Published on 17 - May - 2010
Wickes like-for-like sales slip in tough consumer conditionsWickes owner Travis Perkins has reported a 1.7% like-for-like sales decline in its retail arm for the 17 weeks to May 1.
The retail division, which also includes Tile Giant and Tool Station, also saw a 0.3% increase in revenue during the period, according to the interim management statement released today.
The company reported that Wickes made "significant gains" in kitchen and bathroom revenue over the period, with like-for-like sales up 12.6% over the same period in 2009.
Whilst like-for-like sales of Wickes' core products decreased by 5.1%, the retailer also reported an improving trend, with the decline in core sales over the past 9 weeks being at a lower average of 3.8% despite the disadvantage of an earlier Easter. The improving trend has continued into the first two weeks of May, said the report.
Wickes has also gained market share and maintained gross margins. The statement added: "As expected, the rate of market share gain will begin to abate through 2010 as Wickes' new strategy in the kitchen and bathroom market begins to mature."
Last month, Wickes announced it was trialling smaller format kitchen and bathroom stores in a bid to soak up market share left by the collapse of MFI in 2008.
For the four months ended April 30, 2010, TP's merchanting division revenue increased by 3.3%, including like-for-like growth of 2.8%, compared to the same period in 2009.
Travis Perkins chief executive Geoff Cooper said: "Although consumers and homeowners still appear to be waiting to see what life is going to be like on this side of the election, we are pleased with the overall progress the group has made in the first four months of the year.
"Current trading is ahead of management expectations, helping us to make inroads into the adverse effects of the weather-affected first two months of the year. We continue to take market share in testing conditions, underlining the strength of our organic growth strategy. Our more positive merchanting performance is more than balancing the effect of wary consumers currently holding on to their money."
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