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How was 2023 for you?  If you’re a Builders’ Merchant or other supplier to the Home Improvement and Garden (HIG) sector your answer could be that it wasn’t that great.  The most recent Builders’ Merchant Building Index shows a decline in sales to builders and trades of 10.5% in the third quarter of 2023 compared with the same period in 2022.  Landscaping, which performed well during the Covid pandemic was down 7% in the same period and was one of the weakest performers within the overall sector.

Two key drivers of this result were the poor weather in August and September which significantly slowed outdoor work and the drop in which fell to its lowest level since the pandemic.

Looking forward to 2024, the current forecast for the construction industry is a drop in output of 2.1%, however across the HIG sector there is reason to be a little more optimistic.  The overall economic outlook suggests some growth, albeit at low levels and whilst inflation rates remain higher than we are used to, the are that it will continue to drop back towards the 2% Bank of England target as the year progresses which may increase homeowners’ willingness to invest in home improvements and garden projects.

Having said that, there is some uncertainty with a General Election almost certain to take place at some point in 2024, and the current turbulence in the Middle East and Red Sea comes on top of the ongoing war in Ukraine.  Recent years have shown how events such as these can impact on businesses in the UK.

As reported in Insight DIY, Daniel Chard of Bird & Co has forecast  a brighter picture for the housing market in 2024.  He expects a number of factors to boost the market including:

  • Falling mortgage interest rates
  • Increasing demand for housing
  • House prices initially falling and then a period of stability
  • Faster conveyancing with the wider adoption of AI technology

So what does this all mean for the hoses and accessories market?  Val Gardner, Managing Director of Winster the leading hose and accessory company expects a challenging but positive result in 2024, commenting “The pressures on the HIG sector do have an impact on some of our products, but there are balancing effects from other sectors that we supply.  For example, the demand for pump hoses to move water continues to grow, whether that is for irrigation in agricultural and leisure sectors, or to deal with the ever-growing threat and impact of flooding.







Overall, 2023 was a good year for Winster, with a less volatile global situation and improvement in supply chain.  Whether this will remain the case with the current situation in the Middle East is impossible to predict of course, and we still have relatively high interest rates and weak exchange rates which impacts our cost base.  We have a high level of resilience through our strong supplier relationships and extensive warehouse capacity, which means we can smooth out some of the bumps in the road for our customers and our range of customisation options gives our resellers some insulation from their competitors.

In summary, Val says “The Winster team are cautiously optimistic, ready to support all our customers and ensure a mutually successful year.

To find out more about how Winster hoses and accessories can grow your sales and profits, send us a message, send an email to sales@winster-hose.co.uk or call us on 01902 606010.

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