No longer deemed to be an essential service, there was a substantial, if temporary, drop in sales at German home improvement stores during this winter's lockdown. In the first quarter, gross sales declined by 21.3 per cent to EUR 3.45 bn, while like-for-like sales fell by 22.3 per cent. Unlike the spring of 2020, DIY stores in Germany were not deemed to be an essential service during the second lockdown. The figures were released by the German industry association BHB.In March, the negative trend turned around after stores were allowed to reopen in the middle of the month. An upturn of 18.0 per cent was recorded in March along with a 16.8 per cent increase in like-for-like sales.