Home & DIY retailer Wickes has today reported a two per cent like-for-like (LFL) annual sales decline for the 13 weeks to the end of September 2011 as consumers continued to hold off from making large purchases.
This particular sector of the retail industry has been particularly hard hit by the general decline in consumer confidence in recent months, and Wickes’ LFL trading decline of 0.5 per cent for the first nine months of the year is indicative of wider market troubles.
Delivered turnover for the 39-week trading period to October 1st was up 1.2 per cent though, with core product LFL sales up 2.7 per cent, but kitchen and bathroom trading slumped 12.4 per cent year-on-year.
Geoff Cooper, CEO of Wickes’ parent company Travis Perkins, admitted that the performance of the group’s merchanting and BSS plumbing divisions was keeping the business buoyant despite the difficult retail climate holding back growth.
“We continue to take market share against a tough market backdrop, confirming the sustainable strength of our organic growth strategy,” he explained.
“Our positive merchanting and BSS performance is balancing the effect of a challenging consumer environment for our retail business.”
Today’s statement from Travis Perkins indicated that Q3 LFL turnover per trading day for its merchanting and BSS arms increased by 7.7 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively.
It also noted that the 13 former Focus DIY stores, acquired in the spring after the company went into administration during a turbulent period for the retail industry, are now all trading as Wickes stores.