Spanish DIY market loses 9 per cent in first quarter

The Spanish DIY distribution segment collapsed by 9.26 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. It is the first decline since 2013, explains the Spanish association of manufacturers and distributors AECOC. The reason for this is the nationwide closure of businesses since mid March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The specialised large-scale retail has been more severely affected by this; so the collapse of the large DIY store chains at -10.51 per cent was stronger than for the traditional hardware stores which lost 7.45 per cent of sales.

Alejandro Lozano, head of the DIY area at AECOC, highlights the "proactivity that the sector has had since the beginning of this crisis to advance in the implementation of online projects and other ways of telematic commercialisation - through the telephone, Whatsapp, etc. - which have allowed us to maintain a certain level of sales".

Even though these initiatives have been successful, they were still unable to compensate for the losses in sales caused by the shop closures, says Lozano. The priority now is to ensure the survival of the businesses. "After almost two months of stores being closed, the sector needs greater access to public financing systems that facilitate liquidity and processes for making temporary lay-offs more flexible, allowing workers to return to work based on the recovery of activity," explains Lozano.