DIY and gardening shoppers are most likely to switch to a different retailer’s physical store if the store they normally shop at closes, while relatively few would switch to online or travel to the same retailer’s store in a different location.

DIY retail preferences

This indicates a preference not only for physical retail shopping over online shopping but also a preference for convenience over loyalty to a particular retailer.

What DIY and gardening shoppers would be most likely to do if the store they normally shopped at closed (%)

Physical stores will continue to be the most popular channel among DIY and gardening shoppers, irrespective of store closures – 63.8% would be most likely to switch to a bricks and mortar alternative if the store they normally shopped at closed, instead of switching to online, compared to the average of 59.5% across all retail sectors. 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.

Homebase and Screwfix

With Homebase having closed 47 stores during its H1 (ending December 30 2018) as a result of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) announced back in August, and with a significant number of stores still under review, its competitors have a clear opportunity. 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. Shoppers will instead be more tempted to switch to more convenient bricks and mortar competitors – Screwfix leads the way for convenience in the DIY and gardening sector 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.

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