‘Do It For Me’ takes over from DIY

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As consumers increasingly turn to ‘Do It For Me’ rather than DIY, news in March that B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher is set to close 15 stores across the company over two years will have come as no surprise to avid watchers of the DIY landscape.

And they are not the only retailer struggling in a dwindling market.

Consumers are increasingly time poor and when it comes to DIY chores, they are opting to hire help rather than roll up their sleeves. The DIY heyday coincided with the property boom in the 1980s. Now younger members of Generation Rent are not obliged to take on the responsibility of house maintenance, so the joys of DIY as a hobby remain largely undiscovered for them.

Consumers are increasingly time poor and when it comes to DIY chores, they are opting to hire help rather than roll up their sleeves. #doitforme Click To Tweet

But a recent survey by wood care specialist Ronseal of 2,000 adults aged between 23 and 38 years old found that it’s more than that.

Not only is DIY declining in popularity as a pastime, it’s also actually a dying art. Six out of ten respondents said that their reluctance to tackle DIY tasks stems from the fact that there is a lack of knowledge passed down to them from their parents.

DIY is not only declining in popularity as a pastime, it’s also actually a dying art. #doitforme Click To Tweet

One in 10 said they have never picked up a screwdriver, hammer or paintbrush. When faced with a job that needs doing, 45% said they often seek help from a parent, while one in five opt for calling in a professional.

Ronseal has sought to harness the Do It For Me trend with its latest ad campaign, which specifically targets younger generations. It recruited a team of ‘expert mums and dads’ for a number of how-to videos that it has launched across online video, video-on-demand, and social media.

It’s also developed the ‘Pocket Parent’ on Facebook Messenger, which provides advice and answers to frequently asked DIY questions.

However, plenty of brands have spotted this trend’s potential as a business opportunity and have launched services aimed at those who, because they’re time poor, unskilled or simply uninterested, don’t carry out basic maintenance tasks themselves.

Halfords offers ‘ultra-competitive rates’ to fit headlight bulbs or install indicator, tail and brake lights without the need to book.

Equally, Ikea takes the sting out of flatpack assembly offering to build its furniture for £15 to £65 per item, even securing all tipping furniture to the wall.

Meanwhile, the surge in technological innovation and smart devices, from washing machines that will reorder detergent to ovens that clean themselves, is perfectly timed to catch the Do It For Me wave.

In the age of Instagram there’s no room for a botched job, and with redecoration projects becoming ever more ambitious, calling in a professional is a must for consumers if they’re after a perfect finish.

In the age of Instagram, there is no room for a botched DIY job. #doitforme Click To Tweet

Some retailers are managing to be more agile than others in the face of this challenge. Topps Tiles announced in January that it is developing its commercial division to supply businesses, and sell more products to trade customers as consumers turn their backs on DIY. It expects its commercial arm to be profitable by 2020.

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