The British DIY chain Wickes largely maintained its like-for-like sales at the previous year's level in the third quarter. Overall, the chain's like-for-like sales were 0.2 per cent lower than in the period from July to September 2022. The core product range increased by 1.1 per cent with growth in volume for the first time since the second quarter of 2021, according to the company. Trade Pro sales continue to show double-digit growth, with the customer base continuing to grow strongly. DIY sales remain moderately down on the prior year. Core market share improved in the quarter, with particularly strong performances in decorative, tiling and insulation. Selling price inflation in the period was broadly flat, a position which the retailer expects to continue for the remainder of the year and into 2024.
However, DIFM segment sales were down by 4.4 per cent, partially driven by a more normalised order book compared with the first half. The company had also experienced some delays to delivered sales as a result of the transition to a new software solution fulfilling customer orders. DIFM orders were down modestly in the third quarter, with some pressure on conversion rates, particularly in September, as customers are taking longer to commit to big-ticket purchases, a press release states.
Wickes' like-for-like sales in the first three quarters were 0.4 per cent higher than the corresponding figure for the previous year. The core segment fell 0.2 per cent short of the previous year's target in this period, while the DIFM segment exceeded it by 2.5 per cent.