Helping customers to buy online has helped Wickes grow quickly. Image courtesy of Wickes
Wickes today says digital has helped it to grow its sales, especially in the do it for me (DIFM) sector, over its latest full-year.
The Top500 retailer says the success of its digital customer experience – which includes a free virtual design service – and an extended product range, helped grow its sales.
The update comes as Wickes reports revenue of £1.5bn in the 53 weeks to January 1 2022. That’s up 14% from last year, when it turned over £1.35bn.
Pre-tax profits came in at £85m – a 71.7% increase from £49.5m last year. This beat the retailer’s expectations which were set out in December.
The home improvement retailer, which is ranked Top50 in RXUK Top500 research, also reported a 13% increase on like-for-like sales – that strip out the effect of business and store openings and closures – compared to the previous year, and an 18.6% increase on two years earlier.
David Wood, chief executive of Wickes says: “The results we are seeing, plus these strong returns, give us confidence to accelerate our investments to drive further growth.
“Looking ahead, we expect to continue outperforming the market and are well-placed to capitalise on the ongoing requirement for home improvement – namely an ageing housing stock, favourable consumer trends, and the increased focus on insulating and retrofitting homes. While we recognise the pressure that consumers will be facing in 2022, we have the right model, a strong pipeline and order book, and remain confident of making further progress in the current year driven by a material increase in DIFM revenues.”
The retailer says it expects its market performance to continue going strong and hopes to capitalise on consumer demand for DIY and home improvement products which emerged during pandemic-related lockdowns.
The retailer says digital development and product innovation has “underpinned” its performance in the DIFM category and will continue to accelerate its future growth. Its virtual showroom journey and virtual tour functionality have enabled the retailer to take customers through the design and sales process remotely, supported by its design consultants. “The proportion of leads through our digital channels has continued to grow strongly over the year, and we expect further progress here in 2022,” says Wickes in its full-year statement.
Wickes is still developing its digital offer to improve the customer experience. Its Missions Motivation Engine helps it to become involved sooner in customers’ project planning – and to boost its share of spending on each project. Its kitchen digital experience has been extended to bathrooms, and the retailer is now using virtual and augmented reality to improve the showroom journey online and in store.
Its DIY mobile app launched in the fourth quarter of 2021, and Wickes says conversion rates are already double that of other devices. Extra payment options are to be added, while the retailer also aims to improve the accessibility of its extended range. payment options and improving the accessibility of our extended range.
Moving forward, Wickes says it is now set to complete its store refit programme, which will see the opening of up to 20 new stores over the next five years.
In a further move, the retailer also announced today plans to roll out new distribution and supply chain initiatives across its business having successfully managed extra demand in its store and distribution environments.