Reopening stores would help Wickes compete

Following today’s release of Travis Perkins Q1 figures for 2020, Georgina Sreeves, Associate Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments:

“Store closures as part of the UK lockdown measures imposed on 23 March have decimated sales at Travis Perkins; in the first three weeks of April, Group revenue was just one-third of the same comparable period in 2019. Wickes has proved slightly more resilient within the Group, owing to increased demand as consumers looked to make home improvements. However, serving customers solely through non-contact channels has significantly reduced sales.

“Kitchen and Bathroom design and installation services at Wickes, which contribute around a third of sales, remain closed alongside its stores. Branches are still being used as fulfilment centres for online delivery and click-and-collect orders, and strong demand has led to imposed online queues on its website.

“Although Wickes is classed as an essential retailer, Travis Perkins did not mention stores reopening in the near future. As its competitors, B&Q and Homebase, begin to reopen their store networks with social distancing measures, Wickes is likely to see a slowdown in online sales as customers migrate to physical stores for immediate fulfilment. GlobalData forecasts that in 2020, the UK DIY & Gardening sector will decline by 10.5% on 2019. Wickes must adapt its stores and open with social distancing measures to ensure it does not fall behind its major rivals.”

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