The release of the March retail sales report by the US Department of Commerce showed that building materials and garden equipment and supplies retailers had an especially strong month, reporting sales gains of over 40% compared to February. Furthermore, March sales were more than 20% higher than those reported last year.
Sales increases by building materials and garden equipment and supplies retailers were due to a number of factors, key among them:
- restocking by contractors and other construction professionals in preparation of the spring construction season
- moderate weather throughout much of the US, which allowed by contractors and DIYers to get an early start on new projects
- continuing demand for new housing, boosting sales of lumber, engineered wood, fasteners, and power tools – all of which are frequently purchased at big box retailers
- elevated prices for lumber, construction fasteners, and plumbing pipe and fittings needed for a wide range of building projects
- homeowners purchasing new lawn mowers and tractors and other related equipment in anticipation of a new season of yardwork
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Construction and Building Products. Freedonia also offers an expanding catalog of COVID-19 Economic Impact reports, which highlight how various industries are responding to the current crisis with a comparison to recent recessions. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.