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DIY shoppers less loyal to retailers - but more loyal to bricks and mortar - than other sectors

Shoppers in the UK DIY and gardening sector are more likely to favour physical stores even if their local outlet closes than shoppers in other sectors, according to research from GlobalData.

Its figures show that nearly 64 per cent of shoppers would switch to a different bricks and mortar venue if their regular DIY or gardening store was closed, rather than switching to an online alternative. Across all retail sectors, an average of 59.5 per cent of shoppers show similar sentiments.

According to GlobalData, the figure show a clear preference for physical retail over online, but also a preference for convenience over any particular retailer in the sector.

“As well as being less inclined to switch to online, DIY and gardening shoppers are also less loyal to a particular retailer than the average UK consumer. Only 35.5% would stick with the same retailer, whether at a different store or online, compared to the 39.9% average across all retail sectors,” says GlobalData retail analyst Amy Higginbotham.

As a result store closures, such as the 47 Homebase branches closed last year, offer a clear opportunity for rivals to grow market share.

“Though closing stores is undoubtedly a sensible move for Homebase, the DIY specialist will struggle to encourage customers to switch to its website or to travel to the next closest Homebase store,” says Higginbotham.

“Shoppers will instead be more tempted to switch to more convenient bricks and mortar competitors such as Screwfix, which leads the way for convenience in the DIY and gardening market and continues to outperform, while B&Q – which returned to growth in its Q1 to 30 April this year – has recently introduced its smaller, more accessible GoodHome format.”