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Should you expand your presence in the at-home market?

From new tech including a Smart Mapping tool to insights from the home improvement sector, Barbour ABI share tips on the opportunities for independent retailers trading in the DIY and hardware industries.


Smart Mapping

Barbour ABI’s new interactive Smart Map can plot the top 10 local authorities for planning applications submitted by home improvers. Here they share exclusive details of planning applications from January to July 2020 and evidence that the at-home market is flourishing.

This resource is an ideal tool to guide retailers’ prospecting efforts towards the areas near to you that are flourishing with home improvement opportunities right now. With the COVID-19 pandemic meaning that we’ve all spent more time than ever at home in 2020, there is a fascinating opportunity for retailers to examine how best to expand their presence in the at-home market. Independent businesses across the spectrum from furniture, DIY, kitchenware, gardening and so many more, should be exploring how to gain a firm foothold in the regions that their products have the best chance to perform strongly in.

The top 3 highest performing local authority areas within Barbour ABI’s findings are Leeds, Barnet and Birmingham, with over 5,500 projects between them. Open the map to discover where in your area is teeming with enough projects to make the top 10.


Click here to view the Smart Map


Industry Trends Post-COVID

Since 2014, Barbour ABI’s research has signalled that the homeowner market is trending more towards improving homes, rather than moving homes. Indications from throughout 2019 and into the first half of 2020 would suggest that this trend is continuing. In recent industry trends, basement improvement numbers have begun to fall, whilst loft conversions have seen a strong boost, especially in the areas surrounding London, giving retailers in this area an idea of where to focus their efforts in attracting homeowners.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Barbour ABI’s research shows robustness in the home improvers market in 2020; a strong sign for the retail industry that homeowners are still eager to spend. The extra time spent at home during lockdown could be the catalyst that continues to see strong output in this area, especially as the nation adapts to the greater emphasis upon remote working moving forward. An increase in how much a homeowner values their own home, as well as a greater need for home offices and additional space for elderly relatives, could all play a massive role in the future of home improvement.


League Table

Barbour ABI have also released a league table of the top 50 local authorities for home improvers planning applications. These 50 authorities span the entire length and breadth of the nation, so no matter where your business is based, you can find an area nearby brimming with opportunities for you to grab hold of.

Click here to download the league table


About Barbour ABI

Barbour ABI is a leading provider of market Intelligence and project leads for the construction industry.

With over 80 years’ experience in gathering, processing and delivering information on UK construction contracts, Barbour ABI’s database helps construction specialists identify trends and new business opportunities.

Making over one million calls annually, Barbour ABI tracks and verifies every construction project in the UK, from planning application until the final subcontractor arrives on site.

Barbour ABI produce unrivalled market reporting on key sectors and market trends to help customers plan for the future.

The depth and quality of Barbour ABI’s data is why their intelligence is used by the UK Government’s National Infrastructure & Construction Pipeline and the Office for National Statistics.



Additional Guidance and Resources: 

The benefits of a booking service for your shop

Cleaning Activities in the Retail Sector

A Quick Step by Step Guide to Buying a Business

Bira Member Magazine – August 2020 Issue

How to engage with your online customers

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