Wickes saw double-digital sales growth as more customers opted for the retailer to ‘do it for me’ (DIFM) rather than ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) in the final quarter of its finanancial year.
The DIY-to-kitchens-and-bathrooms multichannel retailer has expanded the number of people working for it to tackle an “elevated order book” of installations and says by the end of 2022, orders were lower than a year earlier – when orders had peaked at a time when the Covid-19 omicron variant affected delivery.
Wickes says total sales in the 13 weeks to December 31 grew by 11.5%. Within that, core sales rose by 5.2%, but DIFM sales were 34.5% up on the previous year.
In the full-year to the same date, total group sales were 3.5% ahead of the previous year. Within that, core sales were down by 2% but delivered ‘do it for me’ (DIFM) sales were up by 26%.
It now expects full-year pre-tax profits to be in line with market expectations.
By the end of the year, Wickes had 3,000 installer teams helping it to work through a rising order book – up from 2,600 in March 2022. It has also published a digital Sustainable House Guide featuring ‘click to purchase’ sustainable options for every room in the house.
David Wood, Wickes chief executive, says: “Wickes traded well during the period, with group sales up 11.5%, underpinned by our relentless focus on value, availability and service.
“With the increased cost of living and colder winter months we have seen more customers turning to Wickes for help to reduce their energy usage and bills. We’re providing market-leading value on products, from loft insulation through to draught excluders, and customers are visiting our online Sustainable House Guide for great hints and tips on how to reduce energy and cut back on costs.
“Wickes continues to demonstrate the strength of its uniquely balanced business model. We remain focused on our growth levers to ensure that we continue to outperform the market.”
Wickes, which sells online and through 230 shops offering multichannel services, is ranked Top50 in RXUK Top500 research.