s housing market is red-hot again, there has been no equivalent revival in DIY, with a growing number of homeowners calling in professionals when they want home improvements doing**. This provides a solid opportunity for trade professionals to promote their services and, in turn, provide merchants with the opportunity to increase sales.
This year is the year to step up your sales and grow your share of the home improvement market.
Josh Burbidge is commercial director at Richard Burbidge.