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Wickes DIY sales slide, but refurbishments and local trades keep revenue growing

Retailer Wickes has become the latest DIY firm to reveal slumping profits and trading under pressure as the pandemic boom in DIY fades (Barry Batchelor/PA) (PA Archive)
Retailer Wickes has become the latest DIY firm to reveal slumping profits and trading under pressure as the pandemic boom in DIY fades (Barry Batchelor/PA) (PA Archive)

DIY sales at Wickes slipped as shoppers opted for “paint rather than paving”, but a strong performance among local traders and for kitchen refurbishments meant revenue ticked slightly up.

CEO David Wood told the Standard that Wickes’ DIY customers opted for smaller projects amid the cost-of-living crisis.

“Right now, those doing projects are being much more considered, so the projects are smaller,” he said.

Though he also noted that DIY had boomed during the pandemic, leading to very tough comparables in that sector.

But Wickes’ “do-it-for-me” kitchens and bathrooms business grew, which Wood said was thanks to an older, wealthier customer base, who had paid off their mortgages already and could pay for remodelings out of their savings.

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Local trade sales also improved, especially in London, which Wood put down to tradespeople prioritising convenience.

He added that Wickes had gained market share in the local trades sector.

“We are definitely gaining share,” he said. “We have again outperformed the market and that is really driven through the strength of our local trading proposition.”

That meant overall revenue was up slightly at £827.7 million.

Profit was down by a quarter to £31.1 million, but Wood noted this was partly due to money spent on new store openings.

Investec retail analyst Kate Calvert said Wickes “looks well-positioned for when demand picks up”.

Shares of Wickes are up 3.1%, or 4.3p, today, to 142.8p.