COVID-19: Half of lockdown Brits embrace DIY
As Easter approaches and social distancing measures remain in place, 12.5 million British households are planning to keep busy with DIY jobs in the coming weeks. Four million of them plan to complete their spruce up before the long weekend, according to analysis released by Kantar today.
60% of people getting involved in DIY over the next few weeks are going to do some painting inside the home, 40% are planning to get the garden ready for warmer weather, and 27% of people will be painting sheds or fences.
Joanna Parman, strategic insights director at Kantar, comments: “Spring is always a popular time for home improvements and getting gardens in order. This year, as we are forced to spend more time indoors, people are looking for ways to keep the boredom at bay and also to make their homes places that they and their families can enjoy. With the government advising people against moving home during the current lockdown, it’s likely that a number of consumers are taking the opportunity to renovate their existing properties – a case of can’t move, improve.
“We expect this increased interest to have significant impact on an industry where sales from bricks and mortar shops alone amount to £4 billion annually – with the potential to attract a new generation of shoppers and drive investment in online stores and delivery services.”
For many, restrictions on movement have freed up time to do jobs that they’ve been putting off for a while. Joanna Parman comments: “More than two thirds of people who delayed a DIY job last year did so because they didn’t have time. With holidays cancelled and pubs and restaurants closed, 40% of us are planning to do a DIY job we delayed doing last year.
“Young people are more likely to be turning their hand to DIY for the first time as a way to pass the time as college and university courses are put on hold and large numbers are furloughed by employers. Half of 18 to 24-year olds will be doing a DIY job because they have got time to fill, 25% of them fancy a change and 30% feel like they have more money to spend on DIY now. Interestingly, environmental issues haven’t gone away for young people during the crisis and 60% of them would still consider the sustainability of a product before buying.”
Joanna adds: “Young people have limited resources, and activities like DIY tend to lose out to other priorities like spending on living costs and socialising. Retailers will be watching closely and considering how they can maintain their custom once life starts to return to normal – improving their own green credentials could be one way to do that.”
Is the future online?
With non-essential stores closed, consumers will need to consider what they can achieve with the supplies that are available. Joanna Parman explains: “We all have to stay at home as much as possible at the moment so it’s good news that many people (41%) already have the tools and materials they need to complete their tasks, while 25% can at least get started before stores re-open.
“Crucially, 80% of people would choose an online delivery service to get their supplies while shops are closed. This reflects how seriously the public is taking advice about social distancing as well as a broader trend – most shoppers, and particularly young people at 37%, find traditional, large DIY stores overwhelming and would prefer to shop for tools and materials on the high street.”