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Lockdown has confirmed that an Englishman’s (and woman’s) home is their castle, as new Mintel research reveals that spending on the home is forecast to increase by 5.3% to reach £70.6 billion in 2021.

Three quarters (73%) of consumers have spent money on the home in the past year, up sharply from 2019 (66%), and over a third (34%)* of them expect to increase spending in 2021 as a result of the pandemic, rising to 40% of 16-34 year-olds. Mintel predicts there will be a particular focus on both communal and outside areas as a result of the surge in mounting demands on living spaces brought on from working from home. Over a quarter (27%) of those consumers who have spent money on the home in the past year intend to spend more on communal areas (eg. living rooms or gardens) in the next year as a result of the outbreak.

Nearly half (49%) of Brits spent money on decorating their home in the last 12 months, up from 38% in 2018. Millennials (24-39-year-olds) in particular have got the home improvement bug, with 51% splashing out on decorating. This comes as the number of Brits carrying out home improvements/DIY increased from 42% in 2019 to 54% in 2020. Meanwhile, freestanding furniture has proven particularly popular in lockdown, as 28% of Brits spent money on these items over the past year. This is up from 23% in 2018, rising to over a third (36%) of 25-34 year-olds. 

Mintel Retail Analyst, Marco Amasanti, said:

Home retail is set for a bumper bank holiday weekend, as many use this time to pamper their living spaces, take on garden projects and prepare for the return of warmer weather. Given their greater transience, younger consumers, especially first-time home buyers, will again spearhead this purchasing. Amid ongoing financial pressures, many of these shoppers continue to turn to lower value sectors, such as decorative accessories and garden products, as a means of personalising their living spaces. 

“At the other end of this, the immediacy of COVID-19 disrupted bigger home projects, such as home and garden renovations; however, the appetite for these has now recovered, buoyed for many by money saved in other non-essential sectors, such as travel, clothing and entertainment, over the past year.”

Gardens move up the agenda

As the early May bank holiday approaches and people look to spend more time outdoors, gardens will attract more focus. In fact, nearly half (48%) of those who intend to spend more on the home will be spending on garden/outdoor areas. Garden makeover spend continues to grow as almost one in five (19%) green-fingered-Brits spent money on a garden makeover in 2020, up from 14% in 2019. This comes as Mintel research reveals a large influx of younger gardening enthusiasts. Overall, the percentage of adults gardening increased from 51% in 2019 to 61% in 2020, but amongst the 25-44 age group the percentage rose by 17 points (from 41% to 58% of this group).

Mintel Retail Analyst, Marco Amasanti, said:

“The spotlight the pandemic has shone on outdoor areas will continue to drive sales of garden furniture, heaters, lighting and outdoor dining. There will also be a great opportunity for garden makeovers, conservatories, and a significant new opportunity for garden rooms – the likes of which offer a comparatively affordable means of adding living space to the home, whether as a place to work, exercise, entertain or for storage.”

Notes to editors:

Mintel commissioned consumer research among 2,000 internet users aged 16+ in October 2020.

*1,241 internet users aged 16+ who spent on their home in the last 12 months and intend to spend on their home in the next 12 months