DIY brand, Wickes have been hit by tough pricing competition and high costs, with a challenging consumer market and falling sales.
Travis Perkins, builders’ merchant is set to explore the future sale of the chain, as it looks to focus on its core business. They aim to simplify the group’s structure and cut costs to focus more heavily on trade customers, divesting the plumbing and heating division.
In the short term, it is believed to strengthen the performance of Wickes by benefiting on their competitive advantages within their DIY, small trade and kitchen and bathroom markets.
An option to maximise the value of Wickes going further is to sell.
‘’We have developed a clear plan to focus on delivering best-in-class service to our trade customers, and to simplify the group to reduce complexity, speed up decision making and reduce costs. Our trade businesses hold strong positions in attractive markets and these initiatives will enable us to concentrate our management time and capital in the highest returning areas.’’
Wickes have seen declines in both core DIY and kitchen and bathroom categories.
Travis Perkins brought Wickes in a £950m deal, 14 years ago.
B&Q, rival DIY chain, has also struggled the last month, with a 2.9% decline in like-for-like sales for the quarter to end October. Similarly, Homebase have axed many stores and continue to face struggles after being sold to new owner, Hilco Capital, for £1 earlier this year.