Britain used to be a nation of avid home improvers, eager to climb up a stepladder at the first sign of a public holiday. But now hardware giant B&Q has reported a massive slump in profits. The Money Program’s DIY RIP investigates whether the days of stripping the bathroom ceiling could really be over?
This special addresses the question of whether the UK DIY market is in decline. The question is an interesting one, since the rise and fall of industries is an inevitable consequence of economic change. While economic fundamentals help to explain changes in the DIY sector, it’s likely that other factors exist.
Changes in customer tastes and advances in technology also serve to transform the business landscape. The emergence and success of “lifestyle” brands such as IKEA point to a shift in consumer attitudes to DIY. It’s all part of our disillusion with DIY as we prefer to buy our style off the shelf and when we have those tricky jobs to do GSI instead – that’s “get someone in”.
So is this the death of DIY?