Homebase achieves its best performance since 2002
Home Retail Group also reported in its half year results today that total sales in the 26 weeks to August 31 this year had increased by 4.4% to £822.3m.
It said seasonal products benefitted from the improved summer weather and big ticket items were also ahead of the comparable period last year. Homebase also continued to increase its market share in the DIY sheds/retailers market.
Multi-channel sales grew by 28% year-on-year and now represent 6% of Homebase's total sales. The Group reported that this is due to increased website traffic and its introduction of next or named-day delivery options to a customer's home or a store of their choice.
In line with its store refit programme, Homebase opened five of its new-style stores in the period, including Battersea, and it plans to complete a further 10 refits in the second half of the financial year. Three stores were closed in the same 26-week period and the company expects to close a total of 10 stores in the current financial year as it continues to examine opportunities for closures, relocations or downsizes.
Having exited examinership in Ireland two stores closed and rent reductions have been achieved for the 13 stores that are remaining open; this follows poor sales figures in recent years at Homebase Ireland.
Home Retail Group chief executive, Terry Duddy, reported that Homebase traded strongly through its peak period and had "achieved 18 consecutive quarters of market share growth in the shed sector."
He said of the Homebase store refits: "These refitted stores are performing in line with our expectations. In addition, the introduction of improved delivery options has supported multi-channel sales participation, which grew by 28%.
"As we look ahead to the second half of the year, we expect consumer spending will remain subdued. Overall we are making good progress and are in excellent operational shape as we approach the key Christmas trading period."
c/o DIY Week