Women nailing it this bank holi-DIY

  • Although four in ten shoppers think home improvement stores are aimed at men, British women are the biggest spenders, splashing out  over £300 a year
  • 8.8 million Brits are expected to make DIY purchases this bank holiday weekend, worth on average £145 per transaction
  • A fifth of women claim to do more DIY than their partner, and one in four  believe they are better at home improvement than they were two years ago

Despite often being regarded as a traditionally male-dominated domain, British women spend on average £303 a year on DIY purchases, or £30 more than the average amount spent by men (£273).

New research released today by Barclaycard, which has been at the heart of British shopping for more than 50 years, reveals that we’re seeing a rise in females doing it for themselves as one in six women (16 per cent) are visiting DIY stores more often than they did two years ago – compared to only 13 per cent of men. Females are also increasingly flexing their DIY muscles, as one in four (26 per cent) consider themselves to more handy at DIY than they were 24 months ago.

A fifth of females (19 per cent) now claim to do more DIY than their partner, with one in 10 (11 per cent) putting this down to relying less on others to help with their home improvements. The influence of social media also plays a part with 15 per cent of women doing more DIY because they’ve been inspired by interior trends on Pinterest and Instagram. 

It’s a bank holi-DIY weekend

Women (and men) will be picking up their tools this bank holiday weekend, with more than 8.8 million* Brits planning to visit a DIY or home improvement store, and  spending set to top £1.27 billion**.

Shopping lists will likely be similar to the items purchased most frequently all year-round, which show women and men tackling many of the same DIY projects. Paint, wallpaper and painting & decorating items are in the top five, as are items for sprucing up the garden such as plants, flowers, seeds or seedlings, and gardening tools.

The most popular DIY and home improvement purchases made in the last 12 months






Plants, flowers, seeds or seedlings

Light fittings and fixtures


Paint, wallpaper, painting & decorating items

Paint, wallpaper, painting & decorating items


Light bulbs, lampshades, lamps, lights, light fittings

Plants, flowers, seeds or seedlings


Soft furnishings



Gardening items & tools

Gardening items & tools



Hand tools



Small electrical goods


Small electrical goods




White goods


White goods

Power tools

DIY frustration – but easy to fix

Despite the increase in female DIY shoppers, the new research revealed that more than four in ten Brits (43 per cent) think that home improvement stores are aimed at men. What’s more, over half (55 per cent) believe their marketing is too male-targeted.

When it comes to the shopping trip itself, over a third of women (34 per cent) do not enjoy going into DIY stores, and one in five (19 per cent) state they would not take their child along with them as they find it too stressful – suggesting there are ways businesses can enhance the in-store experience to make it more accessible for all.

Retailers have a further opportunity to widen their appeal to all audiences by following the most popular suggestions from DIY enthusiasts. Both men and women would like to see an increase in special offers (28 per cent), more affordable products (21 per cent) and better home delivery options (16 per cent). A quarter of shoppers (26 per cent) said they would also take part in more DIY if there was technology – such as augmented or virtual reality – to help them visualise how the improvements would look in their own home.

Anita Liu Harvey, Director of Strategy at Barclaycard, said: “It seems the next generation of women are taking an increasingly active role in DIY, with some even more involved than their male counterparts. From social media inspiration to rolling up their sleeves and taking on the responsibility themselves, the research suggests the purchasing power currently lies firmly with women.

“As such, this presents a significant opportunity for retailers to nail it when it comes to providing a tailored customer experience for both their male and female DIY enthusiasts. Whether it’s adding more home delivery options or harnessing the latest technology, businesses should be looking at ways to broaden their offering to appeal to this wider interest.”

Notes to Editors

*8,800,390 Brits are expected to visit a DIY store this bank holiday weekend. Figure calculated by multiplying the percentage of respondents who expect to visit a DIY store or home improvement retailer (17%) by the total population of those aged 18+ in the UK (51,767,000).

**£1,279,576,706 is expected to be spent by Brits this bank holiday weekend. Figure calculated by multiplying the average expected spend (£145.40) per person by the number of people who expect to visit a DIY or home improvement retailer this weekend (8,800,390).

Consumer research was conducted by Opinium surveying 2,010 adults (18+) from 08/05/2018 – 11/05/2018.

For more information, please contact Linda Yang at Barclaycard on siyuanlinda.yang@barclaycard.co.uk or 0203 55 555 86.

About Barclaycard

Barclaycard is a leading global payment business that helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and take payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit and point-of-sale finance. In 2017 we processed over £250bn in transactions globally. Barclaycard is a pioneer of new forms of payment and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting-edge forms of payment for the future. We also partner with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit.


Follow us on Twitter @BarclaycardNews