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Extraordinary recovery for builders’ merchants’ sales

date iconMay 28, 2021

In the latest Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) report published in May, Britain’s Builders’ Merchants continued to report strong growth in Q1 2021, with total value sales up 8.6% compared to the previous quarter and 15.1% up on Q1 2020. Removing the effects of Covid, results are still positive, with merchants reporting an increase of 6.0% in Q1 2021 on Q1 2019.

Growth was fuelled by a bumper March, with total sales up 47.4% on March 2020 and by a no less extraordinary 23.0% compared to the same month in 2019. Sales for Kitchens & Bathrooms were up 18.7% on March 2020 but down slightly by 1% on March 2019.

Outdoor categories, particularly Landscaping and Timber & Joinery products, experienced exceptional first quarter growth. Landscaping sales were 41.4% up on Q1 2020 and an astonishing 32.3% up on Q1 2019. Over the same periods, Timber & Joinery Products was up 30.5% and 15.8% respectively.

However, for indoor trades like Kitchens & Bathrooms, where Covid restrictions has impacted the rate of recovery in these sectors, sales were down -1.8% on Q1 2020. Month-on-month, however, it was a positive picture, with sales up 12.3% in March compared to February.


The BMBI index for Q1 2021 was 120.7. Timber & Joinery Products and Landscaping were the strongest categories, each at 141.5. For Kitchens & Bathrooms the Q1 index was 107.5.

Download the BMBI Q1 report here.

The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI)

The BMBI is a brand of the BMF. The BMBI report, which is produced and managed by MRA Research, uses GfK’s Builders Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data which analyses sales out data from over 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales across Great Britain. The full report is on


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