According to The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA)’s latest weekly Covid-19 financial update for members, forecast growth in housewares and small domestic electricals expenditure for 2020 has now dropped to minus 14.4% – from £13.6 bn to £11.7 bn compared to 2019. While the overall electricals sector (which includes home entertainment) has been impacted less with a figure of minus 1%, the virtual halt in spending on items considered ‘non-essential’ is clearly being felt. The update is based on GlobalData’s latest analysis from 15 April, which supersedes the 6 April data.
BHETA’s marketing manager, Steve Richardson explained the trade association’s decision to produce the figures on a weekly basis. “BHETA is working with GlobalData to provide financial updates for its DIY, garden, housewares and small electricals members to keep them abreast of the economic impact of Covid-19. The implications of the pandemic from a commercial perspective are now moving so fast as events unfold that forecasts are changing weekly, and it’s vital that BHETA members have the latest information.”
Mr Richardson continued: “These figures show housewares and small domestic electricals doing slightly better than the big-ticket areas of home enhancement retail such as flooring and furniture; but suffering a serious dip, nevertheless. The £6.8 bn predicted additional spend on food and grocery is not translating into good news for the associated housewares sector; with ‘non-essential’ clearly being the determiner here. Unfortunately, with housewares being generally less project-focused, neither is it getting a degree of protection from the consumer focus on things to do around the home in the way that DIY and garden are doing.”
The BHETA Covid-19 update also details the impact of the pandemic on retail as a whole, as well as sector by sector. Latest figures here show coronavirus taking £15.0bn out of UK retail spend in 2020, a fall of 4.4%. Both April and May will show non-food spend decimated as the lock down extends with online sales offsetting, but not compensating for reduced footfall in store.
All the figures in the update show a gloomier picture for non-food offline sales versus a week previously, owing to the lock down extension, and increasing evidence of the damage done to the macro economic situation and growth in unemployment forecast, affecting consumer spend post-lock down. The impact also represents the first decline in the nominal value of retail for many years – including the financial crisis – although current forecasts suggest a quicker recovery compared to 2008/09.