BATTLEGROUND We ask Ryobi marketing manager Andrew Trainer for his take on the tools market and what challenges suppliers are facing

Q: What’s happening in the tools market? We’re seeing real growth, in both volume and value, from the areas in which we continue to innovate. Whilst recent trading has seen volume decline, market value seems more robust. This seems to be driven by a higher average spend, which demonstrates consumers’ willingness to invest heavily in tools that offer better value, design and performance.

Q: Is there still plenty of innovation in the category? Yes. Innovation at Ryobi shows absolutely no signs of slowing.

Whilst the core power tool categories have been predominantly cordless for some time, product innovation in both batteries and motors has now allowed us to launch some incredibly powerful tools in the high-draw categories, such as angle grinders and chainsaws.

Q: How does the reported lack of DIY skills amongst consumers affect the tools sector?

The industry undoubtedly needs to find a way to tackle this issue. The rising age of first-time homebuyers and increases in the rental market are potentially problematic for the tools sector. This is always front-of-

mind for us and is reflected in the support material we offer and our communication strategies.

Q: What are the biggest challenges in the market? It’s been a difficult first half of 2018. The “Beast from the East” has certainly caused difficulties for the outdoor tool sector, which has had a knock-on effect for power tools too. There are many things that can be fixed with our range, unfortunately, the UK weather isn’t one of them.

Q: Is there a battle over price or are consumers willing to spend more on a product/brand they know will

work and they can trust? In certain segments of the market, like any other market, price is a key battleground. It’s as important as ever to set your brand apart by offering something different to your competitor set.

Q: What competition do retailer’s own-brand tools present to major brands? We’ve been seeing declines in own- label retailing in the power tool segment for a number of years now. Whilst own-label brands may be able to offer a basic range of tools, we’re yet to see real innovation from this competitor set.

CREOSEALPLUS helps to protect the wood against the detrimental effects of the weather and has a colour which lasts and lasts.

CREOSEAL'S FENCE CARE covers most fencing in one coat and is available in four colours, with a high resistance to fading.

26 DIY WEEK 01 JUNE 2018

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