November 2020 saw the largest year-on-year increase in builders’ merchant sales in Great Britain since March 2019, despite tougher Covid-19 restrictions taking effect from Thursday 5th November.
Year-on-year, four categories sold more in November 2020 than in November 2019, led by strong performances from Landscaping (+29.3%) and Timber & Joinery Products (+16.3%). Heavy Building Materials was 8.7% higher, while Ironmongery (+2.4%) grew more slowly. The other eight categories sold less, with Workwear & Safetywear (-6.0%) and Plumbing Heating & Electrical (-5.8%) the weakest of them.
Month-on-month, however, total sales in November were 2.3% lower than in October, with one less trading day. Renewables & Water Saving (+4.6%) did best, with Kitchens & Bathrooms (+2.9%) and Workwear & Safetywear (+1.2%) the only other categories that sold more. Landscaping (-9.5%) did least well. Ironmongery (-3.5%) and Heavy Building Materials (-2.7%) were also weaker. Average sales a day, which take trading day differences into account, were up 2.3% on October.