Sales at fast-growing Toolstation rose by more than a third during the first six months of 2020 as shoppers used its multichannel services to get ahead with DIY projects during lockdown. Sales at sister DIY company Wickes dipped by 8.5% over the first half as a result of store closures, although sales started to recover when stores reopened, its parent company Travis Perkins said today.
Both performances were ahead of the wider 20% fall in the Travis Perkins group first-half sales to £2.8bn, from £3.5bn at the same time last year.
At Toolstation, total first-half sales were 37.1% ahead of last time, thanks to a 12.9% rise in like-for-like (LFL) sales – which strips out the effect of store openings and closures – and a 23.6% expansion in trading space since last year.
Travis Perkins retail sales – at DIY company Wickes – fell by 8.5% in total in the first half of the year, following an 8.2% drop in like-for-like sales and a 0.8% fall in space.
The half-year figure includes rising sales in the first quarter and falling sales in the second quarter in every part of the Travis Perkins group except Toolstation.
At Toolstation, LFL sales grew by 9.2% in the first quarter and by 16.5% in the second quarter. Total sales grew by 42.5% during the second quarter alone, after trading space grew by more than a quarter (26%) compared to last year.
Wickes sales grew by 4.5% in the first quarter and fell by 19.8% in the second quarter. Across the group, first quarter sales fell by 3.8% LFL and second quarter sales by 34.8%.
Travis Perkins said in today’s trading statement that Toolstation and Wickes continue to benefit from “strong DIY sales delivered through market-leading multichannel capability”. Overall, it said, Wickes saw sales grow strongly in June after its stores reopened to customers in late May. Sales growth was particularly significant in DIY categories, which offset a slower recovery in kitchen and bathroom sales.
Nick Roberts, chief executive of Travis Perkins, said the business had continued to recover well with good demand from repair and maintenance and infrastructure projects compensating for challenges in the new build and commercial construction markets.
“We remain cautious as to the near-term headwinds facing our business and the wider economy, nevertheless the decisive actions we have taken to manage our cost base mean that we are well placed to continue to serve our customers, support our colleagues and generate value for our shareholders,” he said.