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INDUSTRY COMMENT: YEAR IN REVIEW


THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT THIS YEAR HAS BEEN TOUGH


Kimberley Hornby – MD, Hornby Whitefoot PR


There is no question that this This year is simultaneously one we want to forget, but also one we should, as an industry, celebrate. If we had been told at the start of 2020 that gardening would thrive in the face of unbelievable adversity it would have been hard to believe. But we did, and boy did we thrive. There is no question that this year has been tough, and we’re under no illusion that 2021 will not be without significant challenges (Brexit anyone?!), but the last 12 months have been a real education, and one I know the garden retail sector will learn from. My own clients, including the likes of Johnsons Lawn Seed, The Greener Gardening Company, Primeur, DJ Turfcare, LifestyleGarden and Deco-Pak, have consistently impressed with their ability to respond to unprecedented challenges, and are now rounding off what, for many, will be a record-breaking year for sales, new business gained and exciting new product innovation. We’ve also seen other clients such as GIMA, Glee


and the Greenfingers Charity find new ways to navigate the landscape. Virtual events, added value content and quick thinking has seen them all build a new normal for their organisation, standing them in good stead for the year ahead. We’re proud to be by their sides during this time. Like everyone else, we’re waiting with bated breath to see how many of the three million new gardeners will stick around once the world opens up to us again. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to rest on our laurels. Working with our existing clients, and our many new ones (the latter part of 2020 has seen an influx of exciting new brands join the Hornby Whitefoot family) we’re building strategic plan after strategic plan to ensure that we entice these new gardeners to carry on gardening in 2021. We’re talking their language, making gardening easier than ever before, whilst ensuring we go to them directly so that they don’t miss a thing. It’s safe to say 2021 is going to be a busy one but we – and garden retail – are definitely up for the challenge.


DIY HERE TO STAY AS LOCKDOWN DRIVES REAL SHIFT IN CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR


Will Jones – Chief Operating Officer, British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA)


As 2020 closes, it is an irony that a devastating year for some has proved to be a galvanising boost for the DIY industry and one which is here to stay. BHETA has helped ensure that the home improvement sectors have been able to capitalise; and its market data proves the opportunity has a future.


DIY is one of only two retail sectors to grow in 2020 and it is not slowing down. BHETA’s December figures show overall growth of 1.7% by year end and the statistics are based on actuals for Q3. Most categories are performing well with paint, decorating materials, building materials and kitchens, and all outdoor projects ahead of last year’s sales. This turnaround in DIY started in lockdown, but the BHETA’s analysis is showing that this is a fundamental shift in the retail landscape. 56% of those who undertook home improvement projects over the year were 25-34, with the second most prominent


group being under 24. Much of this new drive to DIY was self-taught with many turning online to address the skills gap. Google searches relating to DIY have doubled in 2020 and a third of those aged between 24 and 34 were using online video tutorials to get the knowledge needed. As a result, 68% of people aged 25-34 have stated that they now feel more confident, followed closely at 65% by those aged under 24. This is a permanent shift - a new generation of DIYers has been born. Not surprisingly data from BHETA’s member survey shows 89% of DIY members confident that 2020 will turn out well in terms of sales. Unsurprisingly, much of this engagement is online and relies on creative ways of getting product to the end user. While BHETA started its pandemic response with updates about adverse impact and advice on furloughing, it was soon helping members get ahead – online competence, retailer networking to meet demand, and sustaining the opportunity. An extraordinary year!


THE PANEL


Andrew Goodacre


Chief Executive, British


Independent Retailers Association


Martin Elliot Chief Executive, Home Hardware


Kimberley Hornby Managing Director, Hornby Whitefoot PR


Mike Smith Head of Field Sales, EFG Housewares


Will Jones Chief Operating Officer, BHETA


Ricky Johal Head of Marketing,


Communications and Brand, DK Tools


Vicky Nuttall Director, Garden Industry Manufacturers’ Association


www.diyweek.net


DECEMBER 2020 DIY WEEK 15


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