How repair shop numbers are on the rise across the UK

How repair shop numbers are on the rise across the UK
Businesses fixing our household goods are booming (Photo: Shutterstock)

The ‘make-do and mend’ ethos of wartime Britain is enjoying something of a resurgence.

Businesses fixing our household goods are booming, with the number of premises growing by more than a third since 2010, according to official figures.

Retail analysts say consumers are becoming less interested in being seen with the very latest products, wanting to spend their money instead on experiences like eating out.

Furniture restorers, bike workshops and phone repairers are all seeing the benefit of these changing attitudes, business data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests.

Analyst Richard Hyman, of Richard Talks Retail, says he is sometimes sceptical of industry figures provided by the ONS, but he agrees “it is probably true that there are more repair establishments out there”.

He says: “I think the appetite to make-do and mend rather than to buy new is clearly an underlying factor in the economy.

“We have got the idea of ‘peak stuff’, which is a bit of a fashionable idea and a bit overused but is probably no less true for being so.

“I think there is a bit of a peak stuff movement. It is less cool to be conspicuously consuming.”

Some consumers are also thinking about the environment more.

Analyst Kate Hardcastle, of Insight With Passion, says rising awareness of the impact of throwaway culture, driven in part by the reaction to the BBC’s Blue Planet series, has made many people consider how they can renew the items they already own.

She says: “If you can get your old sofa included in your room makeover just by reupholstering it, you are not having to tip it. You are not having to think, ‘What’s inside it and how does it all get recycled?’

“You are also saving some cash too, potentially.”