Despite declines in kitchen and bathroom, Australian retail giant Wesfarmers posted positive sales for its operations in the UK and Ireland, which includes the Homebase chain and its first UK Bunnings store.
Wesfarmers Q3 results recorded total sales in the UK of £245 million ($400 million). The group, which acquired Homebase from Home Retail Group last year, also reported that, on a like-for-like (LFL) trading basis, customer participation, as measured by transactions, increased by 2.2%. For the financial year to date, total sales were £851 million ($1,429 million). Customer participation for the financial year to date increased by 6.9%.
Bunnings managing director of UK and Ireland PJ Davis said trading during the quarter was negatively affected by the continued repositioning of the kitchen and bathroom offer, while the performance across other core home improvement and garden products was pleasing.
“Our first Bunnings Warehouse pilot stores have been well received by customers, team members, and the community. The team continues to progress the strategic plan and is focused on building strong foundations.”
During the quarter, the group opened its first Bunnings Warehouse pilot store was opened in St Albans. A second pilot site has since opened on April 12 at Hatfield Road, St Albans, with plans for a third store - the biggest store footprint yet - at a former Homebase in Milton Keynes. The Homebase store estate stood at 254 by the end of March 2017.
Meanwhile, Bunnings has announced that its fifth outlet will occupy a former B&Q store.
Bunnings operations in Australia and New Zealand recorded sales of $2,793m for the quarter, up p7.7 on the same trading period last year.