Wickes makes “encouraging” start to 2023

Wickes has reported an “encouraging” start to the year with performance in line with its expectations and the prior year.

03 May, 23

DIY and home improvement retailer Wickes has reported an “encouraging” start to the year with performance in line with its expectations and the prior year.

Wickes employs first women installation apprentices

It follows on from its record revenue of £1.56bn in its full-year trading results to December 31, 2022.

Although group like-for-like sales were down 0.6%, for the first 16 weeks of the year, and core sales also dipped by 3.6%, delivered Do It For Me (DIFM) sales were ahead 9.3%

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Wickes stated core sales were affected by adverse weather in 2023 to date, affecting outdoor and weather-related categories, with storms driving fencing sales in the previous year.

However, it reported sales trends have improved towards the end of the period as the weather has started to normalise.

Reflecting a healthy trade order pipeline, Wickes states its trade sales continue to perform well with its TradePro customer base continuing to grow “strongly”. However, its DIY sales remain lower year-on-year.

It also stated inflation remains mixed across categories but is slowing overall, in line with our expectations.

Reflected an improved order position during the fourth quarter of 2022, DIFM delivered sales growth, which is attributed to a good 2023 Winter Sale, and normalisation of the order book as a result of its increased installation capacity.

Orders in the first 16 weeks were up marginally year-on-year, with a reduction in leads more than offset by an increase in conversion.

Four refits have been completed in the year to date, with the first new store this year at Chelmsford expected to open in the summer.

David Wood, CEO of Wickes, commented: “This has been an encouraging start to the year where we have again seen the benefits of our uniquely balanced business model delivering well in a challenging economic environment.

“Our performance has been underpinned by further momentum in Trade, as local traders continue to turn to Wickes to save them time and money, and a strong performance in Do-it-for-me.

“As we continue to make progress across our strategic growth drivers, we are confident in the group’s prospects for both the remainder of this year and the long term.”