Hand tools market sees mixed fortunes in 2008

Market analyst GfK says the garden hand-tools market has been "very much on the back foot in 2008" in its latest report.

GfK account manager Thomas Sowter said a late start to the season was exacerbated by lower overall sales:

"As we know, the good weather in 2007 came in March-April, however in 2008 the season never really started until May. Furthermore, the market dynamic in 2008 changed quite drastically from 2007 in that the average price of garden hand-tools increased. This resulted in a market growth of 5% in value.  

However, Sowter added: "People have purchased less in 2008 and as such the market is was down 8% at the same time in July."

Sowter said the market had changed significantly since July 2007:

"The market has actually declined slightly and now sits at -8.6% in volume and is only 4% up in value against 5% in July.

"Although 2008 is still heavily down on 2007 in volume, it should be taken into consideration that to see a 4% growth in value is still a great performance, especially when you consider what is currently happening in the economy.

"Couple this with the fact that most other DIY gardening areas are in decline in both volume and value, for example lawn mowers and hedge trimmers, and it's easy to conclude that 2008 has actually been successful for garden hand-tools."

Sowter added: "Economists predict that the economy will get worse before it gets better, so it will be very interesting to see how the garden hand-tool market performs in 2009."

For more information contact thomas.sowter@gfk.com, or call 0870 603 8213.

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