KBB sales underperform at builders’ merchants in January

Kitchen and bathroom sales inched upward in January, compared with the same month last year, but other categories grew faster at builders’ merchants in January, pushing total sales up by 5%.

The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI), which tracks builders’ merchants actual sales to builders and contractors using GfK point-of-sale data, reported that KBB sales were 1.2% higher in January compared to the same month last year.

The BMBI, produced by MRA Marketing said comparisons made between January 2019 and December 2018 were skewed by January having six more trading days, resulting in total sales being 39.2% higher.

Average sales a day, which takes trading days into account and provides a more meaningful comparison, saw total sales grow by 1.2%, pushed up by the demand for heavy building materials. On the other hand, KBB sales were a drag.

On average, month-on-month, kitchen and bathroom sales sank almost 2% in January 2019.

January’s BMBI index was 107.8, with one additional trading day – the highest BMBI index to date. Plumbing and heating came top at 130.8, while kitchens and bathrooms rose to 109.5, still well below its three-year high of 130 back in 2017.

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