Published On: Tue, Jul 28th, 2015

The British public has fallen out of love with DIY

It’s official. The British public has fallen out of love with DIY. What more evidence do you need other than the fact that both B&Q and Homebase have recently announced their closure programme of multiple stores across the UK? Homeowners aren’t really in a position to mourn the closures as many can barely rewire a plug. This is possibly only the beginning, as younger generations are turning their backs on skills that their fathers and grandfathers saw as basic necessities for life. For those in the trade however, this is music to their ears. With B&Q’s owners Kingfisher investing in expanding its trade outlet Screwfix, the strategy is clear – focus on the trade. So, gone are the days of patching up leaky windows, repairing handles and hinges; homeowners are more likely to call in the experts and fully expect to be told their windows, handles and hinges are beyond repair and need replacing. It’s a win win situation for the UK’s tradesmen. Let the British public enjoy their jet washes and lawnmowers, and let the trade concentrate on the inner workings of the home!

The over 55s could also be a useful target audience for home improvement providers. With Government pension reforms meaning the over 55s can release cash from their pension pots, many may be considering investing these funds in their prized asset – their home. It has been acknowledged that the UK’s housing stock is among the oldest and coldest in Europe. Often, these homes are owned by older citizens, so the news that they may have a bit of extra cash at their disposal is good news for the home improvement sector. Housing was a hot topic for the leading political parties in the recent General Election. Only one party to pledge a cut in VAT on housing repairs and renovations was the Green Party. However, others have issued plans for more housing, which is always welcomed by the fenestration industry. I’m not saying your vote should have been swayed by your affiliation with windows and doors, but when it translates to pound notes I’m sure the manifestos may have become more of an appealing read… John Cowie – Editor