At the end of the year, we are registering a turnover growth of approximately 2% for the DIY Superstores. Although 2016 has known a troublesome start, the consecutive growth figures from July all the way to December have led to this positive result.
Strong growth rates (of 5%) at the start of the fourth quarter were followed by a clear slowdown of the growth rate to 0,8% in December.
A view on the Home Improvement market suggests that some of the growth can be explained by expansion and subsequent investments in individual stores. A like-for-like comparison, by contrast, shows a marginally negative result.
The gardening category results – a key category in the DIY Superstores – have been surprisingly positive in 2016. In spite of the unfavorable weather conditions at the start of the year, sales of the category rebounded and were driven by double digit growth of powered garden tools and plant protection products. To a lesser extent, we have recorded a minor increase in sales of paint in the fourth quarter, but this couldn’t make up for the losses earlier that year. In particular, the special paints that offer a solution for a specific application show good performance.
Although forecasting a highly weather dependent market like the Home Improvement market is not easy, we estimate the results for 2017 to be in line with last year’s figures. Consumer confidence has strengthened and the macroeconomic outlook has improved, so the general economic situation is looking much brighter for the coming months. We believe that this is an excellent situation for Belgian DIY retailers to start the year, thus we have a positive outlook for 2017!
Kristof Scheys – Business Analyst Home & Living