Is DIY losing to DIFM in the home improvement market?

There has been a lot of talk about the potential shift from DIY towards DIFM (do-it-for-me). However, is this trend really there yet and what are the main drivers behind it?

There has been a lot of talk about the potential shift from DIY towards DIFM (do-it-for-me). However, is this trend really there yet and what are the main drivers behind it?

With an overall stronger performance of the housing market in Europe, the DIY market is expected to enjoy a strong growth. A possible disrupter for this growth could be the perceived trend of DIFM over DIY. One could assume that consumers in more mature markets will shift towards DIFM, where trades people are hired to do the work for them.

There are a couple of key drivers that could fuel this shift, with the most important being the aging population of Western Europe and the decreased willingness/knowledge of younger consumers to do DIY jobs themselves. Even though cost is still very important, the younger consumer is inclined to spend more money on a professional than give up their time to do home improvements jobs themselves. Furthermore, in the UK home ownership is higher amongst older generations whereas the millennials are less likely to own their own homes (so called ‘generation rent’)

There are already some retailers who are anticipating this trend. An example is B&Q, with their TradePoints in the DIY stores, targeting the trade customers.

It is therefore interesting to see what the current status is on DIY vs DIFM and what the trends show us. Not based on perceived trends, but on hard facts.

As can be seen in the image, roughly a third of the European home improvement jobs are DIFM jobs. It’s also clear to see that this share is higher in certain countries. Even though this is already a relatively high share, it hasn’t changed that much in the last 3 years. In fact, this percentage has been steady and doesn’t show a trend. This is not to say that the perceived shift couldn’t happen in the future, but it’s not happening right now. We will keep monitoring this trend on a quarterly base.

These are some of the results of the European home improvement (11 countries, 26,400 successful interviews with consumers annually).

In case of any questions feel free to contact me directly at: hoogenboom@usp-mc.nl