DIY retailer Wickes avoids post-pandemic home improvement slowdown

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Business is benefiting from continued DIY interest and rapidly growing trade order book

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IY retailer Wix has said it expects home improvement customers to still return to stores and trade customer order books at record levels to avoid a post-pandemic business slowdown.

Wix said it would deliver full-year results in line with expectations with sales “far ahead of pre-lockdown levels”.

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The company revealed that business still remains healthy ahead of the AGM today (Thursday) and said it looks forward to reviving business with a series of store refits and new openings.

It said it was “cautious” of the current economic environment as customers were facing a steep rise in cost of living due to inflationary pressures and rise in interest rates.

However, although trading remained broad-based, group sales are currently down 0.6% from the first 20 weeks to 21 May this year compared to the same period last year. Like for Like sales were also down 7.2% for the period.

DIY sales increased by 30.9% during this period compared to the previous year. On a three-year basis, that is, compared to the pre-covid period, total group sales are up 22.4%.

Unlike rival Kingfisher Group’s B&Q, Wix has faced a decline in DIY and business purchases as its customers return to their workplaces.

Earlier this week, Kingfisher reported a drop in sales, which was thought to sound the death knell for post-lockdown DIYs.

While Kingfisher said demand was resilient and it is on track to hit profit target for the year of £770 million, City closed as similar sales, the most eagerly studied measure, rose 5.4% in the first quarter. fallen.

Wix CEO David Wood said of the trading update from the retailer: “I am pleased to report continued momentum, and a promising start to the year where we continue to take market share. Let me take a closer look at our long-term performance. Particularly proud, sales are well ahead of pre-lockdown levels.

“Looking ahead, as we remain cognizant of the uncertain macroeconomic environment, we remain confident of the opportunities available to Vicks in the large and growing home improvement market,” Wood said.

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